Henson Park, Marrickville

Norths 2024 220
Newtown second-rower and team captain Billy Burns (in possession) was in top form as the Jets ran up a big win over the Newcastle Knights. Tom Rodwell (in the headgear) is in the background.
Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography
Newtown second-rower and team captain Billy Burns (in possession) was in top form as the Jets ran up a big win over the Newcastle Knights. Tom Rodwell (in the headgear) is in the background. Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Jets in biggest win of the season as they run riot in the second half

The Newtown Jets took advantage of the ideal rugby league weather and the perfect playing surface, as they turned on their best performance of the 2024 season in the Round 11 NSW Cup Magic Round fixture played at North Sydney Oval on Sunday. The Jets defeated the Newcastle Knights 52-12, scoring seven unanswered in the second half after the scores had been locked together at 12-all at halftime.

The Jets began the match in a most unpromising fashion, allowing the kick-off by the Knights to bounce across the dead-ball line, and then conceding a try to the men from the Hunter in the next set of possession. Despite that discouraging start, Newtown had the better of the first half in terms of possession and field position, but several scoring chances went astray and it was clear that the Jets needed to tighten up their performance in the second half.

Hooker Sam Healey, halfback Niwhai Puru and fullback Liam Ison combined close to the Knights tryline for Ison to swivel and dummy his way across the line to score Newtown’s first try.

The Jets crowd favourite, “Big Red” Brad Fearnley, barnstormed his way over to score at the Fig Tree End of the ground after receiving a perfectly-delivered flat pass from Sam Healey. “Big Red” had in fact only just come onto the field from the interchange bench. The Knights equalised just six minutes before halftime, and the Jets clearly had to work on their execution of their plays to be able to win this game.

Newtown front-rower Brad Fearnley confronts these two Newcastle Knights defenders on Sunday. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

The second half had only been underway for four minutes when the crafty Healey once again deployed his trademark flat-pass technique to put Billy Magoulias over to score at the Ken Irvine Scoreboard end of the ground.

When the Jets hooker Sam Healey has the ball ready to pass, the opposition are in real trouble! Blake Hosking (left) and Khaled Rajab are in the background. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

This was to be the first of three tries scored by the Jets in the space of seven minutes of play that virtually sealed the result of the game.

Second-rower and team captain Billy Burns burst through some doubtful Knights defence and his clever flick pass to the fast-supporting Tom Rodwell put the strongly-built winger over in the corner.

Billy Burns was on the rampage again in the 51st minute when he was put into open space by a back-of-hand pass from Niwhai Puru, with Burns in turn sending Liam Ison over under the posts.

The day certainly belonged to the big second-rower (and Parkes Spacemen RLFC product) as he claimed two tries for himself in the third quarter of the game, displaying nothing less than a Graeme Langlands-style sidestep in one of these tries. The second of Burns’ tries came from a ninety-five metres effort involving Liam Ison, lock Blake Hosking and finally Burns himself performing the touch-down honours.

Six minutes out from fulltime the Cook Islands international prop Rhys Dakin was put across the line in a crash-play manoeuvre engineered by the ball-playing number 13, Blake Hosking.

Newtown’s last try came in the final minute of the game when Niwhai Puru snapped up a midfield intercept and outpaced his pursuers in a fifty-metres dash to the southern end tryline.

Jets centre Mawene Hiroti had a successful afternoon with the boot, converting eight of Newtown’s nine tries.

The Jets dominance of the second half was reflected in the game’s statistics, with Newtown having a 62% share of possession and a total of 28 minutes in possession compared to Newcastle’s 16, plus a clear majority in the number of line breaks made. Another news source described Newtown’s second half performance as “a masterclass”, and that the number of breaks made in the midfield and particularly on the left edge ”had clearly established Newtown’s domination of the second half”.

Newtown won the battle of the forwards as well as in the backline on Sunday. Rugged Jets front-rower Max Bradbury shows the strain as he takes on this Knights opponent. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Newtown’s improved form will be sternly tested this Saturday, 25th May, when the Jets face off with the NSW Cup competition leaders, the Penrith Panthers, at Henson Park at 3.00pm.

This match is the first leg of the 2024 Ken Wilson-Ray Blacklock Shield series contested annually between the Newtown and Penrith clubs.

NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Round Eleven
Sunday, 19th May 2024
North Sydney Oval
Newtown v Newcastle Knights
Kick-Off: 1.00pm.

Weather: Sunny, clear skies, light wind, 17 degrees
Playing Surface: Excellent.

Newtown’s team on Sunday, 19th May 2024:

Fullback: Liam Ison

Wingers: Thomas Rodwell, Samuel Stonestreet
Centres: Mawene Hiroti, Jackson Ferris
Halves: Khaled Rajab, Niwhai Puru
Lock: Blake Hosking
Second-Rowers: Kyle Pickering, Billy Burns (Captain)
Front-Rowers: Rhys Dakin, Max Bradbury
Hooker: Samuel Healey

Interchange: Jordin Leiu, Billy Magoulias, Joshua Cook, Brad Fearnley.
Reserve: Jordan Swann

Blue Shirt Trainer: Tommy Haberecht
Yellow Shirt Trainer: Fletcher Graham
Orange Shirt Trainer: Liam Richardson
Coach: George Ndaira.

The Newcastle Knights team:

Fullback: Fletcher Sharpe
Wingers: Laitia Moceidreke, Kyle McCarthy
Centres: Thomas Jenkins, Krystian Mapapalangi
Halves: Will Pryce, Liam Sutton
Lock: Jaxson Rahme
Second-Rowers: Thomas Cant (Captain), Clay Webb

Front-Rowers: John Toleafoa, Sebastian Su’a
Hooker: Riley Jones
Interchange: Mitchell New, Brock Greacen, Callan Burgess, Paul Bryan
Reserve: Lachy O’Brien
Blue Shirt Trainer: Mick Reid
Yellow Shirt Trainer: Miguel Mash
Orange Shirt Trainer: Steve Lamond
Coach: Ron Griffiths

NSWRL TV Highlights – NSW Cup – Newtown Jets v Newcastle Knights – Round 11:–nsw-cup-jets-v-knights—round-11

NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup competition table after 11 rounds:

An interview with Billy Burns after the Newtown-Newcastle NSW Cup match on Sunday:

Newtown 52:
Liam Ison 2, Billy Burns 2, Billy Magoulias, Tom Rodwell, Brad Fearnley, Rhys Dakin, Niwhai Puru tries;
Mawene Hiroti 8 conversions
Newcastle Knights 12:
Fletcher Sharpe, Laitia Moceidreke tries;

Will Pryce 2 conversions.
Half-Time: 12-all.

Match Statistics (compiled by Stuart McCarthy):


1st half: Newtown 13/17 (76%) Newcastle 12/15 (80%)

2nd half: Newtown 17/19 (89%) Newcastle 7/12 (58%)

Fulltime: Newtown 30/36 (83%) Newcastle 19/27 (70%)


1st half: Newtown 60 tackles (49%) Newcastle 62 tackles (51%)

2nd half: Newtown 72 tackles (62%) Newcastle 44 tackles (38%)

Fulltime: Newtown 132 tackles (55%) Newcastle 102 tackles (45%)


1st half: Newtown 3 Newcastle 3

2nd half: Newtown 1 Newcastle 2

Fulltime: Newtown 4 Newcastle 5

Match Timeline: –

First Half:
Newcastle Knights kicked off to the southern end of North Sydney Oval.
Newtown allowed the ball to bounce over the dead-ball line.
Newtown forced to restart play with a goal-line drop-out.
1 min 30 secs: Fletcher Sharpe try
Converted by Will Pryce. Knights 6-0.
8th minute: Liam Ison try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti. 6-all.
25th minute: Brad Fearnley try.

Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 12-6.
34th minute: Laitia Moceidreke try.
Converted by Will Pryce. 12-all.
Halftime: 12-all.

Second Half.
44th minute: Billy Magoulias try.

Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 18-12.
47th minute: Tom Rodwell try.
Not converted. Newtown 22-12.
51st minute: Liam Ison try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 28-12.
63rd minute: Billy Burns try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 34-12.
66th minute: Billy Burns try.

Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 40-12.
74th minute: Rhys Dakin try.

Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 40-12.
79th minute: Niwhai Puru try.

Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 52-12.
Fulltime: Newtown 52 defeated Newcastle Knights 12.

Newtown’s next match details:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Round 12

Saturday, 25th May 2024
Henson Park

Newtown v Penrith
Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Image: MAF Photography

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Image: MAF Photography

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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.