3.00 pm, Saturday, 9 May
Meet the players
The Newtown Jets remain at the tail end of the 2009 NSW Cup premiership table, despite an improved performance against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon.
Jets went to half-time on equal terms
Cronulla has been the competition giant-killer in recent weeks and on Saturday fielded no less than 14 players with recent NRL experience, including the former Australian Test backrower Reni Maitua.
The Jets looked to be in real trouble when they trailed 16-4 midway through the first half, but they hit back with two converted tries to go in at the break locked up at 16-all.
Late second half errors hurt Jets
Newtown remained well in the contest for much of the second half, trailing by 32-26 with less than twenty minutes remaining.
The Sharks took advantage of a critical Jets error to extend their lead to 36-26, and then scored from an intercept in the game's final seconds for a final winning margin of 42-26.
Jets coach Greg Matterson acknowledged his team's improved effort against a club that is likely to be one of the competition's front-runners.
Handling errors, missed one on one tackles out wide and even perverse bounces of the football all told against the Jets in the end.
Front-rower Pat Rosser left the field early in the match with a leg injury thereby reducing Newtown's engine-room firepower. Khalid Deeb, Jimmy Andersen and Matthew Hall were among Newtown's best forwards while Smith Samau continued to impress with his strong running from fullback.
[Sonny Tuigamala, Tu'U Maori, Anthony Jerram , Matt Hall, tries; Chris Tuatara 3 goals]
Cronulla 42 [8 tries; 5 goals]
Half-time: Scores were even [16-16]
The Jets are back again at Henson Park next Saturday, 16 May, for a replay of last year's Grand Final against Wentworthville, with this NSW Cup match kicking off at 3.00pm. Saturday's match is a special promotional day for the Junior Jets JRLFC and there will be various attractions for children such as free face-painting and a jumping castle.