Henson Park, Marrickville

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Newtown Jets front-rower Saulala Houma attempts to break through this sleuth of North Sydney Bears defenders in the exciting NSW Cup match played at North Sydney Oval on the night of Friday, 10th August 2012. Photo: Gary Sutherland Photography
Newtown Jets front-rower Saulala Houma attempts to break through this sleuth of North Sydney Bears defenders in the exciting NSW Cup match played at North Sydney Oval on the night of Friday, 10th August 2012. Photo: Gary Sutherland Photography

Jets take a point but lose the Shield

Match details

7.00 pm, Friday, 10 August 2012

North Sydney Oval, Cnr Miller and Ridge Sts, North Sydney

How it played out

The Newtown Jets overcame a combination of late team changes, cold and windy playing conditions, and (almost) the full force of the competition leaders, in drawing 16-all with Norths at North Sydney Oval on Friday night.

It was a great developmental experience for Newtown’s young players who stood up to be counted on a night when the odds were very much against them.

The Jets had marginally the better of the first half and led 6-4 at the break. The Bears ran up a 14-6 lead early in the second half and looked to be about to open up a strangle-hold on the match.

The young Jets fought back to lead 16-14 and both teams swapped unsuccessful field goal attempts in the hectic final stages of the game.

Many challenges for the Jets

Newtown had several team changes from the previous weekend, with three players receiving call-ups into the Roosters’ NRL ranks and a fourth player unavailable due to emergency family circumstances.

The North Sydney CBD was most certainly not exempt from Sydney’s savage winter weather and a freezing southerly blew straight down the historic old oval all night.

Second-rower Blake Williamson scored for Newtown in the game’s sixth minute when he showed great strength and determination as he wrestled his way through several Bears defenders. Mark Kheirallah converted from wide out despite the difficult kicking conditions.

The Bears scored an unconverted try midway through the first half but Newtown maintained their narrow 6-4 lead to the break.

Halftime encouragement from coach

Jets coach Greg Matterson praised his players at halftime for their resolution in defence but called for more variety in their end of set options.

Repeated high kicks into the corners couldn’t work in such windy conditions and he urged his players to maintain their work rate and continue to take the game up to their more highly-rated opponents.

Jets bounce back after two quick tries to Bears in second half

Norths looked set to run away with the game when they scored two tries in rapid succession early in the second half but the Jets regrouped and managed to keep the Bears at bay for the remainder of the third quarter.

Front-rower Josh Ailaomai, one of Newtown’s best on the night, crashed over under the scoreboard-end goal-posts in the 20th minute and Kheirallah’s conversion saw Newtown back in the match at 14-12 down.

Quick hands through the Jets backline put winger Daniel Tupou in for his 19th try of the season and Newtown into the lead at 16-14.

One of the highlights of the second half was the great chase and try-saving tackle by Jets five-eighth Jack Littlejohn after a grubber kick at Norths’ end had miscued.

The Bears equalised with a penalty goal with five minutes left to play and both sides attempted field goals in the thrilling final minutes.

2012 Frank Hyde Shield to North Sydney

North Sydney claimed the Frank Hyde Shield on a points for and against basis (having beaten Newtown 26-22 on the 5th May) and several members of Frank’s family were on hand for the match and the trophy presentation.

Coaching staff assessment

The Jets coaching staff were unanimous in their praise for Newtown’s determination and spirit but felt that the two points had been there for the taking. A smarter kicking game might have brought about a better result, especially if the Bears had been forced into conceding repeat sets and to defend on their own line for longer periods.

Newtown’s big forwards – Saulala HoumaIsaac LiuJosh Ailaomai and Andrew Pearn – had been outstanding and hooker Nafe Seluini was most impressive on debut.

Utility forward Kurt Kara deserves special mention for his willingness to play in the centres at short notice and for turning in an efficient display.


One Newtown supporter summed up the performance quite simply – “They done good” – and another rang to say “They were magnificent, given the team changes, the cold, the wind and the quality of the opposition.”

Match summary

Newtown Jets 16 [Blake Williamson, Josh Ailaomai, Daniel Tupou tries; Mark Kheirallah 2 goals]
North Sydney Bears 16 [3 tries; 2 goals]

Half-Time: Newtown led 6-4.

Officials: Referee, Matt Noyen; Touch Judges, Richard Daizli and Matt Damaso.

