Jets yet to win at home this season

The Newtown Jets have slipped out of the NSW Cup top eight after their 28-20 loss to the Illawarra Cutters at Henson Park on Saturday.


The Jets have now won just three of their eight competition games so far this season, and have developed the worrying trend of leading at half-time and ultimately losing out late in the second half.


The St George-Illawarra partnership club, the Cutters, led 12-0 in the first half before Jets centre and Tongan international Michael Oldfield scored in the 31st minute. This try signalled Newtowns best period of the game as the Jets added two more tries in the last ten minutes of the first half. Front-rower Kane Evans and half-back Ryley Jacks added to Newtowns try tally, and winger Chris Taripo converted two of the three tries for the Jets to lead 16-12 at the break.


The second half was intensely disappointing for the Jets and their fans, as a 6-1 penalty count to the Cutters gave the visitors plenty of possession and favourable field position for most of the half. Newtown looked to be in control when Michael Oldfield scored his second try ten minutes into the second half giving the Jets a 20-12 lead, but they rarely challenged the Cutters try-line again for the remainder of the match. The Scarlets narrowed the gap to 20-16 with a try in the 20th minute of the second half, and they stuck a killer blow twelve minutes from full-time when their busy half-back latched onto a wayward Newtown pass and dashed 70 metres to score under the posts. Illawarra took the lead by 22-20 and extended this to 28-20 with another converted try two minutes out from the final siren.


The Newtown Jets coaching staff summed up the game in these terms there was no lack of effort from the Jets players and there was some excellent defence in the second half, but small lapses really hurt the team. The lopsided second-half penalty count against the Jets ensured extra possession for the Cutters and greater pressure of Newtowns defence in their own quarter. The Jets end of set plays were very disappointing, with their kicking game putting no pressure at all on Illawarras back three. This was Michael Oldfields best game with the Jets since transferring from the Sea Eagles, and Dylan Napa, Kane Evans, Nafe Seluini and Lama Tasi all worked hard in the forwards. Napa work rate was outstanding and Seluini was at his elusive best in trying to find a way through the Cutters defence.


The Jets have a bye in the NSW Cup competition this coming weekend (11/12th May) and their next match is away to Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday, 18th May at 3.00pm