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Newtown Jets front-rower Braden Hamlin-Uele goes close to scoring late in the second half of Saturday's match at Wentworth Park.
Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography
Newtown Jets front-rower Braden Hamlin-Uele goes close to scoring late in the second half of Saturday's match at Wentworth Park. Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

The Curse of Wentworth Park still holds sway over the Newtown Jets

Newtown’s loss to the Sydney Roosters at Wentworth Park in 2023 was repeated at the same venue on Saturday afternoon.

The Jets led by 18-4 at halftime in Saturday’s match and seemed to be well placed to lay claim to another two competition points.

In a second half display that can only be described as substandard, the Jets conceded 28 unanswered points to go down by 32-18 to the Sydney Roosters (who remain in 12th place on the NSW Cup competition table, while Newtown dropped down to 5th position).

The Newtown centre and reliable goal-kicker Mawene Hiroti left the field prior to halftime for a head injury assessment and an examination of an eye injury. The experienced front-rower Braden Hamlin-Uele was placed on report in the 69th minute of the game.

The Jets scored three converted tries in the first half, but didn’t score another point in the game after the 23rd minute.

Newtown’s first try after 8 minutes was a first class example of high speed, close support play, with a midfield exchange of passes between Jayden Berrell, Niwhai Puru, Tuku Hau Tapuha who produced a wonderful off-load to Berrell, who in turn sent Kyle Pickering over to the right of the CBD end goal posts.

Jets hooker Jayden Berrell tackles a Sydney Roosters player, with Chris Vea’ila and Khalid Rajab (at the back) ready to lend support.
Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Four minutes later, quick hands on the left edge gave winger Tom Rodwell the chance to step inside two Roosters defenders and score in the corner. Mawene Hiroti converted from the sideline for Newtown to lead 12-0.

This great head-on shot by Mario Facchini, mafphotography shows Newtown Jets winger Tom Rodwell scoring against the Sydney Roosters.

Newtown’s third try was scored by the giant front-rower Tuku Hau Tapuha, who was the Jets best forward on the day. Newtown had punished the Roosters in the first half for their unforced and concession of penalties. The Jets completion rate in the first half was 91%, which along with being ahead 6-2 in the penalty count and benefiting from the Roosters repeated errors, gave Newtown a commanding 18-4 lead after 23 minutes.

The big Newtown prop Tuku Hau Tapuha, who was one of the Jets best players on Saturday, crashes over for this try against the Sydney Roosters at Wentworth Park. Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

The worrying trend for Newtown in the latter part of the first half was the extent to which the Roosters started to get back into the game. Mawene Hiroti went very close to scoring just before halftime (in fact, when he was injured), but the NSWRL TV commentator noted late in the first half that the Roosters had shown that they were still in this contest.

The livestream commentator reported that the Roosters had received an almighty “rev-up” from their coach at halftime.

Whatever happened during the halftime break, it became apparent that the Roosters had a greater intensity in their running with the ball and their defensive commitment in the opening minutes of the second half.

There were some unforced errors by both sides, but the Roosters were starting to get a few off-loads going and to make ground through the middle, which had been Newtown’s domain in the first half.

After the Roosters had scored from a grubber-kick into Newtown’s in-goal ten minutes into the second half, the livestream commentator made the prescient remark that “rugby league history has a tendency to repeat itself.”

It was apparent that Newtown’s second half errors and the complete turnaround in the flow of penalties was playing the energised Roosters back into this contest. The Roosters scored again in the 56th minute and a conversion from the sideline had narrowed Newtown’s lead to 18-16.

Newtown eventually mounted an attack at the Roosters end, albeit twenty-two minutes into the second half. Fullback Daniel Atkinson and five-eighth Khalid Rajab combined smartly, with Atkinson’s kick ahead eluding the Roosters fullback and nearly resulting in a try that might well have provided the path to victory for the Jets.

Newtown Jets five-eighth Khalid Rajab makes a break with Jayden Berrell in close support. Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Playing with energy and confidence that had been absent in the first half, the Roosters added three more tries in the last twelve minutes of the game to win by a comfortable margin.

Five minutes out from fulltime front-rower Jesse Colquhoun went close scoring, as did Hamlin-Uele in the next set of possession. Winger Sam Stonestreet was over in the corner in the 75th minute but was forced into touch in-goal without grounding the ball.

Newtown’s 48% completion rate in the second half and the succession of territory-gaining penalties to the Roosters told the story of this second half reversal of rugby league fortunes.

The Jets return to Henson Park to play Western Suburbs on Saturday, 6th July at 3.00pm. Other than two badly-needed competition points for the Newtown Jets, this match will determine the winner of this year’s Tom Raudonikis Cup series.

Match Details:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Round 17
Saturday, 29th June 2024Wentworth Park, GlebeSydney Roosters v NewtownKick-Off: 2.30pm.
This match was live-streamed on NSWRL TV (subscription required).

Weather: Overcast, 18 degrees
Playing Surface: Excellent.

Team Details: –
Newtown’s team:
Fullback: Daniel Atkinson

Wingers: Tom Rodwell, Sam Stonestreet
Centres: Chris Vea’ila, Mawene Hiroti
Halves: Khaled Rajab, Niwhai Puru
Lock: Blake Hosking
Second Rowers: Kyle Pickering, Billy Burns (Captain)
Front Rowers: Braden Hamlin-Uele, Tuku Hau Tapuha
Hooker: Jayden Berrell
Jesse Colquhoun, Jordin Leiu, Billy Magoulias, Sam Healey
Reserve: Rhys Dakin
Coach: George Ndaira.

