Plenty of valour but ultimately no reward for the Jets
Details of the 18th Round Intrust Super Premiership NSW match between Newtown and Wyong, played at Henson Park on Saturday, 9th July 2016 by Glen ‘Bumper’ Dwyer.
Rugby League can be a cruel taskmaster, and this was borne out in Saturday’s match against the Wyong Roos.
Newtown came into this match beset with injuries, plus having to deal with team changes arising from the Cronulla Sharks having five players selected in State of Origin III.
Newtown’s team included three youngsters from the Sharks Holden Cup team who were all making their senior Rugby League debuts. All three players – Lachlan Stein, Ash Nisbet and Jaimin Jolliffe – acquitted themselves well against more experienced opponents.
The Jets were missing their usual numbers 1,6,7 and 9: Mitch Brown, Josh Cleeland, Fa’amanu Brown and Matt McIlwrick.
Junior Roqica and Jacob Gagan were welcome late inclusions but both players were coming off several weeks since their last games.
With team captain Mitch Brown on Cronulla Sharks NRL duties, the experienced Kurt Kara assumed the team captaincy role.
This of course is all part of the contrasting fortunes of any Rugby League season and Newtown’s rearranged team line-up approached this game prepared to give of their best.
In contrast to Newtown’s team changes and disrupted preparation, the Wyong team was said to be fairly close to full strength.
NSWRL ISP NSW – 18th Round
Saturday, 9th July 2016
Newtown v Wyong
Ryan Matterson, Abraham Papalli, Chris Centrone tries;
Mitch Frei 2 goals
Matt Evans, Jacob Gagan tries;
Jaline Graham 2 goals.
Half-Time: Wyong led 10-6.
Referee: Adam Devcich. Touch Judges: Richard Daizli and Faye Lehane.
Playing surface: Excellent.
Weather: Cloudy, light showers had fallen earlier in the day. 16 degrees Celsius.
Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Travis Robinson, Jordan Drew, Lachlan Stein, Matt Evans, Jason Schirnack, Jaline Graham, Jaimin Jolliffe, Anthony Moraitis, Ash Nisbet, Saulala Houma, Kurt Kara (Capt), Malakai Houma.
Bench: Ahmad Ellaz, Jacob Gagan, Tarek Elmasri, Junior Roqica.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Dominic Reardon, Chris Centrone, Luke Garner, Matt Ikuvalu, Omar Slaimankhel, Ryan Matterson, Tyler Cornish, Zane Tetevano, Mitch Frei, Chris Smith, Jake Lewis, Mitch Williams (Capt), Eloni Vunakece.
Bench: Justin Toomey-White, Brock Molan, Abraham Papalii, Carne Doyle-Manga.
Coach: Rip Taylor.
Here is the ISP NSW competition table after 18 rounds: http://www.nswrl.com.au/intrust-super-premiership-nsw/ladder1.html
Newtown is now in 5th place and our opponents next Sunday, North Sydney, are in eighth place.
Details of Newtown’s next game:
NSWRL ISP NSW – 19th Round
Sunday, 17th July 2016
North Sydney Oval
North Sydney v Newtown
This match is the first leg of the Frank Hyde Shield Series for 2016.
Results of other matches in Round 18 of the ISP NSW competition:
New Zealand Warriors 12 d Illawarra Cutters 8; Penrith 34 d North Sydney 22; Mounties 33 d Newcastle Knights 22; Wentworthville 34 d Manly-Warringah 26; Wests Tigers 28 d Canterbury-Bankstown 6.
An announcement about the participants in the ISP NSW competition for 2017: http://www.seaeagles.com.au/news/2016/07/07/manly_announce_partn.html
Gary Sutherland’s photos from Henson Park on Saturday: http://www.pbase.com/gsphotography/newtown_vs_wyong_100716&page=all
And here is the match report from Saturday as per the NSWRL website: http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2016/07/09/roos_continue_jets_m.html
Mario Facchini’s photos from Saturday: http://mafphotography.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/intrust-super-premiership-2016-round-18.html?spref=tw
Malakai Houma and Saulala Houma may well have set a new club benchmark on Saturday. Our historians are checking their dusty and tattered files, but it is fairly certain that Saulala and Malakai are the first pair of brothers to appear as front-rowers in a Newtown RLFC first team since the club’s foundation in 1908. The two giants are both from the famous Mt Albert Lions RLFC in Auckland.
Timeline of the main incidents and developments in Saturday’s game:
Wyong kicked off with Newtown defending the northern end.
Handling was a bit sketchy by both sides in the opening ten minutes.
Wyong had more ball and spent more time in Newtown’s territory in the opening 15 minutes without putting points on the board.
Repeat penalties to Wyong late in the first quarter put them on the attack.
City Origin representative five-eighth Ryan Matterson scored for Wyong in the 18th minute; try wasn’t converted.
Wyong 4-0 after 19 minutes.
Junior Roqica comes on for Newtown in the 23rd minute.
Kurt Kara kicks into the in-goal and Matt Evans scores in the 24th minute.
Try converted by Jaline Graham and Newtown leads 6-4 (26 minutes).
Ryan’s long kicking looks to be a valuable weapon for Wyong.
Jets doing their best with the players available.
Wyong probable under some pressure to perform after coming into the game as definite favourites.
Wyong winger Reardon makes a good run in 34th minute that put them on the attack.
Papalli runs a very good angle and scores in the 35th minute.
Mitch Frei converts, Wyong leads 10-6 after 36 minutes.
Newtown under defensive pressure late in the first half.
Half-Time: Wyong 10 v Newtown 6.
Newtown coach Greg Matterson urged his players to gain control of the rucks, maintain discipline and don’t give away penalties.
Wyong looked to have a better kicking game and more dangerous with the ball. This was going to present danger to Newtown.
The Jets home crowd obviously knew that the Jets were understrength.
They were very silent when Wyong was on the attack, but very vocal in encouraging the Jets.
Jets hung on under great pressure in the first ten minutes of the second half.
The third quarter was a real arm wrestle but certainly not a dour spectacle.
The ball moved from end.
Ahmad Ellaz goes off for a concussion test and Jason Schirnack went off with a hand injury.
Malakai Houma has been working very hard for Newtown.
Newtown had repeat sets at Wyong’s end at the beginning of the fourth quarter but neither set put much to the Wyong defence.
Wyong winger Centrone takes on the Newtown defence on his own, breaks through on the western side of the field and races 80 metres to score (26th minute).
The try is converted by Frei and Wyong leads 16-6.
Was this to be the game-breaking incident?
It was indeed a cruel turnaround in events for Newtown.
They had been on the attack but hadn’t really challenged the Wyong defensive line.
Ryan Matterson’s strong kicking game was a decisive difference.
The Jets threw everything they could at Wyong around the 34th minute mark.
Andrew Moraitis went close to scoring, followed by Kurt Kara and then Saulala Houma.
The Jets gain a repeat set and Jacob Gagan forced his way through the Wyong defence in the 36th minute.
Jaline Graham converts from out wide.
Now Wyong leads 16-12 with 4 minutes left to play.
The Jets don’t really get another chance to grab a late victory.
Wyong’s defence has been good enough to hold out the Jets in the critical stages.
Full-Time: Wyong 16 defeated Newtown 12.
A very brave effort by the Jets in the circumstances.