3.00 pm, Saturday, 8 August
Meet the players
NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]
The Newtown Jets have edged into eighth place on the NSW Cup premiership table following their 22-14 win against Western Suburbs at Henson Park on Saturday.
The Jets also retained the Tom Raudonikis Cup for 2009 as a result of this win.
Newtown led by 12-10 at halftime and protected what proved to be their eight-point winning margin for the last twenty minutes of the game.
Magpies score first but Jets hit back in first half
Wests dominated possession and field position for the first quarter of the match, aided by a run of five successive penalties. The weight of possession ultimately told with the Magpies scoring an unconverted try in the twentieth minute.
The Jets stepped up a gear and took the game right up to the 'Pies, resulting in halfback Liam Foran sending impact benchman, Kyle Lodge, in under the posts.
Five minutes later the wily veteran, Sean Rudder, sliced through to score virtually untouched, both of these tries being converted by Papua-New Guinean international centre Tu'U Maori.
Wests regained the momentum and scored just before halftime with this try being converted from the sideline.
Newtown defence held firm against strong second half Magpies attack
As this match was critical to the finals hopes of both teams, the second half was bound to be a tightly contested struggle.
The Jets increased their lead when five-eighth Nick Kouparitsas scored on the end of a long break by Kyle Lodge. Maori's close range conversion attempt rebounded off and away from an upright to the consternation of the big contingent of Newtown supporters in attendance.
The Magpies redoubled the pressure but Newtown's defence held solid for an extended period. A horror error at Newtown's end saw the 'Pies score and get back to within two points of the Jets.
Sonny Tuigamala's individual try seals victory
Newtown gained a valuable points buffer when centre Sonny Tuigamala scored a brilliant individual try which Maori converted, an eight-point lead that the Jets clung to for the remainder of the match.
Player and team performances
Winners of the 2009 Tom Raudonikis Cup [Players only]
Back row: Kyle Lodge, Sisa Waqa, Tevite Vatuvei, James Koloamatangi [DNP], Pat Rosser, Tere Glassie, Ray Moujalli, Rohan Ahern
Front row: Sean Rudder, Liam Foran, Smith Samau, Matt Hall, Sonny Tuigamala, Khalid Deeb, Don Thompson, Jimmy Andersen, Tu'U Maori, Nick Kouparitsas
The Jets put enormous pressure on themselves in the second half with their cavalier attitude to possession inside their own quarter.
No doubt coach Matterson's sanity was tested at times with their refusal to play to instructions. Regardless of their madcap moments in possession, the Jets deserve credit for their stout defence at critical periods which enabled them to claim a win so important to their finals aspirations.
Newtown's best forwards were Jimmy Andersen, Khalid Deeb, Ray Moujalli and Sean Rudder with Kyle Lodge and Sonny Tuigamala being the best of the backs.
Newtown Jets 22 [Kyle Lodge, Sean Rudder, Nick Kouparitsas, Sonny Tuigamala tries; Tu'U Maori 3 goals]
Western Suburbs Magpies 14 [3 tries; 1 goal]
Halftime: Jets led 12-10.
Referee: Chris Butler
Touch Judges: Shane Chapman, Jason Higgins.
Photo gallery of the Newtown-Wests game
There is a split round in the NSW Cup competition over the next two weekends which coincides with Newtown's second bye. The Jets next match will be against Cronulla-Sutherland at Henson Park, Saturday, 29 August, with this match kicking off at the usual time of 3.00pm.