3.30 pm, Friday, 18 July
NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]
Newtown's inglorious record at Brookvale Oval in recent seasons was maintained on Friday afternoon when Manly-Warringah defeated the Jets by 38-14.
While the first half had been an even contest with Manly taking a 16-14 lead into the break, the second half was a complete shut-out for the visitors. Manly's win has enabled them to move into third position on the VB NSW Cup competition and relegate Newtown into fourth place.
Tight contest in first half with penalties playing key part
The Sea Eagles were away to a strong start with a 40/20 kick in the third minute, which was quickly followed by an easy barge-over try next to the northern end uprights.
Back to back penalties put Newtown deep into Manly's territory and five-eighth Sean Rudder and second rower Shane Shackleton engineered a try for winger Tevita Folau.
Rudder was again in the driver's seat with a perfectly-flighted kick for the left hand corner that was spectacularly juggled and safely grounded by flankman Rhys Pritchard. Neither of these tries was converted and Newtown led 8-6 after twenty minutes.
A penalty conceded by Newtown on the fifth tackle invited the Sea Eagles deep into Jets territory where back to back sets saw Manly cross for a converted try. The Sea Eagles increased their lead to 16-8 after they kicked into open spaces and a fortuitous bounce saw Manly race in for another try.
Repeat penalties assisted Newtown with badly needed field position and some good ball movement ended in second-rower Danny Howard scoring right on the stroke of half-time. Half-back Ben Green's conversion saw Newtown trailing by only 16-14 at half-time.
No joy for Newtown in second half
Manly-Warringah totally dominated possession and territory in the second half, completing 95% of their sets in comparison to Newtown's 50%.
The Jets rarely had the ball on Manly's side of the halfway line and in retrospect did well to contain the Sea Eagles to four second half tries and prevent a complete rout.
Manly fielded a team with considerable NRL experience but had lost their halfback and captain Jeff Robson to a late NRL call-up.
The stalwart backrower Mickey Paea was Newtown's best on a day where all players distinguished themselves. Shane Shackleton made a successful return from a serious upper-arm injury and was playing in his first match since early February.
Five-eighth Sean Rudder looked good with the ball in the first half and fullback Byron Ford strove valiantly to rally his team-mates.
The Newtown Jets return to Henson Park next Saturday (26th July) for what will be a critical match against Penrith's feeder club in the NSW Cup competition, Windsor. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.
3 tries, 1 goal
7 tries, 5 goals
Weather: fine, cold, southerly breeze
Playing surface: Excellent
Referee: Chris James
Touch Judges: Danielle Berry, Andrew Zapantis