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Jets quick try kick-starts their 2012 season
After a false start last weekend, the Newtown Jets began their 2012 Rugby League season with a 28-6 win against Canterbury-Bankstown at Belmore Sports Ground yesterday. This trial match was the main curtain-raiser to the Bulldogs-Roosters NRL Back to Belmore promotion and steady rain fell for virtually all of the Newtown-Bulldogs game.
The Jets led 22-6 at the break after bounding away to an 18-0 lead after only ten minutes. The persistent rain affected the players' handling in the second half with Newtown adding a converted try to their tally late in the game.
The Jets flew from the blocks with five-eighth Trent Trotter scoring from the kick-off as the Bulldogs failed to cover the awkwardly bouncing ball. Centre Brett Lane pounced on wayward Bulldogs passes and raced away for two long-distance tries, with all three of these early Newtown tries being converted from wide out by halfback Blake Davies.
Lane might not have the running action of a Stawell Gift winner but he proved yesterday, as on several occasions in 2011, that he can cover the ground effectively. Almost on halftime five-eighth Trent Trotter darted through the Bulldogs' defensive cordon and sent fullback Jason McGrady away to the line.
McGrady, who hails originally from Toomelah in north-western NSW, bears a surname that is very well known in Rugby League circles. Brett Lane made it a hat-trick of tries when he swerved around the Bulldogs fullback just prior to fulltime.
Jets coach Greg Matterson said after the match that while it was gratifying to post a comfortable win in front of a good crowd, he was even more pleased with the determined on-line defence shown by his players.
As he noted, the Bulldogs scored their only try from a kick and the Jets defended resolutely in their own quarter for extended periods in both halves. He was also pleased with the effective go-forward displayed by his big men who made good ground through the midfield. Several triallists made favourable impressions yesterday as the race for selection in Newtown's squad for the opening VB NSW Cup competition round intensifies.
The Newtown Jets take on Balmain at Campbelltown Sports Stadium next Saturday, 18th February, with this VB NSW Cup trial kicking off at 3.30pm.
This Tigers-Jets game precedes the Wests Tigers-Roosters Toyota Cup and NRL trial matches and tickets are available through Proticket on 1300 12 10 12.