Newtown Rugby League Football Club - Established 1908
Rd7 - Jets brick-wall defence tames the Tigers [22-0]
Newtown win 2011 MUA Solidarity Cup
Take honours in Game 1 of Ryan-Pringle Shield


Match details

3.00 pm, Saturday, 23 April 2011

Henson Park

Players & Staff

NSW Cup ladder [end of last round]

Watch the replay: This match will be shown on the NSW Cup Show on Fox Sports on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 at 4.30pm.

An ANZAC Day to remember for the Newtown Jets

The Newtown Jets claimed a confidence-boosting 22-0 win over old rivals the Balmain Tigers, in the 7th round NSW cup match played at Henson Park on Easter Saturday.

Overnight and morning rain might have restricted the size of the crowd for this local derby but nothing restrained the joyous relief in the Jets dressing-room at fulltime. In addition to taking the two badly-needed competition points, Newtown won the MUA Solidarity Cup for the first time, a trophy competed for by these two Rugby League foundation clubs whenever they meet at Henson Park.

Jets new signing has immediate impact

The Jets also unveiled their new signing, the former Balmain and Avignon halfback, Blake Lazarus, who immediately displayed his credentials to the Henson Park diehards with a kick charge-down in the game's opening skirmishes, and then by scoring a smartly-taken try in the fourth minute of play.

Coach's halftime talk sets tone for second half

Newtown led 6-0 at the break and coach Greg Matterson impressed upon his players at halftime to maintain their concentration and discipline, to continue to play for field position and to frustrate the Tigers at their own game and force them into rash options and errors.

Newtown's second half was a prime example of what can be gained from an improved and resolute defensive performance and a general improvement in the kicking game.

Player performances

Coach Matterson said after the match that the squad had worked extremely hard on their defensive drills in the preceding week, with the consequent result of holding an opposing team to nil for the first time in two years.

Matterson commended Newtown's backrowers ex-Tiger Willie Mataka, Brad Barrett and Aidan Guerra for their exceptional defensive efforts, but noted that the team still had plenty of room for improvement in their attacking game in the upcoming rounds.

New halfback, Blake Lazarus, added an element of composure to Newtown's performance and also brought on board a better-targeted and more effective kicking game. The Jets coaching staff nominated skipper, Khalid Deeb, hooker, Scott Jones, Willie Mataka, Brad Barrett and Aidan Guerra as the best of Newtown's hard-working forwards, and indicated that fullback, Mark Kheirallah, and winger, Steve Naughton, were the best of the other backs.

Naughton is having a fine season and is showing his full range of ability after an injury-disrupted 2010. Forwards Mataka and Jones had topped the tackle count figures, with Barrett and five-eighth, Johnno Ford not far behind.

Match summary

Newtown Jets 22 [Blake Lazarus, Ryan Verlinden, Rhys Pritchard, Mark Kheirallah tries; Mark Kheirallah 3 goals]
Balmain Ryde-Eastwood Tigers 0

Half-time: Jets led 6-0.

Officials: Referee, Matthew Noyen; Touch Judges, Zbigniew Przeklasa-Adamski, Nathan Smith.

The after-match function was held at
Petersham RSL club, 7 Regent Street, Petersham

Next game

The Jets travel across the Harbour their 8th round NSW Cup match against another long-time rival in Manly-Warringah. This match at the Sea Eagles famed Brookvale Oval fortress gets underway on Saturday, 30 April at 3.00pm.

About the Trevor Ryan-Neil Pringle Shield and MUA Solidarity Cup

The Jets and the Tigers compete on an annual basis for the Trevor Ryan-Neil Pringle Shield, a trophy which honours the two 1970's NSW representatives who played with distinction at both clubs. The Ryan-Pringle Shield is currently in the possession of the Tigers.

In 2010, a second trophy came into contention between the two clubs, with the announcement that the Maritime Union of Australia would sponsor the 2010 Newtown-Balmain showdown, and subsequent Jets-Tigers matches at Henson Park.

The new trophy was appropriately named the Solidarity Cup, recognising the industrial working-class heritage of both of these NSW Rugby League foundation clubs.

After their great victory in Round 7, the Jets now hold the the MUA Solidarity Cup for 2011 and have made a great start in the 2011 contest for the Ryan-Pringle Shield.


Who played?

7 Mark Kheirallah [T1 G3]
Sponsored by Scott Corporation
1 Steve Naughton
Sponsored by Golden Barley Hotel, Marrickville
3 Kane Linnett
Sponsored by Charles Bailey, Ray White Inner West
4 Francis Vaiotu
Sponsored by Wyong Golf Club Brasserie
5 Rhys Pritchard [T1]
Sponsored by Golden Barley Hotel, Marrickville
6 Johnathon Ford
Sponsored by Steve Helmich
18 Blake Lazarus [T1]
Sponsored by Craig Leonard
8 Francis Tuigamala
Sponsored by WFM Motors
9 Byron Fruean
Sponsored by John Cahill
10 Khalid Deeb ©
Sponsored by Dave Nelson
11 Aidan Guerra
Sponsored by LHD Lawyers
12 Brad Barrett
Sponsored by Premier Bowling Greens
13 Willie Mataka
Sponsored by Jennifer Malone


14 Ahmad Ellaz
Sponsored by Miller & Associates
26 Scott Jones
Sponsored by Good Fellows
16 Boyd Strickland
Sponsored by Petersham RSL
21 Ryan Verlinden [T1]
Sponsored by Seafood Systems Australia

Coach: Greg Matterson