3.00 pm, Saturday, 26 April
NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]
The Newtown Jets regained their winning form with an emphatic 32-0 win over Canterbury-Bankstown in the NSWRL VB NSW Cup match played at Henson Park on Saturday.
The match was played in perfect conditions and Henson Park has never looked better, with the sunny weather drawing out this season's best crowd.
The Jets led 22-0 at half-time and managed to keep the Bulldogs scoreless for the second half as well.
Newtown's dominance on the scoreboard was not exactly reflected in the match statistics.
Canterbury had a much better completion rate than the Jets in both halves, as well as having the possession and territorial advantages arising from a lopsided penalty count in favour of the Bulldogs.
A solemn opening to the ANZAC weekend game
Albert dismisses the Bulldog defence as he heads for the line
Rhys Pritchard turns in another impressive performance
"Come back, Frank-Paul" they cried in vain
Enthusiasm and speed win first half
Newtown's tackling enthusiasm and speed off the line snuffed out Canterbury's attacking ventures, aided also by the Bulldogs' own shoddy handling and lack of purpose.
Jets centre Albert Hopoate crossed twice in the first half and both Newtown wingers Byron Ford and Rhys Pritchard scored tries, with Pritchard's coming off a superb off-load from the classy back-rower Sean Rudder.
Second half commitment holds line
Jets coach Greg Matterson called on his players to maintain their commitment in defence for the second half and to play through their sets - they complied with his first request but completed less than 50% of their sets in the second session, and yet kept a strong grip on the game's ultimate outcome.
Newtown added a further two tries through workhorse forward Mickey Paea and fullback Toshio Laiseni, with Paea's try coming from a remarkable exhibition of strength and determination.
Coach Matterson was extremely pleased with his team's defensive effort, particularly in view of Canterbury's wealth of possession in both halves.
NSW Rugby League General Manager Geoff Carr was a guest of the Newtown club for the match and he was no doubt impressed with the excellent presentation of Henson Park, the season's best crowd and Newtown's winning form.
The Newtown forward pack deserves special commendation with the best performances coming from Mickey Paea and Sean Rudder.
There were a number of standout players in the Newtown backline, with fullback Toshio Laiseni having his best game of the season and wingers Ford and Pritchard were always dangerous with the ball.
Centres Albert Hopoate and Brent Grose, and halfback Luke Millwood were other strong performers.
With the Anzac Day long weekend being part of a split round, the Newtown Jets have no playing commitments next weekend. Their next home game at Henson Park is on Saturday, 24th May against the Central Newcastle Knights.
Newtown Jets 32
6 tries, 4 goals
Referee: Phillip Haines
Touch Judges: Melissa Yates, Richard Daizli