Jets prevail in difficult conditions against determined Dogs

The Newtown Jets defeated near-neighbours Canterbury-Bankstown 30-18 in last Saturdays VB NSW Cup local derby played at Belmore Sports Ground.


The Jets led 22-14 at half-time and had a real fight on their hands for most of the second half, only drawing away to their final 12-point lead ten minutes from full-time.


The Bulldogs came into this match on the back of two successive wins, and scored two quick tries to take an 8-0 lead after only nine minutes. Jets five-eighth Daniel Mortimer created a try for winger Adam Henry through a well-placed kick into the Bulldogs in-goal zone in the 15th minute, with this try being converted from wide out by Paul Rokolati. Newtowns best period of the first half came about ten minutes later, with three tries registered in quick succession. The first try was scored by powerhouse forward Josh Ailaomai, the second by fullback Henare Wells who dashed away to score under the posts after accepting a superb midfield off-load from Isaac Liu, and halfback Ryley Jacks scored the third of the tries in this points-scoring surge. The Bulldogs kept in touch by way of a converted try close to halftime.


The second forty-minutes period was fiercely-contested, with Canterbury defending grimly in their own twenty-metre zone for extended periods. At the break Jets coach Greg Matterson had urged his forwards to come onto the ball from more depth and to more effectively use their size and strength to batter the Canterbury defenders. He warned that the Bulldogs were most certainly still in the game and that mental toughness and discipline would be needed to prevail in the second half. The second half really took on a wintry aspect with steady rain falling and the floodlights turned on. The Jets had plenty of possession and territory in the games third quarter but didnt break through to score until the 62nd minute. A precision high kick into the corner by Daniel Mortimer was brilliantly caught and safely grounded by Paul Rokolati. This gave the Jets a 26-14 lead but two minutes later an error at Newtowns own end turned over precious possession and field position to Canterbury, and the Bulldogs took full advantage to score an unconverted try to trail by 26-18. Daniel Mortimer was again the architect of the try that finally clinched the game for the Jets, with speedy centre Michael Oldfield being the try-scorer on this occasion.


This was a hard-fought win in difficult playing conditions and against committed opposition who had defended well in the second half against Newtowns surplus of possession and favourable field position. Veteran front-rower Ray Moujalli had his best game since rejoining the Jets for this season, and he provided leadership and inspiration to younger team-mates such as Josh Ailaomai, Isaac Liu, Kane Evans and Dylan Napa. Kurt Kara worked extra-hard in defence and Nafe Seluini constantly probed and tested the Bulldogs defensive line. Daniel Mortimer, in effect on loan due to the Sydney Roosters NRL bye, made a typically valuable and productive playing contribution.


The Newtown Jets make their second pilgrimage to central-western NSW this coming weekend when they host Windsor at Pioneer Oval, Parkes on Sunday, 9th June. This 13th round VB NSW Cup clash between the 5th placed Jets and the 2nd placed Wolves gets underway at 3.00pm.