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Newtown hooker Jayden Berrell races in to score in the 71st minute of Saturday’s Preliminary Final. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography
Newtown hooker Jayden Berrell races in to score in the 71st minute of Saturday’s Preliminary Final. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Jets second half fightback falls short of victory

The Newtown Jets have bowed out at the Preliminary Final stage of the 2022 Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, after losing 28-26 to Canterbury-Bankstown at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday, 17th September.

The Bulldogs had a particularly damaging first half, leading 22-6 after 27 minutes and 26-10 at halftime.

Newtown fielded a restructured team with four Cronulla Sharks NRL squad backline players being unavailable and with the multi-skilled halfback Braydon Trindall gamely opting to play despite having undergone recent surgery.

The Jets made a spirited start, spending several minutes in Canterbury’s territory before the NSW Cup Player of the Year award winner Kayal Iro burst through to score in the fifth minute, assisted by quality passes from Braydon Trindall and Rhys Davies. Trindall’s conversion from wide out gave Newtown an early 6-0 lead.

The Bulldogs scored their first try in the 11th minute from a pinpoint cross-field kick by their halfback. Two more tries in the next ten minutes from more well-placed kicks enabled Canterbury to extend their lead to 16-6.

The Bulldogs pushed their lead out to 22-6 with another try in the 28th minute, which originated from a Newtown goal-line drop-out that had gone awry.

Jets centre Reubenn Rennie scored from a precise Braydon Trindall pass to reduce Canterbury’s lead to 22-10, but another Bulldogs try just prior to halftime enabled Canterbury to take a more than significant 26-10 lead into the break.

Newtown began their second half resurgence with due urgency, with another quality Trindall pass sending Reubenn Rennie over for his second try. Trindall added the extras from wide out to make the score 26-16 in Canterbury’s favour.

The Bulldogs scored their only points for the second half with a penalty goal in the 50th minute. The ‘Dogs obligingly bombed a certain try in the 54th minute that would have made Newtown’s comeback task that much harder.

It was most certainly game on when hooker Jayden Berrell and lock Billy Magoulias sent the young Jets winger Tom Rodwell (who had been a late inclusion in the team) over to score in the south-western corner, narrowing the deficit to 28-20.

Trindall’s conversion attempt from near the sideline agonisingly bounced away from the right-hand upright.

The stage was set for a dramatic final quarter and Newtown edged even closer when Jayden Berrell dashed over to the left of the posts, having received an inspired offload from big prop Vincent Rennie.

A well-judged grubber kick into the Canterbury in-goal by five-eighth Rhys Davies had given the Jets the field position that led to Berrell’s exhilarating try.

Trindall’s successful conversion saw the Bulldogs clinging to a 28-26 lead with eight minutes left to play.

The tension was massively ramped up when the Jets received a penalty just in from the right-side touch line in the 79th minute.

Trindall’s penalty goal attempt was unsuccessful and the Bulldogs held on to win 28-26 in what had been a truly absorbing second half.

Newtown’s considerably-changed team line-up had made the Jets task more problematic, and the four tries conceded within a fifteen-minute time span in the first half ultimately proved too difficult to run down.

Canterbury-Bankstown had scored five tries in the first half and although Newtown had scored 16 points to 2 and kept the Bulldogs tryless in the second half, Canterbury managed to hang on for a very narrow victory.

It was a bitterly disappointing finish to Newtown’s 2022 finals quest. Still, as one veteran Jets supporter noted, it was good to see Newtown playing finals football again after two consecutive NSW Cup seasons destroyed by COVID.

It would have been interesting to see a full-strength Newtown team taking on the Penrith Panthers in the NSW Cup grand final, but Saturday’s narrow loss put paid to that intriguing possibility.

Newtown’s best on Saturday had been Jayden Berrell, Jesse Colquhoun, Charbel Tasipale, Billy Magoulias and Tommy Hazelton in the forwards, and Braydon Trindall, Rhys Davies and Reubenn Rennie in the backs. Tom Rodwell had an impressive second half on what was his 21st birthday.

Jets front-rower Jesse Colquhoun takes on these Canterbury defenders. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography
Jets lock Billy Magoulias is ready to get a pass away as he looks for support from Jets team-mates. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography
Newtown five-eighth Rhys Davies puts a big hit on the Canterbury second-rower Jackson Topine. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Match details:

NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Preliminary Final
Saturday, 17th September 2022
Leichhardt Oval
Newtown v Canterbury-Bankstown
Kick-Off: 3.10pm.

