3.00 pm, Saturday, 7 August 2010
Campbelltown Stadium, Pembroke Rd, Leumeah
Meet the players
NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]
The Newtown Jets have moved to the top of the NSW Cup competition table after their 38-26 victory against Western Suburbs on Saturday, and following the surprise defeat of the previous leaders Canterbury-Bankstown by Cronulla-Sutherland.
The Jets set up a commanding 32-14 lead over the Magpies midway through the second half at Campbelltown Stadium, but they were nearly run down by their Foundation Club rivals late in the game. Newtown claimed the Tom Raudonikis Cup for 2010 as a result of this victory.
Tight first half
The first half was a willing contest, with Wests scoring two early tries to lead 8-0 after only ten minutes.
Newtown pulled back to 8-4 with a strong push-on-the-line try to second-rower, Aidan Guerra, but didn't take the lead until just eight minutes from half-time when five-eighth, Johnathon Ford, scored his first try and center, Tu'u Maori, converted.
The Jets went into the break 10-8 to the better.
Magpies push Jets hard second half
The Jets took a strong grip on the match when they laid on two classy converted tries early in the second half, thereby extending their lead to 22-8 - The first to barn-storming front-rower, James Koloamatangi, from a break by halfback, James Aubusson, and the second to Johnathon Ford, again off a break by second-rower, Brad Takairangi.
The Magpies pulled back with a converted try but Newtown looked to have the game in hand when tries to fullback, Luke Towers and winger, Troy Savage, blew the margin out to 32-14.
The never-say-die Magpies made life very uncomfortable for Newtown's rowdy supporters when they fought back with two converted tries to trail by 32-26 with five minutes left to play.
A late try to second-rower, Brad Barrett, sealed the win for the Jets and made the Magpies quest for a final four placing that much harder.
Newtown's coach Greg Matterson described his team's win as being 'patchy', with a number of satisfactory aspects being counter-balanced by some more ordinary elements within the Jets' performance.
He noted the recurring problems with his team's right-side defence which had been well-targeted by the Magpies' hard-running outside backs.
Front-rower James Koloamatangi was nominated as being Newtown's Man of the Match, with his 'go forward' and quick play the balls making an immediate impact when he was injected into the game.
Other players mentioned in dispatches were hooker Keith Peters, front-rower Ray Moujalli, second-rower Brad Takairangi [who was sporting a magnificent 'shiner' after the match] and five-eighth Johnathon Ford.
The team celebrates the winning of the Tom Raudonikis Cup with supporters.
Photo by John Biboudis
Newtown Jets 38 [Johnathon Ford 2, Luke Towers, Trou Savage, Brad Barrett, Aidan Guerra, James Koloamatangi tries; Tu'u Maori 5 goals]
Western Suburbs Magpies 26 [5 tries, 3 goals]
Half-time; Jets led 10-8.
Officials: Referee, Henry Perenara; Touch Judges, Matt Damaso, Jimmy Oliveira.
Weather: Fine, cold, light breeze.
Playing surface: Excellent.
The Newtown Jets journey across the Tasman next weekend to take on the Auckland Vulcans on Saturday, 14th August at Mt Smart Stadium, with this 23rd round NSW Cup match getting underway at 10.30am AEST.