The Newtown Jets toughed it out for a 28-16 win against the Brett Kenny-coached Wentworthville in the 19th round NSW Cup match played at Henson Park last Saturday. With a number of players unavailable through injury and suspension, the Jets had to call on three players from the Sydney Roosters under 20's squad to put a full team onto the field. This was one of those mid-winter games that teams determined to go places in the finals have to win, and the Jets had the necessary firepower to claim another two valuable competition points in what was a very tough physical contest.
Newtown led 16-4 at halftime, with Wentworthville's only try being scored in the last minute of the first half. The Jets had their share of luck in this game, as Wenty had two tries disallowed in the first half and a third try-scoring attempt was thwarted by a wonderful defensive effort from Newtown winger Troy Savage. The Jets looked to be better organised in attack but whatever limitations Wenty might have shown with the ball were balanced out by their desperation to stay in the fight for a finals place.
The Jets were best served by backrowers Jason Baitieri, Brad Barrett and Aidan Guerra who all worked doubly-hard in defence and with the ball. Front-rowers James Koloamatangi and Lopini Paea carved out valuable metres when they were most needed and the halves Johnathon Ford and Liam Foran worked together effectively. Jets centres Chris Tuatara-Morrison and Tu'u Maori and winger Troy Savage combined superbly for Newtown's first try in the second half. Coach Greg Matterson praised the efforts of the three Roosters youngsters Watson Namoa, John Leiataua and Hughie Stanley who all made solid contributions after joining the team late in the week.
The Newtown Jets travel away this coming Sunday (25th July) to play the St George-Illawarra feeder club Shellharbour Dragons at the Ron Costello Oval, Shellharbour, with this 20th round NSW Cup match timed to start at 3.00pm.
Hughie Stanley 2, Aidan Guerra, Troy Savage, Tu'u Maori, Luke Towers tries;
Chris Tuatara-Morrison 2 goals
Jorge Taufua, Etu Uaisele, Nathan Armit tries;
Grayson Goodwin 2 goals.
Newtown led 16-4.