3.00 pm, Saturday, 27 August 2011
Meet the players
NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]
Game day raffle sponsors
Billy Elliott & Bob Petersen
Balmain Historic Pub Tours
View game highlights in the Mike Bidboudis or Jason McCauley photo slideshows.
And don't miss the replay!!!
Match replay on Foxsports2, Moved to 11.00pm-12.30am, Wed/Thurs,
31 August/1 September.
The Newtown Jets turned on one of their best displays this season in front of a large Reunion Day crowd at Henson Park on Saturday.
The Jets disposed of the probable minor premiers Canterbury-Bankstown by 40-24, after leading 16-8 at halftime.
The Bulldogs pulled back to trail by 28-24 midway through the second half, but Newtown's late surge saw the Jets romp away to a comfortable victory, urged on by their boisterous fans.
Great Newtown tries gave Jets first half lead
Canterbury certainly started impressively and scored an unconverted try early in the first half. The Bulldogs had blown the second-placed Auckland Vulcans away in the first half on the previous Saturday and no doubt there were some early concerns in the Newtown coach's box.
The Jets responded with well-executed tries to winger Byron Ford (on the back of a slick pass from centre Brett Lane) and one to right-side centre Rhys Pritchard after winger Sam Latu had skilfully tapped the bouncing ball back inside to the fast-supporting centre.
The Bulldogs exploited some hesitant Newtown defence midway through the first half but Brett Lane increased Newtown's lead with another of his elusive runs five minutes before halftime.
Jets sustain Bulldogs resurgence to go on with the job in second half
The Jets had to weather what was probably their most dangerous period of the game early in the second half.
Canterbury scored again through a well-directed kick into the left-side corner and they looked particularly dangerous when in possession at Newtown's end.
The Jets' defence held strong and they returned fire with two quick tries to benchman Francis Vaiotu.
His first try came in the wake of a midfield penalty to Newtown and a splendid surge by giant prop Ryan Verlinden, and Vaiotu claimed his second try when he pounced on Kurt Kara's precision grubber-kick to the right of the northern end goal-posts. Jets halfback Blake Lazarus had made good ground through the Canterbury defence prior to Kara unleashing his inch-perfect kick.
Newtown led 28-14 midway through the second half but an impetuous midfield turnover and subsequent penalty gave the Bulldogs all the momentum needed for another try, and they followed this up by breaking through some suspect Jets defence five minutes later.
The game was in the balance with Newtown leading by only four points, but the Jets stepped up the pressure in the game's last quarter and finished the stronger.
Team captain and front-rower Khalid Deeb steamed over when he ran onto a beautiful pass from five-eighth Johnathon Ford, and replacement hooker Scott Jones won the race to his own grubber-kick into the Bulldogs' in-goal five minutes before full-time.
Jets coach Greg Matterson spoke favourably of the manner in which the Jets had stuck to their game plan and that all their hard work and training drills had been successfully applied against the competition leaders.
He was also pleased with Newtown's improved kicking game but warned that there would have to be some extra hard work done at training to address the Jets' defensive lapses. Newtown had a superior overall completion rate to Canterbury's, with a particularly strong figure being registered in the second half.
Newtown's hooker Kurt Kara won the man of the match award through his dummy-half running and his tough defence. Other forwards commended by the coaching staff were Khalid Deeb, Ahmad Ellaz and Francis Vaiotu, with utility player Willie Mataka topping the tackle count.
Brett Lane was rated the best of the backs and halves Johnathon Ford and Blake Lazarus gave much-improved displays.
Newtown 40 [Francis Vaiotu 2, Byron Ford, Rhys Pritchard, Brett Lane, Khalid Deeb, Scott Jones tries; Blake Lazarus 6 goals
Canterbury-Bankstown 24 [5 tries; 2 goals]
Half-Time: Newtown led 16-8.
Officials: Referee, Michael Laverty; Touch Judges: Richard Daizli, Nick Beashel.
Weather: Fine and mild. Playing surface: Very good.
Next game and then home semi-final at Henson
The Newtown Jets will host a NSW Cup semi-final at Henson Park on Saturday, 10th September but they still have a very important final competition round commitment against the Windsor Wolves next Saturday, 3 September.
This final match of the season proper is at the Windsor Sports Complex and gets underway at 6.00pm.