Throw Back Thursday – A Boilover At Leichhardt Oval
Each week, thanks to CRYO, we take a look back at a magical moment in our club’s history. This week’s tale is very recent.
A BOILOVER AT LEICHHARDT OVAL
It was an afternoon where the Jets, not for the first time in their illustrious history, defied the odds to register an unlikely victory.
Minor premiers Penrith had not lost a game since May and had beaten Newtown in their last encounter at Henson Park, but a stirring defence performance from the Jets, particularly during the last 15 minutes, propelled the club into its fourth grand final in 12 years. We are, of course, talking about the 2018 Intrust Super Premiership Preliminary Final.
Played in sweltering conditions at Leichhardt Oval, the Jets were behind the eight ball early after prop Kurt Dillon was assisted from the field in the opening stages.
The Panthers took the early initiative with when Liam Martin crossed after 15 minutes. However, the Jets soon struck back when winger Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga crossed for a converted try in the 25th minute. Penrith regained the lead shortly after when Liam Colman finished off a sweeping attacking movement, but two quick fire tries to Will Kennedy and Ruebenn Rennie gave the Jets a 16-12 advantage at the break.
Newtown surrendered that lead four minutes after the resumption when Reed Izzard scored for Penrith, but Briton Nikora put the Bluebags ahead 22-18 when he scored off a superb pass from Blayke Brailey. Nikora soon had a double when he pounced on a perfectly placed grubber from Kyle Flanagan, in turn giving the Jets a 28-18 lead with less than 20 minutes remaining.
Penrith’s Adam Keighran set up a grandstand finish when he chased down a Wade Egan kick to put his side within four points, but a 15 minute defensive masterclass from the desperate Jets was enough to put them in the big dance against Canterbury.
Newtown 28 (B.Nikora 2, B.Aufaga-Toomaga, W.Kennedy, R.Rennie tries; K.Flanagan 4 goals) def. Penrith 24 (L.Martin, L.Coleman, R.Izzard, A.Keighran tries; Keighran 4 goals)
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