Browse the 2013 Newtown Jets players & staff gallery
View NSW Cup ladder
3.00 pm, Saturday, 13 July 2013
1.00 pm Manly Sea Eagles v Cronulla Sharks
Steele Sports are calling the game.
The after-match function is at the Botany View Hotel, corner of King & Darley Streets, South Newtown, one block up from St Peters Station.
Game day raffle sponsors
Hawkins Butchery, BETA Seafoods, Billy Elliott & Bob Petersen, Balmain Historic Pub Tours
Browse moment-by-moment game action and game highlights in the galleries of our wonderful Newtown photographers, Gary Sutherland and Jason McCauley.
Both the Newtown Jets and the Newcastle Knights went into last Saturday's 18th round VB NSW Cup match at Henson Park at less than full strength, but it was the Jets who came away with the two hard-won competition points.
Josh Ailaomai crashes over
Henare Wells touches down
Roka's brilliant athleticism
Teammates congratulate Nafe
Ryley Jacks on the fly
Photos by Gary Sutherland and Jason McCauley
The Jets defeated the second-placed Knights 26-14 after setting up a commanding 22-6 lead by half-time. Newtown had to draw on injured players and others with relatively little NSW Cup game time this season, and the team can look back on this win with justified pride.
Jets dominate the scoreline in first half
Former Knight Josh Ailaomai scored Newtown's first try in the 10th minute after the Jets had forced two goal-line drop-outs on the visitors. The Knights responded in the 20th minute with a try to former Test and State of Origin centre Timana Tahu, who looked dangerous every time he was in possession.
The Jets dominated the game's second quarter and scored three more tries before half-time.
Hooker Nafe Seluini sent Henare Wells in for his 13th try of the season, and he was also involved in a try by winger Paul Rokolati in the left-side southern corner.
Seluini scored himself when he backed up the flying Wells, who had in turn been set free by a deft midfield off-load from big Saulala Houma.
It was an impressive and productive twenty minutes for the Jets and sent them into the break with a 22-6 lead.
Knights respond and draw close in second half
Despite supplying four players to the NSW Cup representative team, the Knights still had enough quality personnel to hit back hard in the second half.
The Novocastrians dominated the game's third quarter and stretched Newtown's defensive capability to the limit. The Knights scored an unconverted try to trail by 22-10 but Jets halves Ben Jones and Ryley Jacks combined well for Jacks to score from a well-controlled grubber kick by Jones.
Tahu kept his team in the game through his second try with fifteen minutes left to play. There was no further scoring by either side and while the Jets made a few hair-raising errors and have yet to master the ability to close a game out effectively, they held on to win by 26-14.
For the Jets, this was a game where every player lifted their performance and made up for players missing through injury, regular team captain Tinirau Arona being on representative team duty and not as many Roosters players being available for selection.
Veteran forward Khalid Deeb insisted on being available and played despite not being fully fit, while backs Ivan Penehe and Pierce Sapsford who have played very little NSW Cup rugby league this season were more than willing to step up to help the team.
Acting captain Kurt Kara was outstanding as both hooker and lock and played the full eighty minutes.
All the Jets forwards contributed and mixed it up with the very physical Newcastle pack.
Nafe Seluini's class in attack was crucial in the second quarter when the Jets set up a substantial lead.
Halves Ben Jones and Ryley Jacks worked together well and look to be forming an effective combination at the right time of the season.
Henare Wells continues to make a vital contribution through his excceptional speed and astute backing up.
The 5th placed Newtown Jets are back again at Henson Park next Saturday, 20 July, when they will take on the physically-imposing and 6th placed Auckland Vulcans at 3.00pm.
The VB NSW Cup curtain-raiser at 1.00pm on Saturday features the competition leaders Cronulla Sharks in an all-southern local derby with the men in scarlet, the Illawarra Cutters.
Newtown Jets 26 [Henare Wells, Paul Rokolati, Ryley Jacks, Josh Ailaomai, Nafe Seluini tries; Paul Rokolati 3 goals]
Newcastle Knights 14 [3 tries; 1 goal]
Half-time: Jets led 22-10.
What an afternoon!
6th on the ladder Jets played 2nd on the ladder Knights - a Knights team brimming with NRL players such as Timana Tahu, coming back from injury and the Jets normal contingent of Roosters mostly missing because they were profiting from their NRL bye to go home and visit family.
Jets supporters hoped for an improvement in defensive effort after last week and a further development of the Newtown attack and what they got was a supporters' dream, a never say die effort from every player.
What an afternoon to be a Bluebags supporter!!! Sun came out and Henson was at her brilliant best!
Only dark cloud on a splendid afternoon was the inexplicable damage to the back wheel of the penny farthing bike that Traddy rides in triumph around the ground after a Jets try. We are all hoping that the penny farthing hospital can bring the bike back to good health in anticipation of another hard match against the Auckland Vulcans at Henson next week.
Don't miss next week's royal blue action!