5.00 pm, Sunday, 27 February 2011
Much improved showing by the Jets in final trial match
The Newtown Jets had a narrow 19-18 loss to the Balmain Tigers in the NSW Cup trial match played at Henson Park last Sunday.
The Tigers had the better of the contest in the first half but the Jets worked their way back into the game to draw level at 18-all, only for the Tigers to break the deadlock with a field goal in the game's final seconds.
Error-prone Jets own enemies in first half
Newtown's players made a lot of errors in the first half and through their poor completion rate put themselves under pressure from a very capable Balmain team.
The Jets line-up had been reinforced for the first time this season by several players from the Sydney Roosters NRL full-time squad but as always, it will take some time for new combinations to click and for the restructured team to play to its full potential.
Second half performance impressive
The Jets turned in a strong second half performance after having trailed by 18-6 early in the third quarter. Newtown started to show more enterprise when in possession and defended well as they pulled back to 18-all late in the match.
The Jets missed with a field-goal attempt in the 78th minute but the Tigers made no mistake in notching their own one-pointer literally as the full-time siren sounded.
Bearing in mind the extent of the changes to the team line-up, this was a much improved performance by the Jets and a good final trial hit-out against a Balmain team that is likely to be around again at semi-finals time.
Newtown's coaching staff nominated Chris Enahoro and Khalid Deeb as being the best forwards, along with Francis Vaiotu and Steve Naughton in the backs.
Ball players like the clever Tinirau Arona, Brad Takairangi and Kurt Kara all showed what they will be able to contribute once the competition rounds get under way.
2011 season launch
The Newtown Jets will stage their 2011 season launch at the Petersham RSL Club on Wednesday, 9 March at 7.00pm.
The Jets' first NSW Cup competition game is against Cronulla-Sutherland at Toyota Park on Sunday, 13 March at 3.00pm.
Newtown 18 [Sione Taka, Khalid Deeb, Kurt Kara tries; Jamie Clark 2, Brett Lane goals]
Balmain 19 [3 tries; 3 goals, 1 field goal]
Match played in four quarters
Scores at the end of each quarter:
Balmain 6-0; Balmain 12-6; Balmain 18-12; Balmain 19-18.
The winning field goal was kicked in the last second of play.
Coach: Greg Matterson