Weather: Sunny, rain had fallen earlier in the day.
Temperature: 21 degrees.
Humidity: 40%

Referee: Darian Furner.
Touch Judges: Nicholas Beashel, Liam Nicholls
In-Goal Officials: Thomas Cambourn, Paul Eden.

Canterbury-Bankstown 28:
Jayden Okunbor 2, Jayden Tanner, Declan Casey, Paul Alamoti tries;
Brandon Wakeham 3 conversions, 1 penalty goal
defeated
Newtown 26:
Reubenn Rennie 2, Kayal Iro, Thomas Rodwell, Jayden Berrell tries;
Braydon Trindall 3 conversions.

Half-Time: Canterbury-Bankstown led 26-10.                                                                                

NSW Cup Highlights: 2022 Preliminary Final: Newtown v Canterbury-Bankstown:
https://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2022/09/19/nsw-cup-highlights.-preliminary-final—jets-v-bulldogs/

Newtown’s team on Saturday was:
Fullback: Tyla Tamou
Wingers: Thomas Rodwell, Jensen Taumoepeau
Centres: Reubenn Rennie, Kayal Iro
Halves: Rhys Davies, Braydon Trindall
Lock: Billy Magoulias
Second-Rowers: Charbel Tasipale, Kayne-Lee Kalache
Front-Rowers: Thomas Hazelton, Kurt Dillon
Hooker: Jayden Berrell.
Interchange: Jesse Colquhoun, Vincent Rennie, Liam Harris, Franklin Pele.
18th Man: Tyler Slade.
Coach: Greg Matterson.

Newtown was missing high-performance backs Matt Ikuvalu (knee Injury), Kade Dykes (calf injury), Luke Metcalf (HIA) and Mawene Hiroti (NRL selection).
Braydon Trindall was playing only days after having significant surgery.

The Canterbury-Bankstown team was:
Fullback: Creedence Toia
Wingers: Jayden Okunbor, Isaac Lumelume
Centres: Paul Alamoti, Declan Casey
Halves: Khaled Rajab, Brandon Wakeham
Lock: Phillip Makatoa
Second-Rowers: Harrison Edwards, Jackson Topine
Front-Rowers: Jayden Tanner, Reece Hoffman
Hooker: Ryan Gray.
Interchange: Joshua Stuckey, Bailey Hayward, Kurtis Morrin, Matt Doorey.
18th Man: Brandon Clarke.
Coach: David Tangata-Toa.

Match Timeline.
First Half: –
Newtown kicked off to the northern end.
5th minute: Kayal Iro try; converted by Braydon Trindall.
Newtown 6-0.
Newtown had dominated possession in the opening minutes.
11th minute: Jayden Okunbor try from a Brandon Wakeham kick; not converted.
Newtown 6-4.
18th minute: Jayden Okunbor try from another Wakeham cross-field kick; Brandon Wakeham conversion.
Canterbury 10-6.
21st minute: Jayden Tanner try; high kick by Wakeham caught and passed back inside by Okunbor; Brandon Wakeham conversion.
Canterbury 16-6.
27th minute: Declan Casey try; Brandon Wakeham conversion.
Canterbury 22-6.
32nd minute: Reubenn Rennie try; not converted.
Canterbury 22-10.
38th minute: Paul Alamoti scored down Newtown’s left side; not converted.
Canterbury 26-10.
Canterbury-Bankstown had scored five tries to two in the first half.
Half-Time: Canterbury-Bankstown led 26-10.
Second Half: –
Canterbury kicked the ball dead from the kick-off.
43rd minute: Reubenn Rennie try from a short ball from Trindall; Braydon Trindall converted.
Canterbury 26-16.
49th minute: Braydon Trindall’s 40/20 attempt went out on the full.
50th minute: Brandon Wakeham penalty goal.
Canterbury 28-16.
54the minute. The Bulldogs bomb a try-scoring opportunity.
62nd minute: Jayden Berrell and Billy Magoulias delivered good ball for Thomas Rodwell to score in the south-western corner.
Braydon Trindall’s conversion attempt hit the upright and bounced away.
Canterbury 28-20.
71st minute: Jayden Berrell scores off a Vincent Rennie offload; Braydon Trindall conversion.
Canterbury 28-26.
79th minute: Braydon Trindall was unsuccessful with a penalty goal attempt from wide out.
Newtown had scored 16 points to 2 in the second half and scored three tries to nil.
Full-Time: Canterbury-Bankstown 28 defeated Newtown 26.

The classy Briton Nikora on the burst for Newtown in 2018. Briton will be representing the New Zealand Kiwis in the upcoming Rugby League World Cup in England.
Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

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