Jets’ Winning Streak Brought to Emphatic Halt by Dragons.
To say that Newtown’s 46-12 loss to St George-Illawarra on Saturday was a setback no-one saw coming is somewhat of an understatement.
The Jets listless display at Henson Park cost them a place at the top of the NSW Cup competition table, in view of Canterbury’s surprise loss to the Newcastle Knights. The Bulldogs remain at the top of the table, along with an improved points for and against differential compared to the Jets.
The Dragons scored two converted tries early in the game but Newtown did pull back to trail 12-4 midway through the first half, thanks to what was to be the first of Josh Mansour’s three tries for the day.
The Newtown team was wearing a specially-designed jersey that paid direct tribute to a similar playing strip that had been worn back in 1923, exactly one hundred years ago. It is of course most unlikely that the change in jerseys had any effect on the Newtown players’ ability to tackle, to hang onto the ball and to not throw wayward passes!
The Dragons scored a further 16 points in the remainder of the first half to take a commanding 28-4 lead into the half-time break. While the Jets have staged some amazing comebacks over the years, the insipid nature of their first-half display made the prospect of a thrilling come-from-behind victory most unlikely.
Any hopes of a Jets revival were crushed in the third quarter of the game, with the Dragons adding a further three converted tries to run up a massive 46-4 lead. With more than twenty minutes left to play, it would have been possible for St George-Illawarra to run up a winning margin to rival those scored in this past weekend’s NRL round of matches.
Newtown’s best player on the day, former international winger Josh Mansour, scored two more tries in the latter part of the second half, while the Dragons added no further points for the remainder of the game.
It was a dispiriting display by the Jets, who appeared to miss the organisational skills, leadership and defensive input of team captain Billy Magoulias (ankle injury), Jordin Leiu (shoulder surgery) and Kayal Iro (leg injury).
The social media livestream commentary team described Newtown’s defence as being shambolic, and that the team’s performance was in complete contrast to the energetic display turned on in defeating Parramatta on the previous Saturday.
Aside from Josh Mansour’s outstanding performance, Newtown was best served by team captain Jayden Berrell, Jesse Colquhoun and Connor Tracey. One of the heroes from the 2019 finals series, Toby Rudolf, made his comeback to the playing field after a lengthy rehabilitation period due to foot surgery. Irish Rugby League World Cup representative and Cronulla Sharks Jersey Flegg backrower Henry O’Kane made his NSW Cup debut with Newtown on Saturday.
The Jets have the chance to make amends next Saturday (8th July) when they take on Western Suburbs at Henson Park at 3.00pm. This match is the first leg in the 2023 Tom Raudonikis Cup series.
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Saturday, 1st July 2023
Newtown (2nd place) v St George-Illawarra (9th place)
This match was live-streamed on the Newtown RLFC Facebook site.
St George-Illawarra 46:
Savelio Tamale, Sione Finau, Paul Turner, Alexander Lobb,
Billy Burns, Zach Herring, Alec Tuitavake, Haele Finau tries;
Alexander Lobb 7 conversions
Josh Mansour 3 tries.
Half-Time: St George-Illawarra 28 led Newtown 4.
St George-Illawarra have won the Tom Kirk Cup for 2023.
Playing surface: Excellent.
Weather: Partly cloudy, 18 degrees, southerly breeze.
NSW Cup Highlights || Round 18 || Newtown v St George-Illawarra:
NSW Cup competition table after 18 rounds:
Newtown’s team was:
Fullback: Connor Tracey
Wingers: Josh Mansour, Samuel Stonestreet
Centres: Jensen Taumoepeau, Mawene Hiroti
Halves: Braydon Trindall, Niwhai Puru
Lock: Toby Rudolf
Second Rowers: Jesse Colquhoun, Kyle Pickering
Front Rowers: Kurt Dillon, Tuku Hau Tapuha
Hooker: Jayden Berrell (Captain)
Henry O’Kane, Caleb Uele, Samuel Healey, Brad Fearnley.
18th Man: Rhys Dakin.
Coach: George Ndaira.
Fullback: Paul Turner
Wingers: Alexander Lobb, Sione Finau
Centres: Max Feagai, Savelio Tamale
Halves: Talatay Amone, Zach Herring
Lock: Ryan Couchman
Second Rowers: Billy Burns, Daniel Russell
Front Rowers: Nick Lui-Tuso, Zane Musgrove
Hooker: Connor Muhleisen
Haele Finau, Alec Tuitavake, Nicholas Tsougranis, Jaiyden Hunt.
18th Man: Jackson Shereb.
Coach: Bronx Goodwin.
Dragons kicked off, running to the northern end.
2nd minute: Savelio Tamale try. Converted by Alexander Lobb. Dragons 6-0.
8th minute: Sione Finau try. Alexander Lobb conversion. Dragons 12-0.
20th minute: Josh Mansour try. Not converted. Dragons 12-4.
25th minute: Paul Turner try. Not converted. Dragons 16-4.
33rd minute: Alexander Lobb try. Converted by Lobb. Dragons 22-4.
39th minute: Billy Burns try. Converted by Lobb. Dragons 28-4.
Half-Time: St George-Illawarra led by 28-4.
44th minute: Zach Herring try. Converted by Lobb. Dragons 34-4.
50th minute: Alec Tuitavaka try. Converted by Lobb. Dragons 40-4.
55th minute: Haele Finau try. Converted by Lobb. Dragons 46-4.
65th minute: Josh Mansour try. Not converted. Dragons 46-8.
68th minute: Jaiyden Hunt (St George-Illawarra) sin-binned.
72nd minute: Josh Mansour try. Not converted. Dragons 46-12.
Full-Time: St George-Illawarra 46 defeated Newtown 12.
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Saturday, 8th July 2023
Newtown v Western Suburbs
This match will be live-streamed on NSWRL TV: ( www.facebook.com/nswrl )
The match is also the first leg of the 2023 Tom Raudonikis Cup series.
All photos taken by Mario Facchini, mafphotography
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.