Jets bring the Frank Hyde Shield back home

The Frank Hyde Shield series that is contested on an annual basis between the Newtown and North Sydney clubs has developed a life-force of its own.


This was evident from the intensity of last Saturdays encounter between the two foundation clubs at North Sydney Oval and the big crowd in attendance.


The Bears led 20-16 at halftime but the Jets dominated the second half, scoring four tries to one in that period and coming home strongly for a 40-24 victory.


North Sydney started in good fashion, scoring a try in the fifth minute in the Molly Dive Stand corner and with the conversion soaring over from the sideline. Jets front-rower Kane Evans, who was to have a huge impact on this game, crashed through the Norths defence to score in the tenth minute and Paul Rokolatis conversion tied the scores up at 6-all. The Bears quality kicking game was used to good effect in creating Norths next two tries. Jets half-back Ryley Jacks displayed guile in scoring in the 27th minute, and the ever-dangerous Nafe Seluini darted over from dummy-half after Saulala Houma had advanced the ball well into Norths twenty-metre zone. The Bears went in at the halftime break on a real high after they had scored a long-distance try virtually on the forty-minutes siren.


Norths had compiled a very high completion rate in the first half while the Jets were on the 60% mark, statistics which were reflected in the comparative time in possession by both sides. Newtown coach Greg Matterson urged his players to improve their completion rate, to play the Shoremen at their own end of the field and wear them down. He urged his big Jets forwards to lift their work rate and to strike hard down the middle of the Bears ruck area.


The second half proved to be a good advertisement for the NSW Cup competition, with both teams registering high completion rates and the game being played at a fast pace. The match was still anyones to win with Newtown leading 26-24 with twelve minutes remaining. Jets front-row juggernauts Kane Evans and Saulala Houma powered their way over for tries in the last ten minutes, both of which were converted by Paul Rokolati who added a penalty goal for Newtowns final winning margin of 40-24.


The Newtown coaching staff took several positives out of the second half, with the Jets grabbing a 57% share of possession and following their half-time instructions. Matterson told his players after the game that their second half display proved that they could be one of the best teams in the competition by applying hard work, maintaining on-field discipline and sticking to their game plan. The Jets forwards had indeed worn their opponents down and they restricted the Bears to one try in the second half. The commentary teams at the ground from 2GB and Steele Sports praised the high standard of play and the atmosphere created by the robust attendance.


The coaching staff also noted the sterling efforts by all the Jets forwards, with special mention going to Kane Evans, Dylan Napa, Ray Moujalli, Tinirau Arona, Saulala Houma and Nafe Seluini. Halfback Ryley Jacks had one of his best games so far this season and fullback Henare Wells continues to improve at this senior level.


The Newtown Jets play away against the in-form Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs this Saturday (1st June) at Belmore Sports Ground, with this inner-western local derby timed for kick-off at 3.00pm.