Newtown Jets Run Down by Determined Sydney Roosters
The Newtown Jets surrendered a second half lead for the third time this season, on this occasion to the Sydney Roosters in the NSW Cup match played at Wentworth Park, Glebe on Sunday, 28th May.
Newtown led 17-10 at halftime, then extended this lead to 23-10 early in the second half, only to be overtaken 24-23 with just seven minutes left to play.
There was a sense of rugby league history with these two clubs playing a competition game at Wentworth Park in Glebe. Newtown and Eastern Suburbs had played at this venue on the first day of NSW Rugby League competition fixtures in 1908, the inaugural season of the newly-formed NSWRL. Newtown and Easts had last played against each other at Wentworth Park in 1915, making Sunday’s match the two foundation clubs’ first meeting at this venue in 108 years.
Newtown’s first try on Sunday was one to remember, with tall winger Sam Stonestreet racing 98 metres to score after fielding a Roosters high kick virtually on his own try-line.
A definite trend in this match began to emerge with both of the Roosters first-half tries coming on the back of penalties conceded by the Jets.
The Roosters first try was a barge-over effort through some average defence and the second came from a well-weighted grubber kick into Newtown’s in-goal.
The Jets responded with two smartly-constructed tries to fullback Mawene Hiroti, who slashed through the Roosters outside backline defence following well-executed set plays. Hiroti had added a conversion and a penalty goal, along with halfback Niwhai Puru notching an impressive field goal virtually on the halftime siren.
Jets front-rower Rhys Dakin surged over to score almost unopposed three minutes into the second half, after receiving a precisely-targeted cut-out pass from the lock and team captain Billy Magoulias. Hiroti’s conversion gave Newtown a 23-10 lead, but the Jets did not add another point to their score for the remainder of the second half.
The Roosters made use of the grubber kick into the in-goal tactic on two more occasions to post tries in the 53rd and 59th minutes. With both tries being converted, Newtown’s lead was reduced to 23-22 with twenty minutes left to play.
Four second-half penalties to the Roosters proved to be significant factors in their fightback, with some of these penalties being contentious. Newtown’s only penalty in the second half had been awarded in the 42nd minute.
Easts received a crucial penalty eight minutes out from fulltime, with the kicker on the last tackle having been deemed to have been late-tackled by an onrushing Jets defender.
The Roosters team captain kicked the penalty goal and Easts held onto their 24-23 lead for the remainder of the game.
Credit needs to be given to the Roosters for their swarming defence, their ability to off-load in tackles and their readiness to take advantage of their opportunities. The Facebook livestream commentator used the interesting phrase that “the Roosters were psychologically in front for much of the second half” in terms of the momentum that they achieved and their determined defence.
Easts officials after the game rated this performance as their NSW Cup team’s best so far this season, and that several of their key players had made strong bids for promotion into the Roosters NRL squad.
Newtown’s hooker Jayden Berrell did his best to inspire his team-mates with dashes from dummy-half and quality passes. Front-rowers Rhys Dakin and Caleb Uele had made good ground midfield while halves Niwhai Puru and Daniel Atkinson tried to spark the backline. Mawene Hiroti showed again he is one of the best attacking fullbacks in the competition.
Penalties conceded, handling errors and the occasional wayward off-load were always going to be costly in such a tightly-contested game.
The Jets have a bye this coming weekend (3rd/4th May) and then take on the Bears at North Sydney Oval on Sunday, 11th June at 3.00pm.
This match will be livestreamed on NSWRLTV.
Match details from Sunday:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Sunday, 28th May 2023
Wentworth Park, Glebe
Sydney Roosters (12th place) v Newtown (2nd place)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 16 degrees
Playing surface: Very good.
Sydney Roosters 24:
Ethan King 2, Naufahu Whyte, Allan Fitzgibbon tries;
Sandon Smith 3 conversions, 1 penalty goal
Mawene Hiroti 2, Sam Stonestreet, Rhys Dakin tries;
Mawene Hiroti 2 conversions, 1 penalty goal;
Niwhai Puru I field goal.