Playing surface: Excellent.
Weather: Bitterly cold with a strong southerly wind.

Newtown’s team was (with the 2020 sponsors in brackets):

Mark Kheirallah (Kris Gale), Daniel Tupou (Golden Barley Hotel), Francis Vaiotu (John Cahill and Jennifer Malone), Kurt Kara (Mark Dewar), Samiu Latu (Golden Barley Hotel), Jack Littlejohn (Adam Whyte), Blake Lazarus (The Daaboul Family and Steve Helmich), Saulala Houma (SMI – Sports Medicine Institute), Nafe Seluini (Biofreeze), Josh Ailaomai (Wayne Leong and Kim Fuller), Blake Williamson (Dave Nelson), Brad Barrett (Manoosh Pizzeria), Isaac Liu (Loudon and Vaughan Private Wealth).

Interchange: Andrew Pearn (Nifty Foods), Ahmad Ellaz (Brasco and Label Plus), Glenn Dumbrell (Goodfellows Sport and Socks), Isaac Maliota (Schofield King Lawyers).

Ruled out because of injury: Mose Masoe (Petersham RSL), Adam Henry (Deicorp).

Coach: Greg Matterson (Sydney Mutual Bank).

The North Sydney team was:
Kieran Vale, Chris Centrone, Fetuli Talanoa, Shaune Corrigan, Chris Hyde, Jack Hawkins, Ryan Carr, Josh Starling, Bennett Leslie, Blake Judd, Scott Geddes, Brendan McKinnon, Roy Asotasi.

Interchange: Necrom Areaiiti, Greg Nichols, Matt Hyland, Brock Molan.

Additional squad member: Curtis Johnston.

Coach: Wayne Lambkin.

Next Virtual game

With the return of NRL live matches on Saturday afternoons this coming weekend, our intrepid social media team is going full-on “Amco Cup retro-style” and will now show you the Newtown Jets Virtual Season 2020 games on Wednesday nights at 8.00pm.

Next Wednesday, 3rd June they’re travelling to the foot of the mountains to bring you a momentous 2016 NSW Cup Elimination Semi-Final encounter between the Newtown Jets and NZ Warriors in a match that was actually played on Sunday, 11th September 2016.

Newtown went into the game as underdogs as it was expected that the Warriors with the larger number of players with NRL experience would overpower the Jets. So be sure to tune in at 8.00pm, Wednesday, 3rd June to JETS TV or  and follow us on to see what unfolds.

Please keep spreading the word for our Keep The Jets Flying Campaign.
The willingness and generosity of our members, supporters and friends to join this critically-needed fund-raising campaign has been awe-inspiring. There is always room for more intrepid entrants to join this mighty crusade to keep the Jets alive in rugby league football.

For an outlay of $100.00 you will be given access to Jets memorabilia that will last a lifetime. It will enable you to relive time and again one of the greatest year’s in our club’s history – 2019. While we have no live games to watch this year, you can relive the majestic glories of last season when you JOIN HERE .

The support from our members and friends will help ensure we return in 2021 to defend our 2019 Canterbury Cup NSW premiership and our NRL State Championship title.

Massive thanks to all our loyal members and sponsors that have stuck with us for 2020, regardless of the season being cancelled to help the club through this tumultuous time. You are the spirit of 8972 personified.

Another way you can Keep The Jets Flying into the future is donate to the Laps With Trady campaign.

This fundraiser has been set up by a group of members and supporters and features the Catweazle-like John Trad doing laps of Henson Park on his trusty penny-farthing bicycle every Saturday.
Check out: for all the details plus read a great feature by SJ Stark for Contrast Media

You can help Trady and the Jets keep flying by donating to Laps With Trady via Newtown Jets’ Sydney Mutual Bank account BSB 611 001 Account No. 10024 3173 REF: Laps, which is exactly what Royal Blue Legends Club Member #255 Dave Nelson did this week to the tune of $1,000! Dave you are indeed a Royal Blue Legend!

Image: MAF Photography

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Australian Mutual Bank
Front of Jersey

Petersham RSL
Back of Jersey

Back of Jersey, Training Gear, Socks

Jersey Minor

John Singleton Group

Schofield King Lawyers

Front of Shorts

The Henson
Back of Shorts

Sydney Park Hotel
Back of Shorts

Sports Medicine Institute
Medical Services & Rehabilitation

Label Plus
Major Sponsor

Arista Technologies
Technology Partner

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.