Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Newtown led for seventy-three minutes of this match at Canberra Stadium but ultimately had to settle for a 26-all draw with the Raiders. The Jets had led 16-6 at half-time and increased this margin to 20-6 early in the second half. The Raiders had an advantage in possession and field position for most of the second half and Newtown could be well pleased at coming away with a competition point from what is always one of the VB Premier League season?s tougher assignments.
Newtown fielded a side considerably changed from that listed in the match-day program and faced up to a bigger and more physical powerful Raiders pack. The Jets had the edge across the backline, with centre and NSW Residents representative Sam Perrett always dangerous. Jets half-back Jamie Soward had a field goal attempt ricochet away off the woodwork that would have given Newtown a 27-20 lead ten minutes from full-time. Likewise the Raiders narrowly missed a shot at field goal late in the game with the scores locked up at 26-all.
The Jets forwards stuck to their task gamely as the Raiders poured on the pressure in the second half. Glenn Hall, John Doyle, Michael Burns and Mitch Aubusson were the best of a forward pack that might have copped a real pounding but never gave in. Jamie Soward, Sam Perrett, Aidan Kirk and Troy Malcolm were Newtown?s best backs, with Malcolm picking up yet another hat-trick of tries in an impressive display, including a sixty metres interception try in the first half.
The Jets had a great win away to last year?s Jim Beam Cup premiers Windsor on Sunday. Newtown?s team in this grade also had a disrupted week?s preparation with several enforced changes to the listed side. Newtown ran up a big 32-4 lead early in the second half before consolidating a final winning margin of 38-22. This was not only a win against the odds but one achieved with considerable style.
Once again Newtown?s forwards dictated the terms of play through the likes of Ritchie Parker, Khalid Deeb and new signing Matthew Eather. Halves Toufic Nicolas and Charlie Herekotukutuku made strong contributions, while Will Ingram and Adam Sarkis were other backs to stand out in this valuable away win.
In the Sydney Women?s Rugby League competition, the Newtown Jetettes were well beaten by the Canley Vale Kookas. In Group 11, the Parkes Spacemen bounced back to winning form with a badly-needed 52-20 win against Nyngan at Pioneer Oval.
The Jets have a bye in the VB Premier League this weekend while the Newtown Jim Beam Cup team, coming off Sunday?s morale-boosting win, take on Erina at the Narellan Sports Ground on Saturday, July 1st, at 3.00pm.