(Wenty Park Super Saturday)


Wentworth Park, Glebe

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The Newtown Jets and Western Suburbs Magpies teams show the spirit of the occasion in paying tribute to the late Tom Raudonikis. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography
The Newtown Jets and Western Suburbs Magpies teams show the spirit of the occasion in paying tribute to the late Tom Raudonikis. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Jets return to winning form with a big win over the Magpies

The Newtown Jets ended their run of four consecutive losses when they dealt out a resounding 56-20 defeat to Western Suburbs in the NSW Cup match played at Lidcombe Oval on Sunday.

The win ensured that Newtown retained the Tom Raudonikis Cup for 2023. The trophy is competed for by Newtown and Wests on an annual basis in memory of the champion halfback and five-eighth who played with and captained both clubs.

The victorious Newtown Jets team with the Tom Raudonikis Cup for 2023. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

With regard to the Jets finals aspirations, Newtown must defeat the Newcastle Knights in Newcastle next Sunday, as well as having other NSW Cup results next weekend proving to be in Newtown’s favour.

The Jets made a bad start to Sunday’s match at Lidcombe Oval with the Magpies scoring an unconverted try in the third minute. Newtown responded with tries to winger Tom Rodwell and the front-rower Jesse Colquhoun, who made a dynamic return to the Jets NSW Cup team. Both tries were converted from wide out by fullback Mawene Hiroti.

Jets forwards Jesse Colquhoun and Tuku Hau Tapuha deal with a Wests opponent. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

The Magpies stayed in the contest by putting a lot of pressure on Newtown at their end of the field, and Wests were rewarded with a converted try that reduced Newtown’s lead to 12-10 after 27 minutes of play.

Newtown hit back by adding three tries in the space of seven minutes leading in to half-time. Tom Rodwell claimed his second try for the day, followed by a determined try to Kayal Iro that had involved Kurt Dillon, Niwhai Puru, Kyle Pickering and finally Iro.

Jets centre Kayal Iro about to get a good pass to a team-mate. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Kyle Pickering had impressed in the first half with some effective left-edge running and well-directed ball distribution to his team-mates. Winger Jensen Taumoepeau exposed some average Wests defence when he scored just prior to half-time, with Newtown taking a 28-10 lead into the break. The Jets had dominated field position for much of the first half and made the Magpies pay for any errors they made at their own end of the field.

Wests came out fired up and determined to fight back in the second half, and they certainly put Newtown’s defence under considerable pressure in the early minutes of the second session. The Magpies went close to scoring on two occasions that might well have swung the momentum of the game. The Jets reasserted their control from around the 50th minute mark when centre Addison Demetriou, labelled as “the human cannon-ball” by the social media livestream commentator, ploughed over to score following some productive lead-up work by the big backrower Tuku Hau Tapuha.

Further tries to Mawene Hiroti (running off a superb off-load from five-eighth Manaia Waitere) and a third try to Tom Rodwell advanced Newtown’s lead out to 40-10, prompting the online match commentator to declare the result in Newtown’s favour after 62 minutes. Newtown reached fifty points after two more tries, one to Tuku Hau Tapuha and another resulting from a dashing dummy-half raid by hooker Sam Healey.

When the young Jets front-rower Rhys Dakin dragged a Wests opponent across the sideline “”Gorden Tallis-style”” in the 70th minute, an all-in melee erupted not unlike the spectacular brawls associated with the late 1970s clashes between Western Suburbs and Manly-Warringah. Fortunately on this occasion the upsurge was promptly quelled with the Magpies receiving a penalty and with no players going on report.

Wests scored in their next set of possession, which was their first try in 46 minutes. Newtown added one last try through a well-practiced dummy-half manoeuvre by Sam Healey that sent front-rower Caleb Uele crashing over to score.

Newtown’s best players on the day had included Mawene Hiroti, Tom Rodwell, Kayal Iro, Manaia Waitere and Niwhai Puru in the backs, along with Jayden Berrell, Sam Healey, Jesse Colquhoun, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Kyle Pickering and the hard-working Brad Fearnley in the forwards.

