The Newtown Jets showed few signs of rustiness after two weeks' layoff when they swept aside North Sydney at Henson Park last Saturday by 48-18. In a match played before the season's best crowd and in perfect Rugby League winter weather, the Jets unleashed a firestorm of points in the first half that took them to a 30-0 lead at the break. Both sides scored 18 points in a less impressive second half, with Norths scoring three tries in the last ten minutes.
Jets first half onslaught overwhelms the Bears
Newtown dominated possession and territory in the game's first twenty minutes as the Jets raced away to a 26-0 lead. The home team took advantage in the opening minutes of the Bears' difficulty in coping with Newtown's high kicks, while the Jets' big forward pack took control of the midfield and the battle of the rucks. Newtown's completion rate throughout the match was good, with in excess of 80% of sets completed in both halves. The Newtown forwards worked hard as a unit and looked to support each other both with the ball and in defence, while the halves Liam Foran and Johnathon Ford called the shots and spread the ball to the backs effectively.
Jets coach Greg Matterson was more than pleased with his team's top-class first half performance, and he acknowledged the difficulty that his players faced in maintaining their intensity right through the second half while holding such a commanding lead. He was particularly pleased with the Newtown pack's collective performance but named centre Tu'u Maori as being the man of the match. Maori is in top form and has surely caught the attention of Papua-New Guinea's national team coach Adrian Lam. Maori's centre partner Sonny Tuigamala also had a very strong game in attack.
With the Newtown and North Sydney clubs drawn to meet each other three times this season, the Jets' second win on Saturday enabled them to regain the Frank Hyde Shield for the first time since 2007. The Shield presentation for 2010 will take place after the two clubs meet again in late July at North Sydney Oval.
There's no respite for the Jets with another gruelling NSW Cup top four encounter looming for next weekend. Newtown takes on the Western Suburbs Magpies at Campbelltown Stadium next Saturday (19th June) with this round 15 NSW Cup match timed to start at 3.00pm.
Tu'u Maori 2, Brad Barrett 2, Ryan Verlinden 2, Keith Peters, Ray Moujalli, Troy Savage, Sonny Tuigamala tries;
Tu'u Maori 3, Chris Tuatara-Morrison goals
North Sydney 18:
Daniel Sayegh 2, Tuki Jackson, Jarryd Hogan tries;
Eddie Paea 1 goal.
Newtown led 30-0.Like