The Sydney Airport Jets paid the price for poor starts in both of their competition matches on the weekend. Newtown faltered badly in the opening fifteen minutes of the VB Premier League match against the Canberra Raiders at Canberra Stadium on Saturday, conceding three early tries and eventually going down to the Raiders by 28-12. In the Jim Beam Cup match played at Belrose on Friday evening, Newtown made a horror start and trailed by 24-0 at half-time, ultimately losing to the Belrose Eagles by 30-4.
Newtown maintained its unwanted record of having never beaten the Raiders in a competition match in Canberra since joining the VB Premier League. The Raiders scored in the opening minute of the game and led 14-0 before the Jets had any continuity of possession. Newtown�s missed one-on-one tackles and poor completion rate contributed to Canberra�s 18-0 half-time lead.
The second half was a better contest, but Newtown�s inferior kicking game, missed scoring chances and general backline malaise ensured that there would be no great escape for the Jets on this occasion. An intercept try to the Raiders early in the second half made certain it would be a forgettable day for the visitors.
Newtown was best served by hard-working second rower Sam Isemonger, and he received good support in turn from fellow forwards Jon Green, Clifford Manua, Tom Gemmell, Kevin Kingston, Cameron Ciraldo and Luke Douglas. Points-scoring ace Nathan Merritt was well contained by the enthusiastic Raiders defence.
There wasn�t much good news for the Jets from Friday night�s trouncing at the hands of Belrose. The Eagles took full advantage of the slippery conditions and their excellent kicking game to keep the Jets pinned at their own end for most of the first half. Newtown managed one try in the second half, which was scored by their most productive forward David Buckley. Rimini Reweti, Dallas Scia Scia and Kiel Roberts were other Jets forwards to stand out.
The Jets are back at Henson Park on Saturday (July 2nd) when they take on Western Suburbs in a VB Premier League Foundation Clubs local derby. This match kicks off at 3.00pm, and will be preceded by a Sharks-Magpies Jersey Flegg fixture which starts at 1.15pm. In the Jim Beam Cup, Newtown plays away to the Sydney Bulls on Friday evening (July 1st) at the Crest Stadium, Bankstown, with this match due to start at 7.00pm.