Virtual Match Report: Jets turn on the entertainment as they secure a place in the semi-finals
The Newtown Jets turned on some spectacular moments for the Henson Park crowd and the live television audience in their 42-14 win against Western Suburbs on Saturday. The Jets had led 26-8 at half-time and scored eight tries to three in a display that thrilled their loyal supporters.
Newtown trailed 8-4 midway through the first half, but laid on four tries in rapid succession that put themselves in a commanding position at the break. The Jets extended their lead to 38-8 in the second half, with the Magpies scoring their third try in the 65th minute.
Jets flying winger Sione Katoa scored an exhilarating diving try in the first half that is sure to be included in the season’s video highlights. Fellow winger Luke Polselli scored two tries, the second of which came from a near length of field interchange of passes. Front-rower and former Kiwi international Greg Eastwood was not to be denied and scored two tries, one on either side of the half-time break. The other try-scorers were halfback Kyle Flanagan (who also kicked five goals), second-rower Siosifa Talakai and elusive fullback Will Kennedy.
Newtown’s forwards dominated the middle and allowed the backs to showcase their pace and skills. Front-rowers Wes Lolo and Jimmy Jolliffe made a lot of ground, while receiving strong support from backrowers Siosifa Talakai, Scott Sorensen and Teig Wilton. There were two players on debut for the Jets on Saturday – backrowers Tom Hazelton from the Cronulla Sharks Jersey Flegg squad, and Toby Rudolf who was playing his second game of the year. Toby was signed last year by the Cronulla Sharks from Redcliffe in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup but he was badly injured in the Canterbury Bulldogs-Redcliffe Intrust Super National Final. He played his first game in 2019 with the Glebe Dirty Reds last Sunday and made a huge impression with the Jets on Saturday.
Saturday’s winning margin against Western Suburbs enabled Newtown to claim the Tom Raudonikis Cup for 2019 on a points for and against basis (Wests had won 32-22 in the 7th round back on the 28th April.)
Other 23rd round Canterbury Cup NSW results were to Newtown’s advantage and have guaranteed the Jets a place in the 2019 finals series. The Jets have one more competition round to play when they host the Newcastle Knights at Henson Park next Saturday, 31st August at 3.00pm. This final competition match is also the Newtown Jets annual club reunion day.
Saturday’s match details:
Luke Polselli 2, Greg Eastwood 2, Kyle Flanagan, Siosifa Talakai, Sione Katoa, Will Kennedy tries;
Kyle Flanagan 5 conversions
Western Suburbs 14:
Bilal Maarbani, Watson Heleta, Harrison O’Toole tries;
Bilal Maarbani 1 goal.
Half-Time: Newtown led 26-8.
Referee: Darian Furner.
Touch Judges: Benjamin Teague and Daniel Luttringer.
Weather: Sunny, clear skies, 23 degrees.
Playing surface: Very good.
Newtown’s team on Saturday was:
Will Kennedy, Sione Katoa, Tyrone Phillips, Jackson Ferris, Luke Polselli, Jack A. Williams (Capt), Kyle Flanagan, Teig Wilton, Tom Hazelton, Siosifa Talakai, Wes Lolo, Scott Sorensen, Jimmy Jolliffe.
Bench: Matt Evans, Braydon Trindall, Toby Rudolf, Greg Eastwood.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Dylan Smith, Harrison O’Toole, Bilal Maarbani, Watson Heleta, Kane Bradley, Max Burey, Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu (Capt), Robbie Rochow, Jack Miller, Sam McIntyre, Patrice Siolo, Soni Luke, Alex Seyfarth.
Bench: Joseph Ratuvakacereivai, Elia Faatui, Felix Smith, Rajko Jankovic.
Coach: Brett Hodgson.