Young Jets come of age with upset win over Dragons


Saturday, 18 August 2007

Game Day sponsor
Royal Exchange Hotel

The Newtown Jets put a severe dent in St George-Illawarra's top four aspirations when they sprung a 30-6 upset win over the Dragons at Henson Park on Saturday.

Newtown had led 12-0 at halftime but as one senior Dragons official ruthfully admitted, his team had at least five clear-cut scoring opportunities in the first half and all came to nothing.

Newtown was first across the line in the 13th minute but Jets prop Mickey Paea, who was to play such an important role in this stirring victory, crashed through several tackles only to have the ball wrestled from his grasp before he could ground it.

Halfback Rory Kostjasyn opened Newtown's scoring seven minutes later with a deft chip and regather effort which hooker George Ndaira converted. In the 28th minute the wily Ndaira darted from dummy-half, offloaded cleverly to Jets captain Adam Schubert who in turn sent James Shillington in next to the northern end posts.

Ndaira's second conversion gave Newtown a 12-0 lead which was defended until halftime.

Second half demonstrates player commitment

The Jets had taken the field with a number of enforced changes and lost their captain Adam Schubert at halftime with the recurrence of an old knee injury. There was a sense of unease amongst the Newtown crowd that once the Dragons clicked into gear in the second half they might run away with the match, given the number of opportunities that had gone begging in the first forty minutes.

The second half began ominously for the Jets when in the aftermath of a Newtown handling error right on their own line, St George scored in the next set of possession. When Newtown's kick-off flew out on the full their supporters' worst forebodings looked to be coming true but the Jets defensive line was to hold firm for the remainder of the second half.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall gets a great ball away for Aaron Lai to score

Jets fullback Shaun Kenny-Dowall had made an impact in the second half against Western Suburbs and he did the same on Saturday.

In the 54th minute the big New Zealander ran hard onto the ball from a midfield-scrum set play and positioned winger Aaron Lai for a clear run to the line, and then in the 60th minute Kenny-Dowall slipped a beautifully-crafted pass to fellow Kiwi Troy Savage, who backed himself and crashed over in the south-western corner.

With Ndaira converting both tries, the Jets were in the driver's seat at 24-6.

Great defence - great victory

In one of their best defensive efforts this year, Newtown weathered everything the Dragons could throw at them. Nine minutes out from fulltime form forward Frank-Paul Nuuausala strode through some tiring Dragons defence, slipped a pass to the fast supporting five-eighth Tom Symonds who dashed in next to the posts.

Ndaira's fifth conversion gave the Jets a 30-6 lead and the fifth-placed Dragons were gone for all money.

Players impressed across the park

This had been a most gratifying display from what was a very young and restructured team.

The Jets coaching staff of Paul Young and Greg Matterson were most impressed with the manner in which all of these youngsters had stood up and collectively determined to "seize the day".

Prop Mickey Paea turned in an inspiring performance and he took on a positive leadership role in Schubert's absence. Hooker George Ndaira relished the contest with his former team-mates and turned on a faultless goal-kicking display.

Other forwards to impress on a day where everyone contributed were the imposing Nuuausala and backrowers Anthony Cherrington and Hep Cahill. Danny Williams and Steve Meredith did a stack of tackling against the huge Dragons pack.

Halfback Rory Kostjasyn had one of his best games of the season, scoring a clever try and working hard in defence. Kenny-Dowall and Savage ran hard when in possession and winger Rhys Pritchard gave another very tidy performance on the left-side wing.

Centre Vince Mellars took a decent crack on the chin that gave team medico Bassam Moses plenty of stitching practice in the medical room after the match.

Players' player

Stylish young five-eighth and Bondi United juniors product Tom Symonds was the deserved winner of the Alberto's Pizzeria Restaurant Players' Player award for the day.

Next match

The Newtown Jets are back at Henson Park again next Saturday, 25 August, in what will be their final competition match for the year. Next Saturday is also the ever-popular Newtown RLFC players and supporters annual reunion day.

The Jets take on the Penrith Panthers with the VB Premier League action getting underway at 3.00pm.

Match summary

Newtown 30 Rory Kostjasyn, James Shillington, Aaron Lai, Troy Savage, Tom Symonds tries; George Ndaira 5 goals

St George-Illawarra 6 Matt Prior try; Ryan Powell goal.

Who played?

2007 photo highlights

1Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Sponsored by Royal Exchange Hotel, Marrickville
25Rhys Pritchard
Sponsored by Golden Barley Hotel, Marrickville
3Vince Mellars
Sponsored by Harvey Norman, Alexandria
4Troy Savage [T1]
Sponsored by Labelcraft, Leichhardt
23Antonio Winterstein
Sponsored by Mike Shannon
19Tom Symonds [T1]
Sponsored by Petersham RSL Club
7Rory Kostjasyn [T1]
Sponsored by SGE Credit Union
8Steve Meredith
Sponsored by Hawkins Butchery
9George Ndaira [G5]
Sponsored by Bowlers Club of NSW
10Mickey Paea
Sponsored by Seafood Systems Australia
21Frank-Paul Nuuausala
Sponsored by Labelcraft, Leichhardt
12Danny Williams
Sponsored by What's Your Team Sports Store
13Adam Schubert (C)
Sponsored by Miller and Associates Insurance Brokers
14Hep Cahill
Sponsored by Soil 'n' Stuff
15James Shillington [T1]
Sponsored by Dickson Canvass
11Anthony Cherrington
Sponsored by Discount Ski Tubes & Gear
5Aaron Lai [T1]
Sponsored by Earlwood Auto and Mechanical

© Newtown Jets RLFC 2006