3.00 pm, Saturday, 16 June 2012
2012 Newtown Jets players & staff
NSW Cup ladder
Game day raffle sponsors
Billy Elliott & Bob Petersen
Balmain Historic Pub Tours
Browse moment-by-moment game action and game highlights on Gary Sutherland's website.
Newtown played the Cronulla-Sutherland earlier in the season in Round 3 when the Jets recorded a strong win, 22-4, against a team that had started the season well with two resounding victories.
Even though Saturday's match-up will see the 4th placed Jets meeting the 10th-placed Sharks, Newtown will need strong supporter backing to secure a win.
The Sharks are the feeder club for both their NRL team and the Melbourne Storm.
The Newtown Jets dropped two valuable competition points when they lost 20-14 to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the VB NSW Cup match played at a very wet and slushy Henson Park last Saturday.
The two teams were locked up at 10-all at halftime and Newtown led 14-10 midway through the second half, but the Sharks employed the smarter wet weather tactics on the day and deserved their win.
Promising start with debutant's try
The Jets began the match confidently and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, on debut from the Sydney Roosters Toyota Cup squad, began the Newtown phase of his career in the best possible way by scoring a try in the 8th minute.
The Sharks seized the lead when the Jets failed to defuse a high kick, and increased this lead to 10-4 when they exploited some shoddy defence in Newtown's quarter. Jets front-rower Andrew Pearn scored when he ran onto a slick pass from halfback Mark Kheirallah, and Kheirallah's conversion made it 10-all, the eventual halftime score.
Newtown second-rower Brad Takairangi suffered concussion late in the first half and did not retake the field after the break.
The match was a stirring contest in the third quarter of the match as both sides tried to force errors from their opponents and to make the other side play the game in their own territory. Cronulla's superior kicking game proved to be a decisive factor, although it was a pinpoint high kick by Mark Kheirallah that was well caught by winger Daniel Tupou, who scored a try to give Newtown a 14-10 lead.
The Sharks imposed repeat goal-line drop-outs by Newtown and the weight of possession and favourable field position finally told, when Cronulla scored in the left-side southern corner and converted the try from the sideline.
Newtown's game fell away in the final twenty minutes as they failed to complete their sets and get to the kick, and were condemned to having to defend grimly at their end of the field. The Sharks ensured their win when they scored again just before fulltime to extend the lead to 20-14.
Jets head coach Greg Matterson summed up the game by saying that the Sharks had used the better tactics in the wet conditions and had kicked more effectively to pin Newtown down in their own quarter. The Jets had missed too many tackles and Cronulla forced about 8 goal-line drop-outs on Newtown over the course of the game.
The wet and wintry conditions had put the spotlight on Newtown's forwards and the best performers were the ever-reliable Tinirau Arona, Andrew Pearn, Tom Symonds, Kurt Kara and Ahmad Ellaz. Team captain Khalid Deeb also worked hard but suffered a recurrence of a previous knee injury. Fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck made an impressive first-up appearance in the VB NSW Cup.
The Newtown Jets travel to Lidcombe Oval next Saturday 23 June, to play the third-placed Canterbury-Bankstown at 3.00pm. The loss to the Sharks leaves the Jets in 4th position on the competition table but with six teams very close behind them.
Newtown Jets 14 [Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Andrew Pearn, Daniel Tupou tries; Mark Kheirallah 1 goal]
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks [4 tries, 2 goals]
Half-time: Jets and Sharks 10 all.
Officials: Referee,: Shane Rehm; Touch Judges, Peter Crombie-Brown, Gavin King.
Weather: Wet and cold.