6.00 pm, Saturday, 29 May 2010
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NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]
View game highlights on YouTube.
The annual away match against the Windsor Wolves is always one of the toughest assignments on the NSW Cup calendar, and so it proved for the Newtown Jets last Saturday night. The Jets were well pleased to take the two competition points with their 28-24 win against tough and uncompromising opponents.
Night football at Windsor is no walk in the park
The slippery ground conditions and the less than perfect lighting ensured that this was going to be a grinding, slogging contest with most of the action centred in the forwards.
Newtown had the start they wanted through tries to prop, Khalid Deeb, in the 8th minute and winger, Troy Savage, in the 12th. Centre, Tu’u Maori’s two conversions gave the Jets a 12-0 lead but the Wolves hit back and drew level in the 25th minute.
Newtown reclaimed the lead two minutes before halftime with a try to fullback, Luke Towers.
Jets lose lead in second half
The Wolves appeared to have the game at their mercy when they scored twice from high kicks to lead 24-16, fifteen minutes into the second half.
Jets coach Greg Matterson said after the game that "plenty of teams might have turned it up at that stage, given the unfavourable playing conditions and against such rugged opposition, but the adversity seemed to bring out the best in our blokes."
Determined fight-back gives Jets victory
Newtown's man of the match and former Penrith hooker, Keith Peters, scored at the 20th minute mark and Maori's conversion had Newtown trailing 24-22.
The Jets looked the better team when in possession but this was a game that was going to go right to the wire.
Weather-induced fundamental errors looked likely to bring the Jets undone, but the game-breaker came when second-rower Tom Symonds won the race into Windsor's in-goal to touch down a well-weighted kick from five-eighth, Johnathon Ford.
Tu'u Maori's fourth conversion gave Newtown a 28-24 lead with nine minutes to play. Predictably the game ended on a thrilling note, after the Jets turned the ball over midfield in the 38th minute and allowed the Wolves one last set of possession.
Winger, Troy Savage, defused the dangerous situation when he fielded a high kick into his corner in the last thirty seconds.
Newtown 's best forwards on the night were hooker Keith Peters, backrower Tom Symonds and front-rowers Khalid Deeb, Martin Kennedy and Ryan Verlinden.
Kennedy made valuable metres when they were most needed in the fiercely-contested second half. All the backs contributed well in a match that was heavily forwards-oriented.
Newtown Jets 28 [Luke Towers, Troy Savage, Keith Peters, Khalid Deeb, Tom Symonds tries; Tu'u Maori 4 goals]
Windsor Wolves 24 [4 tries; 4 goals]
Half-time: Jets led 16-12
The third-placed Newtown Jets return to Henson Park next Saturday, 5 June, for a showdown with the competition leaders, the Balmain Tigers.
This local derby will again be a contest for the MUA Solidarity Cup, a trophy that is played for by the Newtown and Balmain clubs in competition games at Henson Park. The main game kicks off at 3.00pm, with the curtain-raiser being a NSW Cup fixture between Cronulla-Sutherland and the Windsor Wolves at 1.00pm.