3.00 pm, Saturday, 29 June 2013
Mount Pritchard Sports Ground, 101 Meadows Rd, Mt Pritchard
Browse the 2013 Newtown Jets players & staff gallery
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Browse moment-by-moment game action and game highlights in Gary Sutherland's photo gallery. Gary has been holidaying in warm Europe! Welcome back, Gary!
Jets hit hard by mid-winter blues
A series of late team changes disrupted Newtown's preparations for the tough away fixture to Mounties last Saturday. The Canberra Raiders partnership club had named a strong side with plenty of NRL experience and it was clear that the Jets line-up would lack the firepower and brute strength of previous weeks.
Newtown turned in a very competent first 35 minutes and established a 10-0 lead, but conceded two tries just prior to halftime that enabled Mounties to draw level. The home team had all the momentum and a surplus of possession in the second half and ran out winners by 34-16.
First half commitment wavered towards end
Newtown kept Mounties at bay in the game's first quarter but didn't post any points until the 21st minute when fullback Henare Wells scored, with Chris Taripo converting the try.
Five minutes later the Jets turned on a well-crafted try considering the slippery playing conditions. The movement started midfield and involved a passing interchange between Saulala Houma, Ryley Jacks and Kurt Kara, and was finished off by Michael Oldfield. Just to compound Newtown's manpower woes, the stylish centre suffered a hamstring injury as he dashed to the line and was finished for the game.
Newtown's concentration lapsed just before halftime, allowing two tries to Mounties in quick succession.
Mounties take control in second half
The Raiders partnership club maintained its ascendancy immediately after halftime with another two tries, taking a 20-10 lead five minutes into the second half. Mounties dominated possession, employed a strong kicking game and took advantage of a run of penalties to set up a commanding 30-10 lead with twenty minutes left to play.
Henare Wells scored his second try through a long distance effort, and Mounties completed the scoring with their seventh try at the 35th minute mark.
Mounties had an impressive 95% completion rate in the second half, which given the state of the ground after days of unceasing rain was quite an achievement. Their strong complement of Raiders players took control of the match in the second half and never let the Jets back into the contest. Mounties had around 48 more plays with the ball than Newtown did in the second half and they made proper use of this surplus of possession.
Kurt Kara was again one of Newtown's best players and he defended strongly in the difficult playing conditions. Ray Moujalli, Brad Barrett and Josh Ailaomai all battled gamely on a losing side.
The Auckland Vulcans victory on the weekend over the previously unbeaten Cronulla Sharks indicated that both the Jets and Sharks teams might have been below par, following their titanic struggle in the pouring rain at Henson Park on the previous Saturday.
Most certainly the impact of player transfers and injuries also affected Newtown's playing strength for the Mounties match.
It's Family Day 2 at Henson Park next Saturday (6th July) when the Jets host Wentworthville in the main game at 3.00pm. The Cronulla Sharks take on the Windsor Wolves in the VB NSW Cup top four curtain-raiser at 1.00pm.
Newtown 16 [Henare Wells 2, Michael Oldfield tries; Chris Taripo 2 goals]
Mounties (Raiders) 34 [Francis Vaiotu 2, Louis Vaiotu 2, Ryan Carr 2, Jordan Rapana tries; Sam Williams 3 goals]
Referee: Matt Noyen
Weather: Grey, overcast, light rain occasionally fell, 15 degrees.
Playing surface: Some surface water, very slippery, heavy underfoot.
Jets v Mounties
The Mounties are the Canberra Raiders feeder team and sit at 8th position on the NSW Cup ladder.
The Rd16 clash was the second meeting of the Mounties and Jets in 2013. In their earlier Rd7 encounter, on our first family day, the Mounties "grafted out a tough win [16-22]".