The biggest day of the year proves inspirational for the Jets

Newtown Jets halfback Kurt Kara swings out a pass on the grand occasion of his 150th game for rugby league’s oldest club. Photo: Mario Facchini (MAF Photography)

Details of the Newtown v New Zealand Warriors 20th round ISP NSW match played at Henson Park on Saturday, 22nd July 2017.

It was all happening at Henson Park on Saturday … there was glorious winter sunshine; a crowd of more than 6000 rolled in for the 2017 Beer, Footy & Food Festival; the Jets won their first home game this season, beating the second-placed New Zealand Warriors 38-12 in the process; and one of Newtown’s most loyal and hard-working players, Kurt Kara, played his 150th game in the royal blue colours. The man of the day even kicked a goal to mark the big occasion! To cap off a day of many highlights, Kurt’s family members and close friends plus several Jets team-mates and Warriors opponents performed a mass Haka after fulltime to pay tribute to Kurt’s rugby league achievements. This truly was a Henson Park day to remember.

NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership NSW – 20th Round

Saturday, 22nd July 2017

Henson Park

Newtown (10th place) v New Zealand Warriors (2nd place)

Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Newtown 38:

Sam Tagataese 2, Edrick Lee, Adam Clydsdale, Leigh Higgins, Joseph Paulo, Reubenn Rennie tries;

Joseph Paulo 4, Kurt Kara goals

defeated

New Zealand Warriors 12:

Manaia Cherrington, Taniela Palavi tries;

Junior Fetalaiga Pauga 2 goals.

Half-Time: Newtown led 28-0.

Referee: Damien Briscoe. Touch Judges: Pat Mackey and Joseph Eid.

Weather: 18 degrees, sunny, clear skies, slight NW breeze.

Playing surface: Very good.

The Beer, Footy & Food Festival held at Henson Park was an unqualified success.

There were 26 marquees in place around the ground dishing out craft beers and ciders, as well as various ethnic cuisines from a range of inner-western eateries.

The crowd for the Newtown Jets  versus New Zealand Warriors match was estimated to be in excess of 6000.

And to top it off, Newtown turned on their best display of the year (and their first home ground win this season) in winning 38-12.

The post-match Haka honouring Kurt Kara (and his 150 games for Newtown) on this clip is nothing short of spine-chilling:

http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2017/07/22/kara_it_s_an_honour_.html

The Haka was performed by members of his family (his Whanau), and also his Newtown Jets team-mates and New Zealand Warriors opponents of Maori heritage.

Venerable Henson Park, for so long an Irish-Australian Catholic cultural stronghold, has never known such a warlike Polynesian chant to reverberate around the old ground!

Newtown’s team was:

Edrick Lee, Leigh Higgins, Reubenn Rennie, Jesse Ramien, Jordan Topai-Aveai, Joseph Paulo, Kurt Kara, Jimmy Jolliffe, Jason Schirnack, Jack Williams, Tepatasi Fuiavailili, Adam Clydsdale, Sam Tagataese.

Bench: Jayden McDonogh, Saulala Houma, Tyla Tamou, Kurt Dillon.

Coach: Greg Matterson.

The New Zealand Warriors team:

Zac Santo, Paulos Latu, Matthew Allwood, Junior Fetalaiga Pauga, Bureta Faraimo, Sam Cook, Jazz Tevaga, James Bell, King Vuniyayawa, Johnny Vuetibau, Patrick Sipley, Manaia Cherrington, Taniela Palavi.

Bench: Toafofoa Sipley, Reece Charlie, Ofahiki Ogden, Kenese Kenese.

Coach: Ricky Henry. Assistant Coach: Jerome Ropati.

Ruben Wiki, the man with the most international appearances of any rugby league player in history, was Head Trainer for the Warriors on Saturday.

Match timeline: –

First half:

The Warriors kicked off, running to the northern end.

3rd min: Edrick scores in the SW corner; Joseph Paulo’s conversion attempt is unsuccessful. Newtown 4-0.

6th min: Jets taken into touch close to the SW corner.

