4.00pm, Saturday, 4 April
Morrie Breen Oval, Cnr Wallarah & Arizona Rds, Gorokan/Wyong
Meet the players
Off the presses
Sydney Roosters and Newtown Jets announce dual signing of classy Samoan back
The Newtown Jets remain winless after four rounds of the 2009 NSW Cup, despite having had the unexpected services of Test forward Willie Mason and Queensland State of Origin regular Nate Myles for their match against the Central Coast Storm at Wyong last Saturday.
The Storm led 10-0 at halftime after Newtown had failed to take best advantage of a strong southerly breeze, and then pulled away late in the second half for a 28-12 win.
Jets coach Greg Matterson has spared no effort in pursuing a winning formula with a further three players, centres Smith Samau and Chris Tuatara, and hooker, Luke Letele, all on debut on Saturday, plus a new halves pairing in Donny Thompson and Nigel Millgate who hadn't played together before.
Newtown had plenty of possession and favourable field position in the first half but their poor execution at the Storm's end of the field cost them dearly.
Hopes raised early in the second half
Newtown took a 12-10 lead ten minutes into the second half through tries to fullback Javarn White and Samoan international Smith Samau. Samau received the ball from Willie Mason who caught a pass at ankle-height and delivered the perfect ball to the unmarked Samoan World Cup centre.
The Storm regrouped and quickly regained the lead after a critical Jets handling error gifted them great field position.
From that juncture onwards, the Storm's effective kick and chase game kept the pressure right on Newtown, who conceded a further two tries late in the game.
There were some better signs for Newtown in this match, even allowing for the inclusion of players of the obvious class of Mason and Myles. The Jets kicking game remains a problem area, with their fifth tackle options rarely applying undue pressure on the Storm.
The Roosters celebrity duo of Mason and Myles both made positive contributions and genuinely put in on the field and as good-will ambassadors off the field. Hooker, Letele, was lively from dummy-half and worked hard in defence along with the reliable Khalid Deeb. Winger Luke Hume made himself very involved and the centres Samau and Tuatara will be stronger following their first games in many weeks.
There is a split round in the NSW Cup over the weekends of 11/12 and 18/19 April. Newtown has no NSW Cup match on the upcoming Easter weekend and will play away to the Auckland Vulcans on Saturday, 18 April.
Newtown 12 [Javarn White, Smith Samau tries; Sonny Tuigamala 2 goals]
Strong southerly wind. Cool conditions.