Jets dominant first half ensures win in second NSW Cup trial
Newtown defeated Canterbury-Bankstown 40-32 in a high-scoring Knock-On Effect NSW Cup trial match, played at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday, 19th February.
This was Newtown’s second and final trial for the 2023 pre-season. The match commenced at 11.50am and was played in very warm conditions. Newtown took control of the game midway through the first half and ran up a formidable 34-6 lead by half-time. The Jets ran in five tries in the second quarter of the game in what was an impressive exhibition of attacking football, keen support play and control through the middle.
The second half was a curious combination of a relatively even contest throughout the third quarter, ending in the Bulldogs running in four tries in the final eight minutes of the game. Newtown’s big lead at half-time was not likely to be overhauled, but the Canterbury try-scoring onslaught left the Newtown coaching staff with some issues to consider before the first competition round at Henson Park on Saturday, 4th March.
Newtown’s seven tries were scored by halfback Niwhai Puru (2 tries), backrower Charbel Tasipale, fullback Trentham Petersen, winger Thomas Rodwell, lock Billy Magoulias and five-eighth Johnny-Lee Gabrael. The scrum-half Niwhai Puru was an off-season signing by the Sharks from Penrith and he made a memorable debut in Newtown’s colours. In addition to his two tries, he also landed five conversions and a penalty goal.
Several players in Sunday’s trial had been members of Newtown’s 2022 roster. These included wingers Thomas Rodwell and Samuel Stonestreet, centre Kayal Iro (the 2022 NSW Cup Player of the Year and a Cook Islands World Cup representative), lock Billy Magoulias (who represented Greece in last year’s World Cup), backrower Charbel Tasipale (a Lebanese World Cup representative), giant front-rower Thomas Hazelton and hookers Jayden Berrell and Isaac Longmuir.
A particularly interesting inclusion in Newtown’s team on Sunday was the former Australian Test winger and NSW State of Origin representative Josh Mansour. Josh has indicated he is interested in playing with Newtown, while remaining open to any offers from NRL clubs.
The Newtown Jets player Marco Talagi was badly injured in the second half and taken from the field on a stretcher.
Newtown’s head coach George Ndaira and his staff will now get to work on putting together a team from the Jets unbeaten pre-season squad and from those Cronulla Sharks squad members made available for selection.
The Jets first Knock-On Effect NSW Cup competition game for 2023 is against South Sydney at Henson Park on Saturday, 4th March at 3.00pm.
Sunday’s match details were: –
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Trial Match:
Sunday, 19th February 2023
Belmore Sports Ground
Canterbury-Bankstown v Newtown
Fullback: Trentham Petersen
Wingers: Thomas Rodwell, Samuel Stonestreet
Centres: Kyle Pickering, Kayal Iro
Halves: Johnny-Lee Gabrael, Niwhai Puru
Lock: Billy Magoulias
Second-Rowers: Jordin Leiu
Front-Rowers: Thomas Hazelton, Rhys Dakin
Hooker: Jayden Berrell
Adam Fearnley, Josh Finau, Sam Healey, Blake Hosking
Max Bradbury, Kai Parker, Wyatt Rangi, Isaac Longmuir
Josh Mansour, Connor Garraty, Marco Talagi.
Coach: George Ndaira.
Fullback: Joash Papalii
Wingers: Jayden Okunbor, Blake Wilson
Centres: Jeral Skelton, Eli Clark
Halves: Khaled Rajab, Bailey Hayward
Lock: Reece Hoffman
Second-Rowers: Jackson Topine, Harrison Edwards
Front-Rowers: Kurtis Morrin, Jayden Tanner
Hooker: Ryan Gray.
Brandon Clarke, Zac Hetherington, Jack Stringer, Zane Bijoric
Joseph O’Neil, Zac Montgomery, Peni Tagutuimua, Lipoi Hopoi,
Josh Kalati, Harry Hayes, Jonah Glover.
Niwhai Puru 2, Charbel Tasipale, Trentham Petersen, Thomas Rodwell, Billy Magoulias, Johnny-Lee Gabrael tries;
Niwhai Puru 5 conversions and 1 penalty goal
6 tries, 4 conversions.
Half-Time: Newtown led 34-6
Playing surface: Excellent.
Weather: Sunny, 28 degrees.
Newtown’s next game:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup – Round One
Saturday, 4th March 2023
Newtown v South Sydney
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.