Half-Time: Newtown led 17-10.
In addition to the Roosters beating Newtown: Parramatta beating Norths, Penrith beating the Warriors and Souths beating the Raiders could all be classed as upsets.
The NSW Cup table after 13 rounds is:
Here are the match highlights from Sunday:
Daniel Atkinson has been rewarded with an extension to his Cronulla Sharks contract:
Newtown’s team was:
Fullback: Mawene Hiroti
Wingers: Josh Mansour, Sam Stonestreet
Centres: Jensen Taumoepeau, Kayal Iro
Halves: Daniel Atkinson, Niwhai Puru
Lock: Billy Magoulias (Captain)
Second Rowers: Charbel Tasipale, Jordin Leiu
Front Rowers: Jesse Colquhoun, Tuku Hau Tapuha
Hooker: Jayden Berrell
Rhys Dakin, Tyler Slade, Caleb Uele, Kyle Pickering
18th man: Tom Rodwell
Coach: George Ndaira.
The Sydney Roosters team was:
Fullback: Ethan King
Wingers: Allan Fitzgibbon, Jade Anderson
Centres: Ethan Clark-Wood, Noel Aukafolau
Halves: Hugo Savala, Sandon Smith (Captain)
Lock: Siua Wong
Second Rowers: phoenix Steinwede, Jonah Ngaronoa
Front Rowers: Naufahu Whyte, Dylan Napa
Hooker: Joseph Whitikama Temara Taipari
Callum Ellis, Thomas Deakin, Tyrell Neiufi, Luke Hodge
18th man: Penioni Tohi
Coach: Anthony Barnes.
Match Timeline for Sunday’s game:
Kick-Off was at 3.15pm.
Newtown was running to the Glebe end of the ground.
13th minute: Sam Stonestreet try.
15th minute: Mawene Hiroti conversion.
18th minute: Naufahu Whyte try.
19th minute: Sanson Smith conversion.
21st minute: Ethan King try.
Not converted. Sydney Roosters 10-6.
27th minute: Mawene Hiroti try.
Not converted. 10-all.
34th minute: Mawene Hiroti penalty goal.
36th minute: Mawene Hiroti try.
Not converted. Newtown 16-10.
39th minute: Niwhai Puru field goal.
Half-Time: Newtown 17 led Sydney Roosters 10.
43rd minute: Rhys Dakin try.
44th minute: Mawene Hiroti conversion.
52nd minute: Allan Fitzgibbon try.
53rd minute: Sandon Smith conversion.
59th minute: Ethan King try.
60th minute: Sandon Smith conversion.
73rd minute: Sandon Smith penalty goal.
Sydney Roosters 24-23.
Full-Time: Sydney Roosters 24 defeated Newtown 23.
Match Statistics: –
First half: Newtown 13/18 (72%); Sydney Roosters 12/15 (80%)
Second half: Newtown 9/14 (64%); Sydney Roosters 14/19 (74%)
Full-Time: Newtown 22/32 (69%); Sydney Roosters 26/34 (76%)
First half: Newtown 50 tackles (50%); Sydney Roosters 51 (50%)
Second half: Newtown 61 tackles (45%); Sydney Roosters 74 (55%)
Full-Time: Newtown 111 (47%); Sydney Roosters 125 (53%)
First Half: Newtown 2, Sydney Roosters 3
Second Half: Newtown 1, Sydney Roosters 4
Full-Time: Newtown 3, Sydney Roosters 7.
In the Illawarra Rugby League Mojo Cup first grade match played yesterday (27th May).
Newtown’s partnership club De La Salle 30 defeated Corrimal 16.
De La Salle and Western Suburbs are in equal first place on the competition table.
June 3rd / 4th.
NSW Cup Round 14.
Newtown has the bye.
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup – Round 15.
Sunday, 11th June 2023
North Sydney Oval
North Sydney v Newtown
This will be the deciding match of the 2023 Frank Hyde Shield series.
NSWRL will be livestreaming this game.
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.