Newtown Rugby League Football Club - 1908-2008
Jets good form continues with win against defending Premiers [32-6]


Where & when

The Crest Sports Complex, Bass Hill
Sunday, 2nd March 2008.

Newtown's buoyant pre-season form continued when the Jets defeated the 2007 title-holders Parramatta in the NSW Cup trial match played at The Crest Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon. The Jets led 12-6 at half-time and denied the opposition any second-half points as Newtown clocked up an eventual 32-6 winning margin.

For those who tuned in late, the Parramatta and Wentworthville clubs have formed a joint-venture partnership whereby Wentworthville will be Parramatta's entry in the 2008 NSW Cup competition, the former VB Premier League. A number of Parramatta's 2007 premiership-winning team played in the trial on Sunday.

A determined first half performance

Newtown's lively fullback Donny Thompson
scores the Jets first try

Newtown posted two early converted tries through off-season signing Donny Thompson, who had impressed as a fullback in last year's Jim Beam Cup competition. Jets halfback Ben Green, formerly with Cronulla and the Broncos, converted both of the elusive Thompson's tries for Newtown to lead 12-0 after ten minutes.

The Jets had plenty of work to do for the remainder of the first half as the outsize Wentworthville (Parramatta) pack attempted to steamroll the Newtown forwards into submission. It was a testimony to the quality of the Matterson-Yates summer preparation that the Jets weathered this extended barrage and went in at the break 12-6 to the better.

Opposition kept pointless in second half

The Jets reasserted their authority early in the second half with a well-taken try by prop Aaron Wheatley (formerly with the Dragons and Bulldogs) on the end of slick passes from Luke Branighan and Rhys Pritchard.

When Pritchard ran on to a deftly-placed kick from halfback Jai Ayoub and scored next to the posts, the game was virtually in Newtown's keeping.

Nothing went right for the big Wentworthville side in the second half - whenever they worked their way into Newtown's territory, they let themselves down with poor handling and unproductive kicking options. The Jets added two further tries through dummy-half sorties from Ayoub and triallist hooker Matt Wakefield.

Coach's assessment

Newtown coach Greg Matterson was pleased with his team's ability to play through their sets and their determination to get the fundamentals right. It was a workmanlike display that was reflected in the final scoreline, although Matterson cautioned his players and Jets supporters alike that Sunday's opponents would be a very different proposition when the clubs meet again in the competition rounds.

Another trial to settle the starting team for the season

Newtown used 28 players on Sunday, illustrating the Newtown coaching staff's looming quandary in selecting the 17 players for the opening competition match against Cronulla-Sutherland.

The Newtown and Roosters team managements have therefore decided that one further trial match is warranted prior to the commencement of the 2008 NSW Cup competition rounds.

Next weekend's assignment will see the Jets take on the Newcastle club Central-Charlestown on Saturday, 8 March. Venue changed from Matraville High. Now OKI Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah. Kick-Off: 4.00pm NOT 4.30pm.

Who played?

Donny Thompson [1]
Byron Ford [2], Tevita Folau [5]
Albert Hopoate [3], Toshio Laiseni [4]
Luke Millwood [6], Ben Green [7]
Jimmy Andersen [13]
Daniel Green [11] Danny Howard [12]
Ray Moujalli [8] Khalid Deeb [10]
Tyrone Shelley [9]

Luke Branighan, James Cameron, Matt Wakefield, Aaron Wheatley, Grayson Goodwin,
Trevor Richardson, Rhys Pritchard, Hep Cahill, Fonua Fale, Jai Ayoub, AJ Pesamino.

Chris James.

© Newtown Jets RLFC 2006