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The Newtown Jets NSW Cup team created club history on Saturday with their 48-12 away win against Manly-Warringah. This was the Newtown club's biggest-ever winning margin against the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval since Manly-Warringah entered the NSW Rugby League competition back in 1947.
The Jets turned in a less than convincing first half in this match when they led 14-12 at the halftime break, with everything pointing towards the second half being a closely-fought encounter. Newtown had scored three well-constructed tries but midfield defensive lapses had enabled the home team to pull right back into contention through two converted tries.
Newtown's strong completion rate in the third quarter and their domination of possession and territory eventually ran the Sea Eagles ragged. The Jets' forwards took control of the midfield and allowed the Newtown backs to do a lot of damage against Manly's left-side defence. Newtown's strong tackling denied the opposition any second half points for the second week in a row.
Coach Greg Matterson was naturally pleased with this record-making performance and was relieved that the team had not been affected unduly by late team and positional changes. Fullback Mark Kheirallah came off in the first half with an ankle injury, causing the Jets to reshuffle their backline positions and to play out the rest of the match one man down on the bench.
Matterson noted another impressive display from Newtown's back-rowers - Willie Mataka, Brad Barrett and Aidan Guerra - and also praised front-rowers Ryan Verlinden and Francis Tuigamala for their rampaging charges at Manly's end of the field. The Jets backline gave a much-improved performance and took smarter options. Centres Francis Vaiotu and Kane Linnett ran with determination and purpose and the former Balmain Tiger Brett Lane, who has played in several positions this season, scored two tries and kicked six goals. Five-eighth Johnathon Ford had his best game of the season and laid on some creative ballwork, while the feisty hooker Scott Jones is rapidly becoming a real favourite with the Jets faithful.
The Jets travel to the south-west again this coming weekend for their 9th round NSW Cup assignment, when they play Western Suburbs at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday, 7th May at 3.00pm.
Saturday, 30th April 2011
NSWRL NSW Cup - Round 8
Manly-Warringah v Newtown
Brett Lane 2, Steve Naughton, Kane Linnett, Brad Takairangi, Ryan Verlinden, Willie Mataka, Brad Barrett, Francis Tuigamala tries;
Brett Lane 6 goals
Michael Chapman, Scott Blanch tries;
Scott Blanch 2 goals.
Half-Time: Newtown led 14-12.
Referee: Henry Perenara
Touch Judges: John Woods and David Ryan.
Weather: Fine, mild.
Playing surface: Excellent.
This match was played at Brookvale Oval.
Newtown's team was:
Steve Naughton, Rhys Pritchard
Francis Vaiotu, Kane Linnett
Johnathon Ford, Kurt Kara
Aidan Guerra, Brad Barrett
Khalid Deeb (Capt.), Francis Tuigamala
Brad Takairangi, Brett Lane
Ryan Verlinden, Scott Jones.