The Newtown Jets have moved to the top of the NSW Cup competition table after their 38-26 victory against Western Suburbs on Saturday, and following the surprise defeat of the previous leaders Canterbury-Bankstown by Cronulla-Sutherland. The Jets set up a commanding 32-14 lead over the Magpies midway through the second half at Campbelltown Stadium, but they were nearly run down by their Foundation Club rivals late in the game. Newtown claimed the Tom Raudonikis Cup for 2010 as a result of this victory.
The first half was a willing contest, with Wests scoring two early tries to lead 8-0 after only ten minutes. Newtown didn't take the lead until just eight minutes from half-time and went into the break 10-8 to the better.
The Jets took a strong grip on the match when they laid on two classy converted tries early in the second half, thereby extending their lead to 22-8. The Magpies pulled back with a converted try but Newtown looked to have the game in hand when tries to fullback Luke Towers and winger Troy Savage blew the margin out to 32-14. The never-say-die Magpies made life very uncomfortable for Newtown's rowdy supporters when they fought back with two converted tries to trail by 32-26 with five minutes left to play. A late try to second-rower Brad Barrett sealed the win for the Jets and made the Magpies quest for a final four placing that much harder.
Newtown's coach Greg Matterson described his team's win as being 'patchy', with a number of satisfactory aspects being counter-balanced by some more ordinary elements within the Jets' performance. He noted the recurring problems with his team's right-side defence which had been well-targeted by the Magpies' hard-running outside backs.
Front-rower James Koloamatangi was nominated as being Newtown's man of the match, with his 'go forward' and quick play the balls making an immediate impact when he was injected into the game. Other players mentioned in dispatches were hooker Keith Peters, front-rower Ray Moujalli, second-rower Brad Takairangi (who was sporting a magnificent 'shiner' after the match) and five-eighth Johnathon Ford.
The Newtown Jets journey across the Tasman next weekend to take on the Auckland Vulcans on Saturday, 14th August at Mt Smart Stadium, with this 23rd round NSW Cup match getting underway at 10.30am AEST.
NSWRL NSW Cup
Saturday, 7th August 2010
Western Suburbs v Newtown
Johnathon Ford 2, Aidan Guerra, James Koloamatangi, Luke Towers, Troy Savage, Brad Barrett tries;
Tu'u Maori 5 goals
Western Suburbs 26:
Gus Aiga 2, Geoff Daniela 2, Rhys Pritchard tries;
Jamie Sharkie 3 goals.
Half-Time: Newtown led 10-8.
Referee: Henry Perenara
Touch Judges: Matt Damaso, Jimmy Oliveira.
Weather: Fine, cold, light breeze
Playing surface: Excellent.
This match was played at Campbelltown Stadium.
Newtown's team was:
Troy Savage, Sonny Tuigamala
Tu'u Maori, Chris Tuatara-Morrison
Johnathon Ford, James Aubusson
Brad Barrett, Aidan Guerra
Lopini Paea, Ray Moujalli