Henson Park, Marrickville

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Jets coach Greg Matterson rated Jesse Sene-Lefao best on-field in Newtown's win over Wyong. Photo: Gary Sutherland Photography
Jets coach Greg Matterson rated Jesse Sene-Lefao best on-field in Newtown's win over Wyong. Photo: Gary Sutherland Photography

Newtown regain a place in the ISP NSW top four with win against Wyong

Newtown regained a place in the ISP NSW top four with a 32-16 win against Wyong at the Morry Breen Oval on Sunday afternoon. The Jets led 12-4 at half-time but Wyong fought back to take the lead by 16-12 at the 56th minute mark. Newtown finished strongly and achieved a convincing victory.

NSWRL ISP NSW – 11th Round; Sunday, 22nd May 2016; Morry Breen Oval; Wyong v Newtown; Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Newtown 32:

Anthony Moraitis 2, Jacob Gagan, Jordan Drew, Jason Schirnack, Travis Robinson, Fa’amanu Brown tries; Fa’amanu Brown and David Fifita one conversion each


Wyong 16:

Chris Centrone, Omar Slaimankhel, Chris Smith tries; Tyler Cornish 2 conversions.

Half-Time: Newtown led 12-4.


Mitch Brown (Capt), Travis Robinson, Jordan Drew, Matt Evans, Jacob Gagan, Josh Cleeland, Fa’amanu Brown, Kurt Kara, Anthony Moraitis, Kurt Capewell, Junior Roqica, Matt McIlwrick, Jesse Sene-Lefao. Bench: Jason Schirnack, David Fifita, Malakai Houma, Arana Taumata. Coach: Greg Matterson.


Omar Slaimankhel, Chris Centrone, Brendan Elliott, Dominic Reard on, Matt Ikuvalu, Jackson Hastings, Tyler Cornish, Zane Tetevano, Chris Smith, Mitch Frei, Abraham Papalii, Mitch Williams (Capt), Paki Afu. Bench: Brock Molan, Joey Lussick, Vincent Leuluai, Jake Lewis, Justin Toomey-White. Coach: Rip Taylor.

Referee: Damian Briscoe. Touch Judges: Benjamin Teague and Jimmy Oliveira.

Playing surface: Excellent.

Weather: Sunny, slight breeze from the east, 22 degrees Celsius, expected to drop in the second half.

Match timeline:

The Jets kicked off to the southern end of the ground and gained possession in the first set

In the first minute the Jets worked an overlap and Jacob Gaga scored in the south-west corner. Fa’amanu (Nu) Brown narrowly missed with his conversion attempt. Newtown 4-0.

17th min: Jets gain a scrum feed ten metres out from the Wyong line after their winger Centrone is forced into touch.

19th min: Jets work the blind-side and Anthony Moraitis sends ISP NSW rep centre Jordan Drew in to score virtually unopposed. Drew touches down about 10 metres in from the east side touchline but Nu Brown misses the conversion attempt. Newtown leads 8-0 after 20 minutes.

21st min: Jets force Wyong into a goal-line drop-out at the completion of Newtown’s set from the kick-off.

23rd min: Anthony Moraitis runs a great angle and scores 10 metres in from the east side touchline. Nu Brown misses the kick and Newtown leads 12-0 after 25 minutes.

37th min: Travis Robinson is denied a try – it is ruled that he put his foot into touch in the south-eastern corner.

40th min: Wyong strikes back with winger Centrone scoring in the north-western corner. Halfback Cornish misses the conversion.

Half-Time: Newtown 12 leads Wyong 4.

Coach Greg Matterson’s observations at half-time were along these lines: –

He had been impressed with about 95% of Newtown’s first half performance. He emphasised that if the Jets dropped their intensity, their opponents had the ability to hurt them. Wyong were a good enough team “not to die wondering”. Newtown needed to win the tackles and to finish off their sets. No rushing up in defence and leaving gaps to be exploited. Be alert on the last tackle for changes in options. Jets players urged on their team-mates saying they had the obvious ability and to back themselves.

Penalties in the first half had favoured Wyong 3-1. Newtown had completed 16 sets out of 20 and Wyong 10 out of 15.

Jets Director Terry Rowney made the private observation that Newtown had “been all over Wyong” in the first half, and probably didn’t have as many points on the board as they should have. There had been two try-scoring opportunities missed. He had the uncomfortable feeling that Newtown could be the better team on the day and have the result stolen from them!

The second half got underway at 3.55pm.

47th min: Exactly what the Jets weren’t looking for early in the second half. Wyong gets close to the Jets tryline in an attacking raid and fullback Omar Slaimankhel scores 12 metres in from the south-eastern corner. The try is converted by Tyler Cornish. Newtown leads 12-10.

55th min: Backrower Chris Smith is put through a defensive gap. He scores about 18 metres in from the south-eastern corner. Cornish converts and Wyong leads 16-12. Wyong has the lead for the first time in the game at the 56th minute.

The home team missed a scoring opportunity that might have given them a 22-12 (and possibly game-changing) lead. It was a 4 on 2 situation and great Newtown defence denied the try.

The Jets took the ball upfield and big David Fifita sends lock Jason Schirnack in under the posts. Nu Brown converts the try and Newtown is back in front 18-16 in the 59th minute.

63rd min: Following a Wyong knock-on, referee Briscoe cautions both sides as to the amount of niggle that has been going on.

65th min: Jets in-form five-eighth Josh Cleeland leaves the field for treatment to a lower leg injury. The tough little former Ipswich Jet had certainly been a target of the Wyong defenders.

67th min: Winger Travis Robinson, gets the ball back inside to Matt Evans, who gets the ball back to Robinson who scores 10 metres in from the north-west corner. Kurt Capewell misses the conversion but Newtown has increased its lead to 22-16 in the 69th min.

It is confirmed that Josh Cleeland has an injured ankle and he won’t be back in this game.

74th min: Anthony Moraitis grubber kicks ahead near the Wyong tryline, regathers and scores 10 metres in from the north-western corner. Nu Brown misses with his conversion attempt and Newtown now leads 26-16 in the 76th min.

77th min: An exceptional individual try to Nu Brown in the 78th min 10 metres to the right of the northern posts.

79th min: David Fifita converts the try and Newtown leads 32-16. If it transpires that this is the only conversion attempt that big David Fifita will ever make for Australia’s oldest Rugby League club, he will be registered in the club’s annals as having a 100% goal-kicking success record!

Full-Time: A very important win to Newtown by 32-16.

Junior Roqica was also injured and did not play in the second half.

Greg Matterson at full-time: – 

This was a good recovery staged after a bad start to the second half. He said that “this team does its best when the players run straight and hard and go forward together”.

Match statistics:

The penalties went 4-3 to Newtown in the second half and overall 6-5 to Wyong. Second half completions were: 16 completed sets out of 17; Wyong completed 8 out of 14. Completions for the match were: Newtown 32 out of 37; Wyong 18 out of 29.

Terry Rowney rated Anthony Moraitis, Jesse Sene-Lefao and Kurt Kara as being three of Newtown’s best on the day. He added that the goal-kicking success rate needs to be worked on.

Newtown has a bye in Round 12 of the ISP NSW, which is on next weekend, the 28th/29th May.

Newtown’s next game will be in Round 13 against the Illawarra Cutters at Henson Park on Saturday, 4th June 2016 at 3.00pm.

Here is the ISP NSW competition table at the completion of the 11th round:

This report on the Wyong v Newtown match is now on the NSWRL website:


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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.