Against all the odds, the Newtown Jets have qualified for another grand final
Newtown has won a place in the 2019 Canterbury Cup NSW grand final, following the Jets’ 22-20 victory over the premiership favourites St George-Illawarra. This preliminary final match was played at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium (Kogarah) on Sunday afternoon.
Seven weeks ago the Jets were in tenth place on the competition table, but they began their spirited run home with a win against Penrith on a bitterly cold night at Panthers Stadium on Friday, 9th August. The Newtown Jets have remained unbeaten in their last six matches (three competition games and three finals) in their march towards a grand final berth.
Newtown went into Sunday’s game having to cope with late team changes, with team captain and five-eighth Jack A. Williams, centre Aaron Gray and front-rower Wes Lolo all being mid-week withdrawals.
On Sunday the Jets led 16-6 at half-time, with winger Sione Katoa scoring twice and centre Ronaldo Mulitalo also claiming a try. Newtown increased its lead to 22-6 early in the second-half by way of a barnstorming try to second-rower Siosifa Talakai. Half-back Braydon Trindall added the extras for three of these four tries.
A worrying trend in the second half of penalties being conceded by the Jets and errors made allowed the Dragons back into the game. The minor premiers took full advantage of the extra possession and the opportunities presented, scoring three tries to get within two points of the Jets with five minutes left to play. The Dragons only converted one of these second-half tries, with one of their conversion attempts being missed from close range.
Newtown’s opponent in the grand final is Wentworthville, making this Sunday’s match a repeat circumstance of 2012 when the clubs who had finished seventh and eighth on the final competition table both qualified for the premiership decider. The grand final is to be played at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday, 29th September with the kick-off timed for 3.05pm.
Sunday’s preliminary final scoring details:
Sione Katoa 2, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Siosifa Talakai tries;
Braydon Trindall 3 goals
St George-Illawarra 20:
Tristan Sailor 2, Patrick Kaufusi, Steven Marsters tries;
Tristan Sailor 2 goals.
Half-Time: Newtown led 16-6.
Referee: Drew Oultram.
Assistant Referee: Kieren Irons.
Touch Judges: Jake Sutherland and Cameron Mitchell.
The playing surface at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium was excellent.
Weather: Sunny, very little cloud, 22 degrees, easterly breeze.
Newtown’s team was:
Will Kennedy, Sione Katoa, Matt Evans, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Tyrone Phillips, Toby Rudolf, Braydon Trindall, Billy Magoulias, Scott Sorensen (Capt), Jayson Bukuya, Daniel Vasquez, Blayke Brailey, Jimmy Jolliffe.
Bench: Teig Wilton, Siosifa Talakai, Luke Polselli, Greg Eastwood.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Jai Field, Lachlan Maranta, Tristan Sailor, Steven Marsters, Jordan Pereira, Adam Clune, Darren Nicholls (Capt), Luke Gale, Patrick Kaufusi, Jackson Ford, Lachlan Timm, Josh Kerr, Reece Robson.
Bench: Jonus Pearson, Mitchell Allgood, Joe Lovodua, Charly Runciman.
Coach: Mat Head.
Information from the NSWRL about the sale of tickets for Sunday’s grand final: https://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2019/09/22/tickets-on-sale-for-canterbury-cup-nsw-grand-final/
Grand final details:
NSWRL Canterbury Cup NSW – Grand Final
Sunday, 29th September 2019
Newtown (finished in 7th position) v Wentworthville (finished in 8th position)