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Luke Metcalf kicks down field. 

Photo: Mario Facchini
Luke Metcalf kicks down field. Photo: Mario Facchini

Newtown Jets get Back Into the Winner’s Circle.

The Newtown Jets defeated St George-Illawarra by 44-20 in their 11th round Knock-On Effect (KOE) NSW Cup fixture at Henson Park on Saturday, but not before having to survive a few anxious moments.

The Jets started in spectacular fashion with two converted tries in the first four minutes, with both tries being scored by the outstanding young front-row forward prospect, Franklin Pele. Pele’s second try, a sixty-five metre effort in which he brushed aside several would-be tacklers and sprinted like an outside back, sent the ground announcer John Lynch into raptures.

Newtown led 24-16 at halftime after conceding soft tries to the Dragons and bombing at least two further try-scoring opportunities of their own.

The Jets began the second half in the best way possible, with an exhilarating try to Eddie Aiono on the back of top-class cut-out passes from halfback Manaia Rudolph and five-eighth Luke Metcalf.

The Dragons stayed in the contest with another try, and it took a quite superb individual try-scoring effort from Papua-New Guinea international centre Nene Macdonald in the 58th minute that gave the Jets some degree of control of the game.

Further tries to winger Jonaiah Lualua and backrower Bronson Garlick (his second for the game) extended Newtown’s lead.

Coach Greg Matterson had expressed concern at half-time that despite Newtown’s rousing start, the Jets had started to play touch football.

Poor execution and timid defence had cost Newtown dearly in the first half and kept the Dragons in the game.

The multi-skilled Billy Magoulias set the Jets backline moving on several occasions with some deft ball-play and hooker Zac Woolford was very effective in the dummy-half role.

Front-rower Daniel Vasquez made a lot of ground through the middle and no doubt appreciated the opportunity for more game time.

Saturday’s win puts the Jets within striking distance of the KOE NSW Cup top five.

Newtown has a bye next weekend (29th/30th May) and then has an important showdown against the well-credentialed Canberra Raiders at Henson Park on Saturday, 5th June at 3.00pm.

NSWRL Knock-On Effect (KOE) NSW Cup – 11th Round

Saturday, 22nd May 2021

Henson Park

Newtown v St George-Illawarra

Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Playing surface: Excellent.

Weather: 19 degrees, sunny, clear sky, 12 km/phr southerly breeze.

Newtown 44 (Franklin Pele 2, Bronson Garlick 2, Dylan O’Connor, Edward Aiono, Nene Macdonald, Jonaiah Lualua tries; Luke Metcalf 6 goals) defeated St George-Illawarra 20 (Sam McCann 2, James Schiller, Charly Runciman tries; Sitiveni Moceidreke 2 goals)

Half-Time: Newtown led 24-16.

Newtown’s team was:
Dylan O’Connor, Edward Aiono, Jensen Taumoepeau, Nene Macdonald, Jonaiah Lualua, Luke Metcalf, Manaia Rudolph, Billy Magoulias, Bronson Garlick, Tom Caughlan, Franklin Pele, Zac Woolford, Daniel Vasquez.

Interchange: Kyle Paterson, Brock Gray, Ryan Verlinden, Ethan Natoli.

Reserve: D’Rhys Miller.

Coach: Greg Matterson.

St George-Illawarra:
Tony Pellow, Tyrell Sloan, James Schiller, Shaun Sauni-Esau, Sam McCann, Sitiveni Moceidreke, Zeik Foster, Josh Carr, Charly Runciman, Jackson Shereb, Luke Chalker, Billy Brittain, Matthew Nicholson.

Interchange: Hayden Lomax, Bailey Antrobus, Blake Dowel, Shalom O’ofou.

Reserve: Lachlan Peachey.

Coach: Russell Aitken.

Referee: Martin Jones.

Touch Judges: Tim Hannon, Rickey McFarlane.

The scoring timeline:

2nd minute: Franklin Pele try, Luke Metcalf conversion. Newtown 6-0.

4th minute: Franklin Pele try, Luke Metcalf conversion. Newtown 12-0.

10th minute: Sam McCann try, not converted. Newtown 12-4.

22nd minute: James Schiller try, Sitiveni Moceidreke conversion. Newtown 12-10.

27th minute: Bronson Garlick try, Luke Metcalf conversion. Newtown 18-10.

33rd minute: Charly Runciman try, Sitiveni Moceidreke conversion. Newtown 18-16.

37th minute: Dylan O’Connor try, Luke Metcalf conversion. Newtown 24-16.

Half-Time: Newtown led 24-16..

41st minute: Edward Aiono try, not converted. Newtown 28-16.

48th minute: Sam McCann try, not converted. Newtown 28-20.

58th minute: Nene Macdonald try, not converted. Newtown 32-20.

69th minute: Jonaiah Lualua try, Luke Metcalf conversion. Newtown 38-20.

75th Minute: Bronson Garlick try, Luke Metcalf conversion. Newtown 44-20.

Full-Time: Newtown 44-20.

The curtain-raiser at Henson Park:

NSWRL Ron Massey Cup

Glebe Dirty Reds 42 defeated Mounties 14.

Newtown has a bye in the KOE NSW Cup next weekend (29th/30th May 2021).

Tu’u Maori fires out a pass in a match between the Newtown Jets and Wentworthville at Henson Park in 2010. (Gary Sutherland Photography)

RIP Tu’u Maori

A panoramic view of Newtown’s home ground, Henson Park, taken on Saturday, 28th July 2018 (NSWRL)

114 years old today: The Newtown RLFC, founded on the 8th January 1908.

Jets coach Warren Ryan presents Bill Noonan with a special award prior to his final appearance with Newtown at Henson Park on Sunday, 31st August 1980. (NSWRL photo).

Farewell to the great Bill Noonan

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Seasons Greetings Bluebags

Newtown Jets 2021 Christmas Card 603 high.

Christmas and New Year Greetings from the Newtown Jets

Councillor Victor Macri, Newtown Jets head coach Greg Matterson and Councillor Mark Drury inspect the Henson Park pitch prior to announcing Inner West Council funding for upgrading the Henson Park playing surface.

Long-serving Councillor Victor Macri is standing again

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