Tigers hold out Jets in thrilling local derby finish [30-32]


Newtown's run of agonisingly close defeats continued with the Jets' 32-30 loss to the Balmain Tigers in the VB Premier League match played at Leichhardt Oval on Monday evening.

The game was locked up at 12-all at halftime in a match that was of vital importance for both clubs the Tigers were in hot pursuit of a place in the competition's top four while for the Jets the outcome almost certainly represented their last throw of the dice for a 2007 finals berth.

Newtown showed their competitive credentials when the Jets defended their own line for a gruelling six consecutive sets just prior to halftime.

Second half comeback not good enough

The second half was one of contrasting fortunes, with the Jets jumping out to an early 18-12 lead.

Balmain took control of the match midway through the second half as their classy young halves carved up the tiring Newtown defence, with the Tigers opening up what looked to be a match-winning 32-18 lead.

In keeping with the fierce tribalism of the century of local derbies between these two old traditional rivals, the Jets fought back to trail 32-30 with ten minutes remaining but couldn't quite bridge the Tigers' narrow lead before fulltime.

Player performances

Forwards Grant Millington and Mickey Paea and backs Vince Mellars and Shaun Kenny-Dowall were Newtown's best on the night.

Despite the narrow loss, the Newtown Jets retained the Trevor Ryan-Neil Pringle Shield (contested annually between the Newtown and Balmain clubs) on a cumulative points for and against basis.

Players' player

Newtown's players' player award was won by Grant Millington.

Next match

The Newtown Jets are back at Henson Park this Saturday (August 4th) when they confront the very much in-form Auckland Lions in a trans-Tasman VB Premier League match at 3.00pm.

Match summary

Newtown 30 - Balmain 32

Newtown Jets - 5 tries, 5 goals
Balmain Tigers - 6 tries, 4 goals
Half-Time: 12-all.

Newtown point scorers

Tries to Shaun Foley, Vince Mellars, Grant Millington, George Ndaira and Frank-Paul Nuuausala

Shaun Foley 5 goals.

Playing surface: Very Good.
Weather: Fine, cold, light breeze.
Referee: Phil Haines.

Who played?

2007 photo highlights

1Aaron Lai
2Vince Mellars [T1]
3Antonio Winterstein
4Troy Savage
5Shaun Kenny-Dowall
6Shaun Foley [T1 G5]
7Rory Kostjasyn
8Danny Williams
9George Ndaira [T1]
10Frank-Paul Nuuausala [T1]
11Grant Millington [T1]
12Mickey Paea
13Adam Schubert
14Steve Meredith
15James Shillington
16Anthony Cherrington
17Dale Newton

© Newtown Jets RLFC 2006