Newtown went down by 38-28 in the VB Premier League match against the St. George-Illawarra Dragons at OKI Jubilee Stadium on Sunday, but there were several positive features to take from the game. The Jets had fielded a hastily reorganised team due to injuries and late withdrawals, further compounded by the loss of their chief �go forward� front-rower James Stosic in the pre-match warm-up and playmaker Glenn Sedwell with a hip injury at half-time.
Several of the Jets youngsters in this match took quite a battering from the in-form Dragons, but coach Colin Murphy was full of praise after the game for their display of character and fighting spirit. Newtown trailed by 20-12 at half-time and 26-16 with twenty minutes remaining, but two quick converted tries to the Dragons took the game beyond Newtown�s grasp. Two late tries to the Jets, including a superb individual effort to Ryan McGoldrick proved that the young Sydney Airport Jets refused to throw the towel in.
In a game where a number of marginal refereeing decisions didn�t go Newtown�s way, the Jets� best were Luke Harlen, David Thompson, Clifford Manua, Cameron Ciraldo and Jardine Bobongie in the forwards, with Ryan McGoldrick, Geoff Johnson and Beau Scott the most impressive of the backline. Winger Luke Covell bagged two tries and kicked four goals.
The Sydney Airport Jets competed well for most of their Jim Beam Cup game against Cabramatta at Henson Park on Saturday, but a terrible twenty minutes after half-time blew the game away. Newtown had trailed 10-4 at half-time but allowed Cabramatta to race away to an embarrassing 36-4 lead in the game�s third quarter. The Jets regained some semblance of respectability in fighting back to a final losing margin of 36-20. Forwards Rimini Reweti and David Vial were Newtown�s best players on the day. An unusual feature of the game was the showdown between two sons of famous fathers playing opposite each other � Newtown�s five-eighth Andrew Mortimer (son of Steve) facing off against Cabramatta�s Matthew Lamb (son of Terry).
In the Sydney Women�s Rugby League competition, the Newtown Jetettes had a morale-boosting 16-12 win over the Canley Vale Kookas. In Group 11 action, defending premiers Dubbo CYMS handed out a 54-22 trouncing to the Parkes Spacemen, in a wild, brawling game in which four players (two from each side) were sent off.
The Jets return to Henson Park this Saturday (July 30th) for a home ground double-header, with the Jim Beam Cup curtain-raiser against Windsor starting at 1.15pm. In the VB Premier League, Newtown meets Balmain in a traditional inner-western local derby at 3.00pm.
Photo courtesy of John Veage.