3.00 pm, Saturday, 31 March 2012
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NSW Cup ladder
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Browse moment-by-moment game action and game highlights in the galleries of our wonderful Newtown photographers, Gary Sutherland, Mike Bidboudis and Jason McCauley.
The Newtown Jets defeated an under-strength Auckland Vulcans team 34-22 in the 5th round VB NSW Cup match played at Henson Park on Saturday.
The Jets scored a converted try late in the second half that somewhat inflated the final winning margin, but no doubt Newtown fans were pleased with any win after the trouncing dealt out by the Bulldogs on the previous Saturday.
Team errors see tries traded in first half
The Vulcans made a terrible start to the game, losing possession in the opening set and thereby conceding a try to Jets winger Daniel Tupou in the second minute. Halfback Mark Kheirallah obliged by converting from the sideline.
The Vulcans responded with their own converted try in the ninth minute after both teams had made handling errors.
Jets centre Peni Tagive scored in the 20th minute following some excellent lead-up work by Ahmad Ellaz, Mose Masoe and team captain Tom Symonds. The Vulcans weren't to be denied and they scored again, tying the game up at 10-all in the 30th minute.
The Aucklanders then made an error in their own quarter and were duly punished, with Daniel Tupou collecting his second try for the afternoon.
Newtown led 16-10 at the break, and coach Greg Matterson exhorted his men to improve their ball security and the quality of their execution, and claimed that the warm conditions would wear the big Vulcans forwards down.
Jets benefit from Vulcan errors
Errors and penalties were to prove costly for the visitors, and they bombed at least two certain tries through bad handling.
The Jets extended their lead to 22-10 early in the second half but kept the Auckland lads in the game by turning over possession in their own quarter.
Peni Tagive and Adam Henry then laid on a spectacular long-distance attacking raid that ended in Jets hooker Kurt Kara crossing under the posts.
Still the Vulcans would not lie down and they stayed n the game thanks to an intercept try, trailing 28-22 with 7 minutes remaining. Busy Kurt Kara sealed the game for the Jets when he sent bench forward Isaac Maliota in next to the posts in the 78th minute.
Coaching staff assessment
The Jets coaching staff reflected that it was a great relief to bounce back with a win after the previous week's mauling, but there had been far too many errors and poor end of set options taken.
Coach Greg Matterson noted that the Vulcans were missing several Warriors players and that the unseasonably warm conditions worked against the big Vulcans forwards. The Jets' completion rate of less than sixty per cent was less than satisfactory and there were several aspects to be worked on and improved in the upcoming weeks.
Newtown's best players had been forwards Andrew Pearn, Ahmad Ellaz and Kurt Kara while Daniel Mortimer (on debut for Newtown) and Peni Tagive had been the best backs. Isaac Maliota and Blake Williamson had contributed well from the bench.
Newtown Jets 34 [Daniel Tupou 2, Peni Tagive, Kurt Kara, Daniel Mortimer, Isaac Maliota tries; Mark Kheirallah 5 goals
Auckland Vulcans 22 [4 tries, 3 goals]
Half-time: Jets led 16-10.
Officials: Referee, Alan Shortall; Touch Judges, Scott Shepherd and Matt Damaso.
Weather: Sunny and very warm. Playing surface: Very good.
The Jets play away against the Western Suburbs Magpies at Campbelltown Stadium next Saturday, 7 April, with this first leg of the 2012 Tom Raudonikis Cup challenge series getting underway at 3.00pm.
Daniel Tupou scores Newtown's first try out wide.
Daniel Mortimer scores Jet's fourth try near posts.
Photos courtesy Gary Sutherland