Saturday, 21 April 2012
1.00pm - North Sydney v Western Suburbs
3.00pm - Newtown Jets v Balmain Ryde-Eastwood Tigers
2012 Newtown Jets players & staff
NSW Cup ladder
Game day raffle sponsors
Billy Elliott & Bob Petersen
Balmain Historic Pub Tours
Because of Anzac Day, replay of Jets v Tigers pushed to 5.30pm-7.00pm Thurs 26 April on Fox Sports 2HD & Fox Sports 2
Browse moment-by-moment game action and game highlights in the photo galleries of our great Newtown photographers Gary Sutherland and Mike Bidboudis.
A week can be a long time in the fortunes of a Rugby League club, and this was proven conclusively at Henson Park last Saturday with Newtown's 32-0 defeat by the Balmain Tigers.
The Jets had turned on their best display of the season on the previous weekend but with several players unavailable for the Balmain local derby because of changed NRL match scheduling, the under-strength Newtown team was never in the hunt against their old time inner-western rivals.
Errors cost Jets in first half
The Tigers have been on the surge in the VB NSW Cup in recent weeks and by winning on Saturday they claimed the NSWRL Foundation Challenge Cup and the MUA Solidarity Cup, as well as taking an ironclad grip on the 2012 Ryan-Pringle Shield.
The Tigers first try on Saturday afternoon set the tone for the entire match. The Jets turned over possession in Balmain's quarter and then conceded a midfield penalty. Predictably the Tigers scored in the next set and led 6-0 after 7 minutes.
Five minutes later the Jets put a fifth-tackle kick out on the full and the Balmain boys delivered the mandatory punishment by scoring another converted try. The Tigers went on to lead by 18-0 at halftime with all three of their tries directly attributable to Newtown's errors and penalties.
Jets coach Greg Matterson laid it on the line to his troops at halftime that they were killing themselves with errors and ineffective kicking. The Tigers were making full use of their huge domination of possession and territory and Newtown had been unable to build and sustain any pressure on the Balmain defence.
The Tigers maintained their dominance in the second half and added a further three tries, as well as bombing at least two more try-scoring chances.
The contrast between Newtown's confident attacking play on the previous weekend and Saturday's mediocre display was all too obvious.
The Jets last tackle options were poor and there was too much dropped ball. Although Newtown fielded a revised team line-up they failed to play to the coach's instructions. Balmain might have made a slow start to the season but they are now one of the competition's form teams, and they took full advantage of the opportunities presented on Saturday.
Newtown's two best players were lock Ahmad Ellaz who tackled tirelessly and winger Sam Latu who gave a great exhibition of determined running with the ball. Hooker Kurt Kara and second-rower Tom Symonds were the best of the other forwards and fullback Alofa Alofa did well in a backline that was very much under the pump.
The Jets get the chance to redeem themselves in front of their loyal fans when they return to Henson Park next Saturday, 28 April. Newtown takes on another keen rival in Manly-Warringah, with this 9th round VB NSW Cup fixture timed for kick-off at 3.00pm.
There's great value again for Henson Park fans with another VB NSW Cup curtain-raiser being staged at 1.00pm, with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks up against top of the table North Sydney.
Balmain 32 [6 tries, 4 goals]
Balmain led 18-0 at half-time.
Weather: Fine and mild.
Officials: Referee, Matt Noyen; Touch Judges, Michael Stone and David Ryan.