The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Newtown Jets swept aside the Bulldogs? challenge by 42-12 in the VB Premier League match played at Telstra Stadium on Saturday. This was a hard fought win against a determined and very physical Bulldogs side, and was achieved with Jets regulars like John Doyle (suspended), Daniel Dumas and Aaron Lai (both injured) watching from the stands.
The Jets had to defend their line for extended periods in the first half as the Bulldogs dominated field position in the opening ten minutes, then midway through the half and also for several tense minutes prior to half-time. The essential difference between the two sides was Newtown?s ability to capitalise on their own scoring chances while the Bulldogs missed at least three try-scoring opportunities. Newtown had taken an iron grip on the likely outcome with a 30-0 lead midway through the second half, with the Jets adding two more converted tries before the Bulldogs reached double figures late in the game.
Impressive young Jets lock forward Mitch Aubusson, a NSW far north coast product, turned in his best game this season by claiming three tries, including one superb 60 metres effort. Newtown?s win was underpinned by the collective effort from three of their biggest forwards in Glenn Hall, Charles Tonga and Mickey Paea. Hooker Heath L?Estrange was busy around the rucks and interchange forward Frank-Paul Nuuausala unleashed some of his ball running potential, especially when he combined with halfback Jamie Soward for one spectacular second half try. Soward, Jeremy Gordon and Aidan Kirk were the Jets best backs, while it was pleasing to see second-rower Nigel Plum in action again after having been laid low for several weeks.
In the Jim Beam Cup match played at Ringrose Park on Sunday, the Jets were left rueing their missed chances and errors in going down 38-26 to second placed Wentworthville. Newtown had dominated the game?s early stages but virtually invited their opponents back into the game with repeated errors and penalties at their own end of the ground. After trailing by 20-6, the Jets recovered well to go in at half-time 20-16 in arrears.
Newtown started the second half on fire, grabbing two quick tries to lead by 26-20. Then in one dreadful ten-minute period, three tries to Wentworthville really put the Jets under the cosh. The only points added for the rest of the game were through a late penalty goal to the home team. Newtown?s best forwards were Ritchie Parker, Billy Baleilomaloma, Matthew Eather and Adam Bennett. Five-eighth Toufic Nicolas was arguably the best player on the ground, as he displayed flair and variety in trying to get the Jets back into the game. Nathan McMahon gave Nicolas good support in the backs.
The Parkes Spacemen were comprehensively beaten 40-0 by the Cobar Roosters and have probably blown their slim 2006 finals hopes. In the VB Premier League next weekend, the Jets take on the North Sydney Bears at North Sydney Oval on Friday evening, 28th July at 7.00pm, with this match determining the winners of the 2006 Frank Hyde Shield. Newtown faces a must-win Jim Beam Cup game against Asquith on Sunday (July 30th) at Storey Park with this match kicking off at 3.00pm.
Tickets are still available for the Newtown Jets 1981 first grade grand final team?s 25th anniversary reunion lunch, to be held at the Petersham RSL Club on Saturday, August 19th. Call the Newtown RLFC office on 1300 36 36 90 to reserve your places for this super event.