3.00 pm, Saturday, 10 April 2010
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Jets strong second half makes the difference
A much improved second half performance from the Newtown Jets saw them safely home by 44-22 against the Auckland Vulcans, in the fifth round NSW Cup match played at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon.
Newtown dominated possession and controlled the ball in the last quarter of the game, with the Jets laying on a further four tries after the teams had been locked up at 22-all midway through the second half.
Poor start by Jets
The Vulcans began the match in great style, nearly scoring twice in the first ten minutes before posting a converted try. The Jets started poorly, failing to play to their pre-match instructions and turning over a lot of ball.
Nippy fullback Luke Towers prised open the Vulcans defence in the 20th minute after Newtown had gained a repeat set in Auckland's quarter. The Jets quickly added tries through halfback Liam Foran and team captain Jason Wells, only to concede two more tries to the Vulcans late in the first half.
Newtown went to the break with a narrow 18-16 lead, and centre Sonny Tuigamala still in the sin-bin for an indiscretion committed in preventing a Vulcans' try just prior to halftime.
Second half resurgence delivers 5 great tries
Luke Towers increased Newtown's lead to 22-16 with his second try ten minutes into the second half, but the Vulcans responded with a converted try to tie the match up at 22-all with twenty minutes left in the game.
The Jets' impressive second-half completion rate and their dominance of possession and territory in the game's final quarter enabled the home team to pile on four late tries, assisted no doubt by the Vulcans' fatigue factor in the unseasonably warm conditions.
Jets coach Greg Matterson was pleased with his team's improved second half but was still concerned at what had been a rather ordinary first half performance.
Front-rower Ray Moujalli won the player of the match award, and was best supported in the forwards by hooker Keith Peters, backrower and skipper Jason Wells and the hard-toiling Jason Baitieri.
Halfback Liam Foran had his best game of the season while Luke Towers and centre Kane Linnett each notched up two tries.
One of the game's more remarkable first half incidents was the spectacular long-distance chase by Jets forward James Koloamatangi, who showed enormous will-power in pursuing a runaway Vulcans forward for more than 80 metres.
Newtown Jets 44 [Luke Towers 2, Kane Linnett 2, Jason Wells 2, Liam Foran, Ray Moujalli tries; Chris Tuatara-Morrison 6 goals]
Auckland Vulcans 22 [4 tries 3 goals]
Half-time: Newtown led 18-16.
Next game - away
The Newtown Jets play away for the first time this season when they take on formidable adversaries in Wentworthville next Sunday, the 18th May. This sixth round NSW Cup match at Ringrose Park kicks off at 3.00pm.