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The Sydney Airport Jets were dealt a harsh lesson by Premier League competition leaders the Canberra Raiders in the match played at Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan on Saturday. The well drilled and superbly prepared Raiders blew the Jets away by a 52-8 margin, at one stage piling on four converted tries in a nine-minute points avalanche midway through the first half.
Admittedly the Jets went into this match with a crop of injuries in key positions, but the scale of this defeat was a blunt reminder of the unrelentingly high standards required to compete in Australia?s second best tier of Rugby League. The combination of the Raiders? physical strength, quick play the balls, precision inside passes and pin-point kicking proved all too much for the visitors.
Newtown?s best were former Raider Tabua Cakacaka, Campbell McNiven, Luke Sant (39 tackles) and Russell Richardson (the Jets? sole try scorer, courtesy of a well-directed inside pass from Alf Duncan). Debutants second rower Joe Lichaa (ex-Roosters) and fullback Dean Loder (Bulldogs Jersey Flegg) proved they will be valuable acquisitions for the remainder of the season.
The Jets? Jim Beam Cup squad had to contend with a torrential downpour and Third World-standard dressing room facilities in their visit to Erina. Trailing 24-6 at the break, the young Jets made a real contest of it in the second half, losing out eventually by 28-12.
The Sydney Airport Jets stage a double header at Henson Park next Saturday (May 31). The Jets take on the Roosters in Premier League at 3.00 pm, and Guildford in the Jim Beam Cup at 1.30 pm.
The Newtown RLFC extends sincere condolences to the family of the late Alan McMahon, who passed away on Saturday morning. Alan had a fine Rugby League career with several clubs, including the 1982 season with Newtown.