WITH two competition games in the Jim Beam Cup Competition proper remaining we travelled over to Ringrose Park where we took on second placed Wentworthville Magpies.
THERE was no respite for the injury-weakened Sydney Airport Jets when they travelled to Campbelltown Stadium last Sunday. Western Suburbs were keen to shore up their top six position on the NSW Premier League table, and the Mags looked to be coasting to an easy win when they led 26-4 at half-time.
The Jets had gifted three tries to the Magpies through unforced errors, and were in real trouble containing Wests' ball-playing forwards. The second half saw a considerable improvement, as Newtown ran in some of the best tries of the game. While the final scoreline of 44-26 pretty much indicates the extent to which Wests controlled this match, the Jets regained some pride by outpointing the 'Pies by 22-18 in the second session.
Newtown half-back and captain Craig Field gave another polished display, setting up two second half tries with superbly directed kicks in behind the Wests backline. Big prop Monah Elahmad showed no ill effects from his layoff due to injury, and indeed appeared to relish the hard work in the warm conditions. He received strong support from fellow packmen Ben Tickle and Aaron Trinder, while Andrew Le Breton, John Sinisa, Troy Barnes and Dustin Cooper were the best of the Newtown backs. Winger Alf Duncan added a further two tries to his increasingly impressive 2003 season tally.
One interesting feature of this match for trivia tragics was that controversial referee Shayne Hayne can now add having officiated in a NSW Premier League match involving Australia's first and oldest Rugby League club to his curriculum vitae!
In the Jim Beam Cup, Newtown travelled to Woy Woy with a squad bearing little resemblance to the team that had crushed the Roosters at Henson Park a few weeks ago. Despite the best efforts of classy Jets five-eighth Matt Rose, Woy Woy prevailed by 34-24, with other hard working performances coming from Newtown forwards Lee Trasler, Chris McBride, Luke Sant and Luke Ellis. The club's lengthy injury toll had the Jets down to one man on the interchange bench for the entire second half.
This weekend sees the final competition rounds for both Jets teams, and the end of a season that began in the steamy humidity of late January in the World Sevens Qualifying Tournament. In the NSW Premier League, the Sydney Airport Jets travel to Energy Australia Stadium on Sunday to play the Newcastle Knights, with this match timed to start at 1pm. The Jets Jim Beamers are at home to Windsor on Saturday, with this final match at Henson Park for 2003 kicking off at 3pm.
RUGBY League is a gladiator's sport. Only the fittest, most dedicated and toughest can survive, or reach the heights of playing or even captaining their country. It is a true man's game. But no matter how strong, fit or fast you are, sometime during your career playing the greatest game of all, you will suffer from an injury of some sort. Whether it be a corked thigh, concussion, broken bones, busted balls (in the sad case of Brett Kimmorley) and, the most horrific of them all: knee ligaments snapping, requiring a reconstruction. There is an argument that the busted balls are worse, but they're so rare that they don't really count. Kimmorley is probably the first player in history to suffer such an injury.
TRIPLE national representative Laura Mariu will pull on the black jersey for the Kiwi Ferns this month in defence of the Women's Rugby League World Cup title won by New Zealand three years ago.
SOUTH Sydney boss David Tapp says the club will consider its legal options to ensure Dallas Rennie honours his contract with the Rabbitohs.
RUGBY league's prestigious Dally M awards night has been cancelled.
NEWCASTLE'S Test forward Ben Kennedy is in danger of missing the opening week of the National Rugby League finals series because of a foot injury.
THE players have the support of Dally M special guest Tawera Nikau over their threat to boycott the rugby league's most prestigious awards ceremony, according to players' association boss Tony Butterfield.
MELBOURNE Storm and Queensland hooker Cameron Smith isn?t allowing himself to think about the National Rugby League finals just yet instead focusing on his team?s clash with Manly at Olympic Park this Saturday night.
MARK Geyer says the current Penrith team would beat the club's 1991 premiership-winning side, of which he was a part.
THE National Rugby League has described as unreasonable a threat by the Rugby League Professionals Association to boycott this year's Dally M Awards night.
AUSTRALIA'S Anthony Mundine beat Antwun Echols of the United States to win the World Boxing Association's vacant super-middleweight title.
PARRAMATTA needs a miracle to make the National Rugby League finals after St George Illawarra's injury curse continued on Wednesday, with centre Matt Cooper the latest casualty.
INJURED Roosters centre Justin Hodges suggests there might be some jinx attached to winning the National Rugby League minor premiership.
ST George Illawarra centre Matt Cooper is the latest casualty for the injury-stricken Dragons and will be sidelined for this Friday's clash with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.