Virtual Match Report: Jets claim national title with a sensational try in the game’s final seconds
As News Limited journalist Paul Kent said on the NRL 360 program on Fox Sports TV on the night of Monday, 7th October 2019, “in all probability, the Newtown Jets are the rugby league story of the year.” Having seen Newtown’s two last-ditch victories in the Canterbury Cup NSW grand final and the NRL State Championship final on successive Sundays, and remembering that Newtown had finished seventh on the final competition table, Paul Kent’s assertion makes perfect sense!
The Newtown Jets can indeed lay claim to being the best rugby league team in Australia, New Zealand and Papua-New Guinea (excluding the NRL competition), following their extraordinary last-minute win in the NRL State Championship Final played at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, 6th October.
Newtown defeated the Queensland Cup premiers Burleigh Bears 20-16, after having trailed 10-2 at half-time and 16-2 with twenty-seven minutes left to play.
The Queenslanders looked to be well in control when they extended their lead to 16-2 early in the second half. The Jets hit back with two spectacular tries to winger Sione Katoa, with these tries being either side of a runaway try to centre Jackson Ferris, who raced fifty metres to score after snapping up a charged-down kick by Billy Magoulias.
Fate decreed that five-eighth Billy Magoulias would once again be involved in a match-winning sequence of play, just as he had been in the Canterbury Cup NSW grand final against Wentworthville on the previous Sunday.
Thirteen seconds from the full-time siren, Magoulias summed up his available options and laid on a superbly-directed chip kick that bounced diabolically for the Burleigh Bears defenders. Jackson Ferris, the Pride of Palmerston North, seized the awkwardly-bouncing ball and sprinted forty-five metres to score under the posts.
Bedlam ensued as the full-time siren sounded, with Jets fans roaring in triumph and Burleigh Bears supporters left reeling in a world of dystopian torment.
Front-rower Greg Eastwood was given the final conversion attempt in view of his probable retirement, and the former Kiwi international and 2008 World Cup winner made no mistake to extend Newtown’s winning margin out to four points.
Jets front-rower Toby Rudolf was deservedly named as man of the match, and he received strong support from Magoulias and Eastwood, along with hooker Blayke Brailey, fullback Will Kennedy (who had some outstanding moments in this game) and the flying winger Sione Katoa.
Newtown Jets CEO Stuart McCarthy observed after this remarkable game that winning the Canterbury Cup NSW premiership and claiming the NRL State Championship title (all within the space of eight days) has most assuredly made 2019 the greatest year in the club’s second life in rugby league since 1991.
NRL State Championship Final
Sunday, 6th October 2019
Newtown (NSWRL Canterbury Cup NSW Premiers) versus Burleigh Bears (QRL ISC Premiers)
Kick-Off Time: 1.35pm.
Referee: Todd Smith
Assistant Referee: Tyson Brough
Touch Judges: Ben Teague and Jacob Whitehouse
Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
Review Official: Ben Lowe.
Playing surface: Excellent.
Weather: 22 degrees, cloudy, slightly humid.
Sione Katoa 2, Jackson Ferris 2 tries:
Braydon Trindall 1 penalty goal;
Greg Eastwood 1 conversion
Burleigh Bears 16:
Anthony Don 2, Jamal Fogarty tries;
Jamal Fogarty 2 conversions.
Half-Time: Burleigh Bears led 10-2.
18th minute: Braydon Trindall penalty goal. Newtown 2-0.
21st minute: Anthony Don try, not converted. Burleigh Bears 4-2.
29th minute: Anthony Don try, Jamal Fogarty conversion. Burleigh Bears 10-2.
37th minute: Ronaldo Mulitalo sin-binned.
Half-Time: Burleigh Bears led 10-2.
46th minute: Jamal Fogarty try and conversion. Burleigh Bears 16-2.
53rd minute: Sione Katoa try, not converted. Burleigh Bears 16-6.
62nd minute: Jackson Ferris try, not converted. Burleigh Bears 16-10.
75th minute: Sione Katoa try, not converted. Burleigh Bears 16-14.
79th minute and 47 seconds: Jackson Ferris try, Greg Eastwood conversion. Newtown 20-16.
Full-Time: Newtown won 20-16.
Newtown’s team was:
Will Kennedy, Sione Katoa, Matt Evans, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Luke Polselli, Billy Magoulias, Braydon Trindall, Greg Eastwood, Scott Sorensen (Capt), Jayson Bukuya, Toby Rudolf, Blayke Brailey, Jimmy Jolliffe.
Bench: Teig Wilton, Jackson Ferris, Wes Lolo, Daniel Vasquez.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Kurtis Rowe, Tyronne Roberts-Davis, Sami Sauiluma, Josh Berkers, Anthony Don, Dylan Phythian, Jamal Fogarty, Sam Coster, Hayden Schwass, Blake Leary, Luke Page (Capt), Pat Politoni, Jack Buchanan.
Bench: Matt Robinson, Josh Rogers, Api Noeme-Matenga, Jeff Lynch.
Coach: Jim Lenehan.
Magic Magoulias does it again: https://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2019/10/06/magic-magoulias-does-it-again/
Newtown had 57% of possession
Completion rates: Newtown 70%; Burleigh Bears 72%
Penalties: Newtown 8-5
Burleigh Bears were forced into five goal-line drop-out situations.