3.00 pm, Saturday, 21 July 2012
Browse the 2012 Newtown Jets players & staff gallery
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Last time Jets met Mounties
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Billy Elliott & Bob Petersen
Balmain Historic Pub Tours
Follow the game action in Gary Sutherland's photo gallery.
Jets face a tough fight to remain in finals contention
Newtown's finals campaign is in jeopardy following Saturday's 30-4 loss to the Mounties club at Henson Park last Saturday.
The Jets turned on a mediocre display that matched the cold, grey weather that prevailed on the day.
Newtown trailed 16-4 at half-time and despite being challenged during the break by head coach Greg Matterson to lift their performance, the Jets never really looked like turning this result around.
One highlight for Jets in first half
The highlight of the first half was the valiant pursuit by Newtown prop Andrew Pearn of a Mounties winger who had seized on a loose ball. Pearn showed great determination in chasing and bringing his opponent down but a Mounties team-mate was there in support to take the inside pass and score.
Pearn's effort brought to mind a similar incident in the 1972 Rugby League World Cup Final when Australian prop John O'Neill pursued and nearly caught the flying Great Britain winger and captain Clive Sullivan.
Newtown was still in the game when fullback Mark Kheirallah put Jets winger Daniel Tupou in at the corner with a beautifully directed cut-out pass. Tupou showed great strength and footwork to shrug off three defenders in getting the ball down. The conversion attempt by Blake Lazarus from the sideline and into the wind was right on target - but hit the crossbar and bounced away, an indicator of the fortunes awaiting Newtown for the rest of the afternoon.
Coach's half-time address
Head coach Greg Matterson challenged the young Jets to lift their game and take advantage of the southerly wind that was in their favour in the second half.
Matterson pointed out that the season was on the line and that Newtown needed this win to stay anywhere near the top four.
Second half errors sealed Jets fate
Errors compounded Newtown's situation in the second half as the Mounties posted a further three tries on the back of mistakes by Jets players.
Most teams have days during a Rugby League season when a team collectively fails to fire. This was most certainly such an occasion in the Jets' season calendar.
Front-rower Saulala Houma was Newtown's standout player, with a number of powerful runs that should have inspired his team-mates to greater efforts. Second-rower Nick Ehsman once again worked overtime in defence and Andrew Pearn's heroic effort in the first half was well worth the price of admission.
Newtown Jets 4 [Daniel Tupou, try]
Mounties 30 [6 tries, 3 goals]
Half-Time: Mounties led 16-4.
Officials: eferee, Lawrence McDonnell; Touch Judges, David Ryan, Nathan Smith.
Weather: Cold and partly overcast.
The NSW Rugby League will be staging several VB NSW Cup double-headers next weekend and the Jets will be playing Balmain at North Sydney Oval on Sunday, 29 July, with this match timed for kick-off at 12.45pm.
North Sydney is at home to Western Suburbs on the same day at 3.00pm.