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Match Report - Newtown v. St. George-Illawarra, played at Henson Park on Saturday, July 6, 2002.
Newtown's spirited second-half fightback in the First Division match against St. George-Illawarra at Henson Park on Saturday staved off a rout of Biblical proportions. The Jets had clearly failed to "bundy on", trailing 20-0 after as many minutes in the first half, but they put on a genuine contest for the rest of this match in eventually going down to the Dragons by 30-16.
The magnitude of Newtown's mid-season injury toll needs to be considered in reviewing Saturday's result. Every club has its hard luck stories, but the Jets are certainly in the wars at this stage of the competition. All told, there are thirteen players on the injured list including six front-rowers, plus two five-eighths and two halfbacks. The impact on the forwards' strength and backline cohesion is obvious. With such a drain on the team's manpower, the Jets' gutsy effort against one of the First Division title favourites needs to be acknowledged. Newtown supporters will be pleased to know several of the injured players are due back in the next two weeks.
Best for the Jets were the greatly-improved Steve Skinnon, David Lambert and Garth Wood, while Robbie Simpson, Chris Williams, Tere Glassie, Zoran Ilijoski and Alf Duncan (two tries) put in strong second halves. Hooker Luke Ellis clocked up a remarkable thirty-one tackles in the first half. Coach Colin Murphy praised his team's second half recovery, and noted that once his team had an equal share of possession they really took it up to their opponents.
The Newtown Metro Cup team was unable to maintain the momentum from their strong performance the previous Saturday against Wentworthville, losing out in their away game to Kellyville by 34-12.
In the First Division competition, Newtown is away to Penrith at Penrith Stadium this Saturday (July 13) with the match due to start at 5.35 p.m. There is no Newtown Metro Cup fixture set down for this weekend.
Don't forget the Back to Newtown Day on July 20 at Henson Park. Tell all your old neighbours, school-friends, workmates and other "partners in crime" to rendezvous at Henson Park for a terrific community reunion day.
Check the details on 1300 36 36 90.