Henson Park, Marrickville

Norths 2024 220
Newtown's flying winger Sam Stonestreet dives over to score the first of his two tries against Penrith in Saturday's match at Henson Park. Photo: Mario Facchini / mafphotography
Newtown's flying winger Sam Stonestreet dives over to score the first of his two tries against Penrith in Saturday's match at Henson Park. Photo: Mario Facchini / mafphotography

Jets display their best form in big win over the competition leaders

The Newtown Jets made it four wins in succession in defeating the NSW Cup competition leaders, the Penrith Panthers, by 44-6 at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Jets maintained the on-field confidence they had shown in the second half against the Newcastle Knights in the previous round, and reportedly this was the biggest defeat inflicted on a Penrith NSW Cup team in the past ten years.

Newtown opened the scoring in the second minute when the young front-rower Max Bradbury powered over to the left of the southern end goal posts, running off a flat pass from Sam Healey calling the shots at dummy-half.

Jets hooker Sam Healey gets his arm free to ground the football for this important try in the second half on Saturday.
Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

There was to be no more scoring for over twenty minutes, with Penrith applying pressure on Newtown’s line on several occasions. A passing rush to the left in the 24th minute involving Niwhai Puru and Khaled Rajab sent the dashing fullback Liam Ison flying into a gap, which he fully exploited by scoring in the south-eastern corner. Puru converted from the sideline for Newtown to lead 12-0.

The Jets continued to take it up to the Panthers, with winger Tom Rodwell breaking away up the left side in the 32nd minute, then deftly positioning his centre-kick into the in-goal area, where the ball was grounded by the keenly-supporting centre Chris Vea’ila. Puru landed his third conversion for Newtown to take a slightly unlikely 18-0 lead into the half-time break.

While the Jets runaway win over the Knights on the previous weekend had been impressive, leading the competition leaders 18-0 at the break was the outcome of a surplus of possession, a high completion rate and application in defence, as well as the forwards winning the middle ground against the big Penrith pack.

Newtown’s dominance continued early in the second half with Healey, Billy Magoulias, Puru and Rajab combining to send winger Sam Stonestreet diving over in the famed Henson Park Hill corner.

Minutes later Stonestreet claimed his second try, with the lead-up to this “show-stopper” involving Healey, Puru, Rajab, Jackson Ferris, Kyle Pickering and ultimately Stonestreet for another diving effort into the corner. Puru’s conversion from the sideline gave Newtown a 28-0 lead with a lot of the second half still to be played. Jets head coach George Ndaira sent out a message to his players for them to “maintain their discipline, work-rate and ruthlessness”. The 2023 NRL Grand Final had been an object lesson to opposing clubs that Penrith teams were quite capable of coming from behind and running down big points deficits.

The rest of the match remained in Newtown’s control, with further tries to Sam Healey (an individual effort from dummy-half) and two more tries to Chris Vea’ila – one from pouncing on a clever Billy Burns grubber-kick into the in-goal, and in a final flourish for the Henson Park crowd, when the young centre backed up a spirited kick-return run by Liam Ison and sprinted fifty-five metres to score right on full-time.

The Panthers had scored ten minutes out from full-time and although it was acknowledged in other media sources that this Penrith team had been understrength, there are players to return to the Jets ranks in the upcoming weeks as well.

The saddest part of the afternoon had been the serious knee injury suffered by Max Bradbury, which really took the edge off the Newtown club’s sense of jubilation after beating the competition leaders by the imposing score of 44-6.

In his post-match interview, coach George Ndaira observed that this Newtown team had started to build on what they had been aiming to achieve over the past four games; that when a team works hard and takes full advantage of possession and attacking opportunities, results like this one against the Panthers are possible.

Coach Ndaira said it was good to see the team “buying into” the means by which this victory had been achieved, and that there had been good performances right across the field. He commended young Liam Ison on his enthusiasm at fullback and the hard-working middle forward Brad Fearnley for his huge game against his old club. The halves Niwhai Puru and Khaled Rajab are starting to work together very well.

Newtown’s Brad “Big Red” Fearnley had a huge game on Saturday against his former club – but here’s an iron-clad defensive wall of young Jets autograph seekers that he won’t break through! Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Newtown’s next game is against the much-improved Parramatta on their home ground, CommBank Stadium. This 13th round NSW Cup match is on Thursday, 30th May at 5.20pm. The NSW Cup game is a curtain-raiser to the Parramatta-Cronulla Sharks NRL fixture.

Saturday’s match details:

NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Round 12
Saturday, 25th May 2024

Henson Park
Newtown v Penrith
Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Weather: Overcast, 5 km/h wind, 18 degrees

Playing surface: Excellent

Referee: David Luttringer
Touch Judges: Mitchell Stone, Luke Heckendorf

Newtown 44:
Chris Vea’ila 3, Sam Stonestreet 2, Max Bradbury,
Liam Ison, Sam Healey tries;

Niwhai Puru 6 conversions
Penrith 6:
Preston Riki try:
Trent Toelau conversion>

Half-Time: Newtown led 18-0.