The Jets travel north to take on the Newcastle Knights at the McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday, 27th August at 11.30am. As previously indicated, Newtown must win this game as well as other results playing out in the Jets favour for the Blues to go forward into the NSW Cup semi-finals.

Game Details:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
25th Round
Sunday, 20th August 2023
Lidcombe Oval
Western Suburbs v Newtown
Kick-Off: 2.00pm.

Playing surface at Lidcombe Oval: Excellent.
Weather: Sunny, clear sky, 22 degrees, very little breeze.

Match Officials:
Referee: Cameron Paddy
Touch Judges: Brad Kiehne, Cameron Turner

Match Result:
Newtown 56:
Tom Rodwell 3, Jesse Colquhoun, Kayal Iro, Jensen Taumoepeau, Addison Demetriou,
Mawene Hiroti, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Samuel Healey, Caleb Uele tries:
Mawene Hiroti 4 conversions, Niwhai Puru 2 conversions
Western Suburbs 20:
Sione Hopoate, James Valevatu, Aitasi James, Josh Feledy tries:
Brandon Wakeham 2 conversions.

Half-Time: Newtown led 28-10.

NSW Cup Highlights: Western Suburbs v Newtown played on Sunday, 20th August 2023:–magpies-v-jets—round-25/
Newtown’s team was:
Fullback: Mawene Hiroti
Wingers: Jensen Taumoepeau, Tom Rodwell
Centres: Addison Demetriou, Kayal Iro
Halves: Manaia Waitere, Niwhai Puru
Lock: Jesse Colquhoun
Second Rowers: Kyle Pickering, Tuku Hau Tapuha
Front Rowers: Caleb Uele, Rhys Dakin
Hooker: Jayden Berrell (Captain)
Kurt Dillon, Brad Fearnley, Samuel Healey, Johnny Lee Gabrael
18th Man: Toby Boothroyd
Coach: George Ndaira.

The Western Suburbs team was:
Fullback: Israel Ogden
Wingers: Sione Hopoate, Jay Kirk
Centres: Josh Feledy, Semisi Kioa
Halves: Zane Camroux, Brandon Wakeham
Lock: Sione Fainu
Second Rowers: Brandon Tumeth, Jack Boyling
Front Rowers: Tukimihia Simpkins, Aitasi James
Hooker: James Valevatu
James Roumanos, John Tuivaiti, Tom Freebairn, Kit Laulilii
18th Man: Aden Perry
Coach: Wayne Lambkin.

Match Timeline:

First Half:
Newtown kicked off, running to the southern end of Lidcombe Oval.
3rd minute: Sione Hopoate try.
Not converted. Western Suburbs 4-0.
12th minute: Tom Rodwell try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown led 6-4.
16th minute: Jesse Colquhoun try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown led 12-4.
25th minute: James Valevatu try.
Converted by Brandon Wakeham. Newtown 12-10.
31st minute: Tom Rodwell try
Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 18-10.
34th minute: Kayal Iro try
Not converted. Newtown 22-10.
38th minute: Jensen Taumoepeau try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti. Newtown 28-10.

Half-Time: Newtown led 28-10.

Second Half:
49th minute: Addison Demetriou try.
Not converted. Newtown 32-10.
56th minute: Mawene Hiroti try.
Not converted. Newtown 36-10.
59th minute: Tom Rodwell try.
Not converted. Newtown 40-10.
63rd minute: Tuku Hau Tapuha try.
Not converted. Newtown 44-10.
67th minute: Samuel Healey try.
Converted by Niwhai Puru. Newtown 50-10.
70th minute: Aitasi James try.
Converted by Brandon Wakeham. Newtown 50-16.
74th minute: Caleb Uele try.
Converted by Niwhai Puru. Newtown 56-16.
78th minute: Josh Feledy try.
Not converted. Newtown 56-20.

Full-Time: Newtown 56 defeated Western Suburbs 20.

Newtown’s next match details:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
26th Round
Sunday, 27th August 2023
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Newcastle Knights v Newtown
Kick-Off: 11.30am.

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.