5.00 pm, Saturday, 19 February 2011
Newtown's NSW Cup trial squad defeated Manly-Warringah 24-16 in the match played at Henson Park on Saturday evening. Playing in energy-sapping humidity, the Jets trailed 4-0 at quarter-time but managed to edge ahead 6-4 by half-time, and then extended their lead late in the final quarter.
Handling errors again plague Jets in early stages of match
The Jets made a lot of handling errors in the first twenty minutes and ensured the lively young Sea Eagles squad plenty of possession. The Newtown players had to do a power of tackling and it seemed likely that their heavy defensive workload and the ultra-humid conditions would combine to be the Jets' downfall.
Win built on forward dominance
The Jets' big forward pack helped Newtown gain the ascendancy in the second half but the Jets really only ensured their first trial match win late in the final quarter.
Giant prop, Ryan Verlinden, had thrilled the crowd when he surged over for a try in the third quarter, but the big fellow was denied a rare try-scoring double when he had the ball knocked from his grasp as he crossed the try-line midway through the last session of play.
The Newtown coaching staff noted that the Jets had lacked direction and discipline in the first half and that they continued their unfortunate trend of conceding too many penalties. However, some of the lost possession could have been attributed to heat-induced fatigue in the difficult playing conditions.
Big front-rower, Francis Tuigamala, did a lot of damage right through the middle of the Manly forwards and was judged to be Newtown's best player on the day. Brad Barrett, a very consistent forward last season, was another strong performer amongst the Newtown forwards.
The Newtown Jets are back again at Henson Park next Sunday, 27 February, when they take on the Balmain Tigers at 5.00pm, in what will be the final trial match prior to the start of the 2011 NSW Cup competition rounds.
Newtown's team for next Sunday is likely to be reinforced by a number of Sydney Roosters NRL squad members as well as several other players who have been training during the summer with the Roosters' full-time squad.
Newtown 24 [Francis Tuigamala, Ryan Verlinden, Jamie Clark, Michael Winchester tries; Jamie Clark 2, Scott Jones, Trent Trotter goals]
Manly-Warringah 16 [3 tries; 2 goals]
Half-Time: Newtown led 6-4.
Officials: Scott Shepherd, Adam Cassidy, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski, Robert Bowen
Weather: Warm, extremely humid. Playing surface: Very good.
Tim Winitana, Isaac Maliota, Ahmad Ellaz