Jets halfback Niwhai Puru gets his kick away while his team-mates (from the left) Sam Healey, Billy Magoulias and Blake Hosking watch the flight of the football. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Newtown’s team:
Fullback: Liam Ison
Wingers: Tom Rodwell, Sam Stonestreet
Centres: Chris Vea’ila, Jackson Ferris

Halves: Khaled Rajab, Niwhai Puru
Lock: Blake Hosking
Second-Rowers: Kyle Pickering, Billy Burns (Captain)
Front-Rowers: Rhys Dakin, Max Bradbury
Hooker: Sam Healey
Interchange: Salesi Ataata, Josh Cook, Brad Fearnley, Billy Magoulias

Reserve: Jordan Swann

Coach: George Ndaira
Blue Shirt Trainer: Tom Haberecht
Yellow Shirt Trainer: Fletcher Graham
Orange Shirt Trainer: Chris Moubarak.

Penrith’s team:
Fullback: Isaiah Iongi
Wingers: David Fale, Daeon Amituanai
Centres: Tyrone Peachey (Captain), Casey McLean
Halves: Soni Luke, Trent Toelau
Lock: Riley Price
Second-Rowers: Harrison Hassett, Mavrik Geyer
Front-Rowers: Luron Patea, Preston Riki
Hooker: Luke Sommerton
Interchange: Billy Scott, Valu Isati, Falefa Letoi, Zac Lipowicz

Coach: Ben Harden.

NSW Cup Highlights – Newtown Jets v Penrith Panthers, played at Henson Park on Saturday, 25th May 2024:–jets-v-panthers—round-12/

Newtown front-rower Salesi Ataata gets right into the thick of the Panthers defensive wall in this moment from Saturday’s game.
Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

The NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup competition table after 12 rounds:

Find out what Newtown’s coach George Ndaira had to say after the Jets huge win over Penrith yesterday:

Match Timeline: –
First Half:

Penrith kicked off, running to the northern end of Henson Park.
1st minute: Mavrik Geyer (Penrith) on report.

1 min 40 secs: Newtown receive a penalty and then a set restart
2nd minute: Max Bradbury scored to the right of the Sydenham Road end goal posts.

Converted by Niwhai Puru. Newtown 6-0.
24th minute: Liam Ison try in the south-eastern corner.
Converted from the sideline by Niwhai Puru. Newtown 12-0.
32nd minute: Tom Rodwell breaks away down the left sideline and does a lef-foot centre-kick into the in-goal area.
Chris Vea’ila wins the race to ground the ball for a try.
Converted by Niwhai Puru. Newtown 18-0.
Half-Time: Newtown led 18-0.
Second Half:
43rd minute: Sam Stonestreet scores in the north-eastern corner.

Not converted. Newtown 22-0.
48th minute: Sam Stonestreet scores again in the north-east corner (after clever lead-up work and accurate passing by Sam Healey, Niwhai Puru, Khaled Rajab, Jackson Ferris, Kyle Pickering and finally Sam Stonestreet.)
Converted from wide out by Niwhai Puru. Newtown 28-0.
55th minute; A very determined try from dummy-half by Sam Healey.
Converted by Niwhai Puru. Newtown 34-0.
62nd minute: Billy Burns does a well-weighted grubber kick into the in-goal and Chris Vea’ila wins the race to the ball.
Not converted. Newtown 38-0.
69th minute: Preston Riki try. Converted by Trent Toelau.  Newtown 38-6.
70th minute: Newtown front-rower Max Bradbury suffers a serious leg injury. The play is halted while his injury is treated on the field by medical staff.
77th minute: Liam Ison returns a kick, breaks the Penrith line and finds Chris Vea’ila in support.
Chris Vea’ila scores in the north-western corner.
Niwhai Puru converts from the sideline. Newtown 44-6.
Full-Time: Newtown 44 defeated Penrith 6.

Newtown front-rower Rhys Dakin gets ready to take on the Penrith defensive wall in the second half of Saturday’s match.
Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Match Statistics (courtesy of the NSW Rugby League): –
Possession: Newtown 60%, Penrith 40%
Time in possession: Newtown 28 minutes, Penrith 18 minutes.
Completions: Newtown 88%, Penrith 75%
All runs: Newtown 185, Penrith 140
All run metres: Newtown 1700, Penrith 1040
Post contact metres: Newtown 560, Penrith 355

Line breaks: Newtown 9, Penrith 1
Tackle breaks: Newtown 57, Penrith 20
Average set distance: Newtown 47, Penrith 35
Kick return metres: Newtown 205, Penrith 145
Offloads: Newtown 18, Penrith 4
Total passes: Newtown 238, Penrith 146
Dummy passes: Newtown 25, Penrith 11
Kicks: Newtown 17, Penrith 17
Kick metres: Newtown 450, Penrith 410
Kick defusals: Newtown 75%, Penrith 50%
Effective tackles: Newtown 86%, Penrith 79%
Tackles made: Newtown 220, Penrith 335
Missed tackles: Newtown 29, Penrith 57
Ineffective tackles: Newtown 6, Penrith 29
Errors: Newtown 5, Penrith 9
Penalties received: Newtown 6, Penrith 3
On report: Newtown 0, Penrith 2

Most tackles for Newtown: Kyle Pickering – 25
Most run metres for Newtown: Brad Fearnley – 196 metres.

Newtown’s next game details:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Round 13
Thursday, 30th May 2024
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Parramatta v Newtown
Kick-Off: 5.20pm.
(This match is a curtain-raiser to the Parramatta v Cronulla Sharks NRL fixture.)

Image: MAF Photography

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Image: MAF Photography

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Welcome aboard TokyoTaco – offer to Jets members all of June

Image: MAF Photography

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Newtown Jets respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the Land and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on and that the land area encompassing Henson Park traditionally belonged to the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.