Jets late tries ensured win over the Rabbitohs
The Newtown Jets turned on a strong finish to defeat South Sydney 26-6 in the opening round Knock-On Effect NSW Cup fixture played at Henson Park on Saturday.
The Jets had led 16-6 with only six minutes left in the match and with the Rabbitohs still in the contest.
There had been no points scored in the first twenty minutes of the game as both teams played set for set in the sunny and humid conditions. The match statistics showed that Newtown had a greater share of possession and created more attacking opportunities, but the Rabbitohs had a better completion rate over the eighty minutes.
Newtown’s coaching staff, with George Ndaira in charge of his first competition match as the Jets’ head coach, would have been reasonably with the team’s performance, given that this particular team line-up had not played together before. Newtown’s backline looked dangerous, especially with some well-executed attacking forays down their left side.
Cook Islands international centre Kayal Iro continued his form from 2022 when he took out the NSW Cup Player of the Year award. Iro scored two determined and skilful tries in the 21st and 74th minutes. His second try put the result beyond any doubt in Newtown’s favour.
Second-rower Charbel Tasipale sprinted fifty metres to score after running off an inspired break by five-eighth Daniel Atkinson, an Italian World Cup representative on debut for Newtown. The Jets led 12-6 at the break with halfback and former Penrith Panther Niwhai Puru contributing a conversion and a penalty goal.
Newtown’s high-profile signing Josh Mansour, the former Australian international winger and NSW State of Origin representative, showed considerable skill and sheer will-power in scoring the Jets’ third try in the 55th minute.
The scores remained at 16-6 in Newtown’s favour for nearly twenty minutes and the young Jets pack had to defend at their own end of the field on several occasions.
Kayal Iro’s match-sealing try was followed by a piece of quality play from lock and team captain Billy Magoulias, who grubber-kicked the ball precisely into the north-eastern corner enabling centre Jacob Gagan to touch down in the 79th minute. Gagan was playing his first game with Newtown in seven years, following stints with the Newcastle Knights, South Sydney, French club FC Lezignan XIII and the Queensland Cup premiers in 2021 and 2022, Norths Devils.
Billy Magoulias had a strong first half when the Rabbitohs were really applying the pressure, making a couple of critical tackles and cleaning up a couple of Souths’ chip kicks. Hooker Jayden Berrell, one of Newtown’s best players in 2022, was again very solid and demonstrated leadership to the young Jets front-rowers Rhys Dakin and Max Bradbury making their NSW Cup debuts.
Newtown’s quality backline showed on Saturday what might be achieved in future matches once they get more game time together.
Newtown’s round two NSW Cup match will be against Parramatta at CommBank Stadium on Friday, 10th March at 3.00pm.
Complete match details from Saturday’s match at Henson Park:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup – Round One
Saturday, 4th March 2023
Newtown v South Sydney
Kayal Iro 2, Charbel Tasipale, Josh Mansour, Jacob Gagan tries;
Niwhai Puru 2 conversions, 1 penalty goal
South Sydney 6:
Ethan O’Neill try;
Zac Makelim 1 conversion.
Half-Time: Newtown led 12-6.
Newtown Jets v South Sydney Rabbitohs | NSW Cup Round One Highlights (courtesy of the NSWRL):
Playing surface: Excellent.
Weather: Overcast, partly sunny; 26 degrees; humidity was 60%; slight breeze.
Referee: Cameron Paddy.
Touch Judges: Martin Jones, Cameron Turner.
Newtown’s team was:
Fullback: Connor Tracey
Wingers: Josh Mansour, Samuel Stonestreet
Centres: Jacob Gagan, Kayal Iro
Halves: Daniel Atkinson, Niwhai Puru
Lock: Billy Magoulias (Capt)
Second-Rowers: Charbel Tasipale, Jordin Leiu
Front-Rowers: Max Bradbury, Rhys Dakin
Hooker: Jayden Berrell.
Bench: Tyler Slade, Brad Fearnley, Wes Lolo, Kyle Pickering.
18th man: Thomas Rodwell.
Coach: George Ndaira.
Blue Shirt: Tommy Haberecht
Yellow Shirt: Craig Tredinnick
Orange Shirt: Chris Moubarak.
South Sydney’s team:
Fullback: Terrell Kalo Kalo
Wingers: Tom Carr (Capt), Richard Kennar
Centres: Josiah Karapani, Jacob Gagai
Halves: Shannon Gardiner, Jarrett Subloo
Lock: Tallis Duncan
Second-Rowers: Benjamin Lovett, Ethan O’Neill
Front-Rowers: Hugo Patterson, Brock Gray
Hooker: Peter Mamouzelas.
Bench: Zac Makelim, Daniel Suluka-Fifita, Thomas Giles, Yileen Gordon.
18th man: Maila Chan-Foon
Coach: Joe O’Callaghan
Blue Shirt: Jason Dorahy
Yellow Shirt: Mark Dugandzich
Orange Shirt: Paul Minei.
21st minute: Kayal Iro try, not converted (Niwhai Puru’s attempt from out wide hit the right-hand upright).
24th minute: Charbel Tasipale try, converted by Niwhai Puru.
31st minute: Ethan O’Neill try, converted by Zac Makelim.
39th minute: Niwhai Puru penalty goal.
Half-Time: Newtown 12-6.
55th minute: Josh Mansour try, not converted by Niwhai Puru.
74th minute: Kayal Iro try, converted by Niwhai Puru.
78th minute: Jacob Gagan try, not converted by Niwhai Puru.
Full-Time: Newtown 26-6.
Other KOE NSW Cup matches played on the weekend:
Penrith 18 defeated North Sydney 12; New Zealand Warriors 42 defeated Newcastle Knights 20; Canterbury-Bankstown 36 defeated Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 16;
Canberra Raiders 16 defeated Parramatta 10; Western Suburbs 44 defeated Sydney Roosters 18. St George-Illawarra had the bye.
Newtown’s next game:
NSWRL KOE NSW Cup – Round Two
Friday, 10th March 2023
Parramatta v Newtown
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.