3.30pm, Saturday, 25 April
Toyota Stadium, Cronulla
Newtown's SG Ball Cup team bowed out of the 2009 competition when they went down 32-26 to the powerful Canterbury Bulldogs outfit, in the elimination quarter-final played at Toyota Park last Saturday.
The young Jets made a real game of it against formidable opposition and the Newtown boys can take some consolation from the fact that the Bulldogs are the standout favourites to win the 2009 title.
Coach Joel Greig and his coaching staff deserve great credit for having shaped this team of youngsters into genuine premiership contenders in what was a very intense and high-standard National under 18's competition.
The Jets led 18-4 after 25 minutes through tries to prop Samson Manu'a, backrower Dane Atkinson and centre Jack Littlejohn but the powerful Bulldogs combination was right back in the match trailing 18-16 at halftime.
One Bulldogs team official described the game as being "like a very competitive bout between a top-class heavyweight and a brave and resourceful middleweight".
The Bulldogs punished Newtown for any errors made in the second half but the feisty Jets were still in there counter-punching right to the final siren.
Jack Littlejohn was named as Newtown's man of the match while others to stand out in a great team effort were second-rower Dane Atkinson, fullback Cheyse Blair, front-rowers Samson Manu'a and Ethan Lowe and lock Nick Ehsman.
Clearly there were a number of first graders of the future on display in both teams.
Newtown 26 [Dane Atkinson 2, Samson Manu’a, Jack Littlejohn, Michael Mizrahie tries; Jacob Miller 3 goals]
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 32 [6 tries, 4 goals]
Half-Time: Newtown led 18-16.
The following photo was taken in fading light after the game - a group of disappointed players but a team that can be justly proud of the campaign they fought in 2009.
Back row: Jacob Miller, Inoke Vunipola [behind], Dane Atkinson, Boyd Cordner, Jack Littlejohn, Ethan Lowe, Adam Brent, Samson Manu'a, Nick Ehsman
Front row: Michael Mizrahie, Lepuha Paseka, Tom Dawney, Cheyse Blair, Asipeli Fine, Paul Rokolati, Steve Blakemore, Jared Cherrington