2.30 pm, Saturday, 1 August
North Sydney Oval, North Sydney
Meet the players
NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]
Bears retain the Frank Hyde Shield against mistake-prone Jets
North Sydney defeated Newtown 32-18 in the second leg of the 2009 Frank Hyde Shield series played at North Sydney Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The Jets made a poor start to this match, having little time in possession and conceding too many penalties in the first twenty-five minutes. The Bears had run up a 16-0 lead midway through the first half and it looked like being a long afternoon north of the Harbour Bridge for Newtown's travelling supporters.
The Jets hit back with two converted tries in quick succession, the first when stand-in centre, Sonny Tuigamala, strolled through some paper-thin Bears defence and the second when second-rower, Rohan Ahern, sent winger, Sisa Waqa, over in the corner, with centre, Tu'U Maori, converting both tries.
The Bears went in at the break with a 16-12 lead but the Jets had put themselves right back in the contest.
Hopes for second half revival faded quickly
Rohan Ahern charges into the bears defence
Whatever hopes Newtown supporters held for the second half were snuffed out by their team's parade of errors and undisciplined backline play. The Bears dominated territory and added three further tries to lead 32-12 ten minutes from fulltime.
In the game's final moments Jets skipper, Jimmy Andersen, turned on some creative skills that ended in second-rower, Matt Hall positioning Sisa Waqa for his second try. Sonny Tuigamala converted from the sideline for the fulltime score of 32-18.
The Jets were brought undone by their own errors in the second half after they had fought back into the game prior to halftime.
Injuries are kicking into the Jets' ranks (and those of the Roosters) at this late stage of the season and it will be another busy week for Newtown's medical and training staff.
The Jets' best forwards on Saturday were Jimmy Andersen, front-rowers, Ray Moujalli and Khalid Deeb, and backrower, Rohan Ahern.
Fullback, Donny Thompson, (back after an extended layoff due to injury) and Sonny Tuigamala were the best in the Newtown backline.
Footnote to the game
Some of the many Bluebags supporters who travelled to North Sydney to cheer on the team.
After the game, Newtown supporters once again got the chance to greet the players at the fence... this has become a welcome Newtown tradition, win lose or draw.
At Henson Park, supporters wait for the boys to come over to the the hill-side fence and greet those of us who've come down to shake their hands, and they have been doing this at away games lately so supporters are able to congratulate or commiserate as the case may be.
As supporters were preparing to leave, a North Sydney supporter came down to the fence and congratulated them on the team's after-match behaviour. He said that he had never seen any of the other teams give the time to their supporters that the Newtown team does, and that it was a credit to them and to the loyal fans who support them.
He went on to say that this is what Rugby League should be, and we should be proud of the Newtown club.
That night, at Energy Australia stadium, after the Roosters great win over the Knights, Iwi Hauraki, Shane Shackleton and Stanley Waqa headed over to high-five Roosters supporters in the same Newtown tradition.
Newtown Jets 18 [Sisa Waqa 2, Sonny Tuigamala tries; Tu'U Maori 2, Sonny Tuigamala goals]
North Sydney Bears 32 [6 tries, 4 goals]
Half-time: Bears led 16-12
Next matches are vital
Newtown, Windsor, the Auckland Vulcans and Shellharbour remain locked in the struggle for the last berth in the semi-finals with four competition rounds left to play.
The Jets return to Henson Park this Saturday, 8 August when they play Western Suburbs in the second leg of the 2009 Tom Raudonikis Cup. Kick-off is Henson's traditional game start of 3.00pm.
The call goes out to all Bluebags supporters. Be there to support your team!
Changes forced to the Jets lineup by promotion or injuries
- Iwi Hauraki and Riley Brown have been selected for the Sydney Roosters NRL team to play Newcastle. Congratulations to Iwi who will be making his NRL debut.
- Sisa Waqa comes back into the team.
- James Koloamatangi returns from injury.
- Donny Thompson returns from injury and from playing with Chester Hill.
- Chris Tuatara is injured.
- Tavite Vatuvei is injured. Tyrone Shelley comes in for Vatuvei.
- Kyle Lodge is injured.