7th min: Penalty to Newtown on their own 20 metre line near the NE corner

8th min: Jets looking dangerous at the Warriors end, but the ball goes to ground.

10th min: Warriors with the ball inside Newtown’s 20 metres. They are tackled on the last without getting to the kick.

11th min: Jets in high-energy counter-attack; Adam Clydsdale scores from dummy-half. Edrick Lee and Jack Williams had combined to make a long break into Warriors territory.

Try converted by Paulo. Newtown 10-0 after 13 minutes.

15th min: Warriors lose the ball 30 metres out from their own line.

17th min: Very average end of set kick by the Warriors at Newtown’s end of the field

18th min: Penalty to Newtown 30 metres out from Warriors line

19th min: Paulo sends Leigh Higgins in to score 10 m to the left of southern end goal-posts.

Paulo converts. Newtown 16-0 after 20 mins.

Warriors have only had 4 sets and haven’t completed any of them satisfactorily

22nd min: Paulo puts a controlled grubber kick in behind the Warriors defensive line; ball bounces off a defender and Paulo grounds the ball for a try.

He converts his own try. Newtown 22-0 after 24 minutes.

Jordan Topai-Aveai had made a great run down the eastern sideline to give Newtown strong field position.

Another penalty to Newtown midfield in 25th min.

28th min: Paulo is on fire as he sends Sam Tagataese over to score near the SE corner. Paulo converts from wide out.

Newtown leads 28-0 in the 30th min.

Massive surplus of possession and field position to Newtown so far this half.

Warriors get their first penalty in 32nd min.

Warriors finally get another set inside Newtown’s 20 metres but fail to complete the set.

35th min: Another penalty to Newtown in midfield. The Warriors are really having “the cat o’ nine tails” applied to their backs.

37th min: Penalty to Warriors 40 m out from Newtown’s line but the set ends ineffectively.

Half-Time: Newtown leads 28-0.

The atmosphere inside the Newtown dressing room at half-time was highly energised to say the least.

Coach Matterson told his players to forget about their 28 points – start again with a clean slate.

Beware of the Warriors ability to fight back and to score points quickly.

Shut down their late off-loads.

Maintain your high completion rate and low error rate.

Second half:

Newtown kicked off to the northern end.

2nd min: Penalty to Warriors 40 m out from their own line

Newtown forced into a goal-line drop-out situation

Warriors have repeat sets at Newtown’s end but good defence holds them out.

Warriors set right on Newtown’s line when ball-runner over-runs a flat pass

Warriors again on the attack inside Newtown’s 20 m but once again the ball goes to ground

15th min: Jets on the attack and a kick into the Warriors in-goal is grounded by Reubenn Rennie 10 m in from NE corner

Try not converted, Newtown 32-0.

20th min: Long kick by Kurt Kara finds touch on the eastern side northern corner.

Jets are on the attack inside Warriors 20 m, and some crisp short passing sees Tagataese crash over to the left of the northern posts

Kurt Kara converts on the occasion of his 150th game for Newtown

Newtown 38-0 after 25 mins.

Paulo’s kick to Lee’s wing in 27th min nearly results in another try

28th min: Try to Warriors by Palavi after good lead-up work by Cherrington and Tevaga. Converted by Pauga. Newtown 38-6 with 11 mins to go

Warriors go close again after stringing together some good long passes

Relieving penalty to Newtown 30 m from their own line

More well-crafted attack from the Warriors but Jets force the ball dead in 36th min.

Penalty to Newtown 20 m out from their own line in 37th min

Steele Sports commentator waxes lyrical as he describes Henson Park as being bathed in glorious winter sunshine)

Jets put together some razzle-dazzle attack but final pass tapped back inside goes astray in 38th min.

Warriors break through and Santo sets up a try for Cherrington.

Converted by Junior Pauga. Newtown 38-12 in 40th min of second half.

Full-Time: Newtown wins 38-12.

The Newtown Jets have another bye next weekend (29th/30th July) in Round 21.

Next game details:

NSWRL ISP NSW – 22nd Round

Saturday, 5th August 2017

Canterbury-Bankstown v Newtown

Belmore Sports Ground

Kick-Off: 3.00pm.