4.00 pm, Saturday, 6 March
Meet the players
The Newtown Jets easily accounted for the Newcastle club, in Newtown's final trial match outing at Henson Park on Saturday. The game is an annual challenge match between the two clubs for the Brian "Chicka" Moore Shield.
The Jets won by 66-4, but the Scorpions fought well above their weight division in the first half of the game when they had their strongest squad on the field.
Newtown Jets 66 [Luke Towers 5, Kane Linnett 3, Richard Kambo, Troy Savage, Ryan Verlinden, Jason Baitieri, Charlie Herekotukutuku tries; Liam Foran 7 goals]
Macquarie Scorpions 4 [Todd Bridge try]
The match was played in the format of one forty-minute half and two twenty-minute quarters.
Half-Time: Newtown led 18-0.
Match completion rates: Newtown – 65%; Macquarie – 60%.
Now the serious business begins for the Jets …
Assessment of the coaches
Jets head coach Greg Matterson expressed some concern at another low completion rate (65%) from his team, and he noted that the mistake rate was unacceptably high considering that the Jets were playing a team below NSW Cup standard.
Matterson did concede that he still saw "plenty of good footy" in his team and that it would now be a matter of fine-tuning his best 17 for round one of the 2010 NSW Cup against last year's grand finalists, the Balmain Tigers.
The former Newtown player and current Macquarie coach, Mal Graham, said that this looked to be the strongest Newtown team he had seen in the past three years.
He observed that this year's NSW Cup competition is going to be a particularly tough campaign, with 25 home and away competition rounds and only one free weekend in the whole season.
Team discipline, depth of talent and good fortune would determine which teams will be there for the Grand Final in early October.
A feast of football next Saturday, 13 March
Next Saturday promises to be a huge day in the Newtown Jets calendar, with six of the NSW Rugby League's 1908 foundation clubs all appearing at historic Henson Park on the one day.
Fierce rivals the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs clash in the Harold Matthews and SG Ball fixtures, with these curtain-raisers kicking off at 11.30am and 1.00pm respectively.
In the NSW Cup Heritage Round double-header also being staged at Henson Park on Saturday, North Sydney and Western Suburbs do battle at 3.00pm, followed by an old-fashioned, inner-city local derby when Newtown takes on Balmain at 5.00pm.
For trivia tragics - a first for Henson Park
Steve Lyons and Ben Cummins from the NRL refereed the match and so it was the first time two referees have controlled a NSW Cup-level game at Henson.