3.00 pm, Saturday, 9 April 2011 [1.00pm AEST]
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Meet the players
NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]
Newtown Jets coach Greg Matterson drew on the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and his famous quote "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", in coming to terms with the Jets' 60-10 thrashing by the Auckland Vulcans in the NSW Cup 5th round match played at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.
The impressive Vulcans seized the ascendancy early in this match, leading 28-0 at halftime and going right on with the demolition job in the second half.
A game where the Jets didn't measure up
The Auckland Vulcans are the official senior feeder team to the New Zealand Warriors and are fielding what is almost certainly the club's strongest line-up since joining the NSW Cup competition in 2007.
The Jets needed to be at their best against what was a well-credentialled team, boosted by a number of displaced Warriors regulars who were clearly determined to force their way back into the top grade with strong performances.
The Vulcans targeted Newtown's left side defence in the first half with a pin-point kicking game, and they also made a lot of ground up the middle third as their huge forwards gained dominance over the Newtown pack.
The Jets compounded what was already a dire situation with repeated errors that were ruthlessly exploited by the rampant Aucklanders. The Jets' mistake rate sapped their morale and the Vulcans had the class of player to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
Coach Matterson admitted it was one of those occasions where everything tends to come off for the dominant team and the losers resort to playing as individuals rather than relying on better teamwork to get back into the game. The Jets scored tries in the 61st and 78th minutes through centres, Francis Vaiotu and Kane Linnett.
Steve Naughton was Newtown's best player on a day that the Jets coaching staff and players would prefer to put well behind them. The Vulcans' match completion rate of 86% as opposed to Newtown's 58% goes a long way towards telling the story of the game.
One bright moment -
Ryan Verlinden gets a pass away to centre, Kane Linett.
Newtown Jets 10 [Francis Vaiotu, Kane Linnett tries; Mark Kheirallah 1 goal]
Auckland Vulcans 60 [11 tries; 8 goals]
Half-time: Vulcans led 28-0.
The Newtown Jets return to Henson Park next Saturday (16th April) for a 3.00pm rematch with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, who along with their Melbourne Storm allies, have been in winning form lately.
Saturday's match is also the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Newtown club's first-ever premiership Rugby League match at Henson Park back in 1936. No doubt the modern-day Newtown players will be looking to quickly regain their team pride and stability, and to get their 2011 season rolling forward again.