Sydney Roosters:
Fullback: Kyron Fekitoa
Wingers: Jade Anderson, Harry McKeon
Centres: Michael Jennings, Tyreece Tait
Halves: Jake Elliott, Sandon Smith (Captain)
Lock: Blake Steep
Second Rowers: Phoenix Steinwede, Salesi Foketi
Front Rowers: Taylor Losalu, Siua Wong
Hooker: Tyler Moriarty
Hugo Savala, Max McCathie, De La Salle Va’a, Tayson Fakaosi
Reserve: Corey Ross
Coach: Brett Morris.

Newtown Jets halfback Niwhai Puru tackles a Sydney Roosters opponent with Braden Hamlin-Uele in close proximity.
Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Match Result:
Sydney Roosters 32:
Tyreece Tait 4, Michael Jennings, Kyron Fekitoa tries;
Sandon Smith 4 conversions
Newtown 18:
Kyle Pickering, Tom Rodwell, Tuku Hau Tapuha tries;
Mawene Hiroti 3 conversions>
Halftime: Newtown led 18-4.

NSWRL TV Highlights || NSW Cup || Sydney Roosters v Newtown Jets || Round 17 || Wentworth Park || Saturday, 29th June 2024:–nsw-cup-roosters-v-jets—round-17/

After 17 rounds, Newtown is now in fifth position on the NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup competition table:

Match Timeline: –
First Half:
Newtown kicked off to the CBD end of Wentworth Park.

3rd minute: Tyreece Tait (Roosters) try.
Not converted. Roosters 4-0.
8th minute: Kyle Pickering (Newtown) try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti (Newtown) 6-4.
12th minute: Tom Rodwell (Newtown) try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti (Newtown) 12-4.
22nd minute: Tuku Hau Tapuha (Newtown) try.
Converted by Mawene Hiroti (Newtown) 18-4.
38th minute: Mawene Hiroti (Newtown) HIA. Ruled out for the rest of the game.
Halftime: Newtown led 18-4.
Second half:
Newtown was running to the Glebe Point Road end of Wentworth Park.
50th minute: Michael Jennings (Roosters) try.
Converted by Sandon Smith. Newtown 18-10.
56th minute: Kyron Fekitoa (Roosters) try.
Converted by Sandon Smith. Newtown 18-16.
68th minute: Tyreece Tait (Roosters) try.
Converted by Sandon Smith. Roosters 22-18.
72nd minute: Tyreece Tait (Roosters) try.
Not converted. Roosters 26-18.
78th minute: Tyreece Tait (Roosters) try.
Converted by Sandon Smith. Roosters 32-18.
Fulltime: Sydney Roosters 32 defeated Newtown 18.

(The Sydney Roosters scored 28 points to nil in the second half).

Match Statistics (NSWRL): –Abbreviations – Sydney Roosters (SR), Newtown (N).
Possession: SR 55%, N 45%
Time in possession: SR 24 mins, N 19 mins 30s
Completions for entire match: SR 70%, N 69%
Newtown’s completions: first half – 91%, second half – 48%
All runs: SR 174, N 155
All run metres: SR 1754, N 1405
Post-contact metres: SR 570, N 484
Line breaks: SR 5, N 5
Tackle breaks: SR 47, N 32
Average set distance: SR 47.4, N 42.6
Kick return metres: SR 131, N 92
Average play the ball speed: SR 3.4, N 3.3
Off-loads: SR 3, N 11
Receipts: SR 360, N 318
Total passes: SR 204, N 180
Dummy passes: SR 4, N 8
Kicks: SR 15, N 12
Kicking metres: SR 336, N 312
Forced drop outs: SR 1, N 3
Kick defusal: SR 100%, N 43%
Bombs: SR 5, N 2
Grubbers: SR 4, N 3
Effective tackles: SR 82.35%, N 83.29%
Tackles made: SR 238, N 289
Missed tackles: SR 32, N 47
Ineffective tackles: SR 19, N 11
Errors: SR 13, N 13
Penalties conceded: SR 9, N 6
On report: SR 0, N 1
Head injury assessment: SR 0, N 1
Jesse Colquhoun (Newtown): 35 tackles
Tuku Hau Tapuha (Newtown): most run metres – 148.

Newtown’s next match details:
NSWRL Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
Round 18
Saturday, 6th July 2024
Henson Park
Newtown v Western Suburbs
Kick-Off: 3.00pm.
This match is the deciding leg of the 2024 Tom Raudonikis Cup series.


BEER FOOTY FOOD FESTIVAL 2024 – Saturday July 27 Henson Park

Image: MAF Photography

Newtown Jets Team List v Newcastle Knights Sat 20th July 2024

The Jets backrower Jordin Leiu turned in a high-value performance against the third-placed Canterbury Bulldogs. Photo: Mario Facchini/mafphotography

Newtown Jets run up a big win at home over near-neighbours Canterbury-Bankstown

Image: MAF Photography

Newtown Jets Team List v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Sat 13th July, 2024

This Wests Magpies player is well dealt with by (from left): Sam Healey, Toby Rudolf, Jordin Leiu and Braden Hamlin-Uele. Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Jets take the two points, but there was room for improvement in the second half performance

Image: MAF Photography

Newtown Jets Team List v Wests Magpies (Tommy Raudonikis Cup) Sat 6th July, 2024

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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.