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The Sydney Airport Jets turned on an impressive first-up showing for 2004, when they defeated Balmain 28-20 in the NSW Premier League local derby trial match at Henson Park on Saturday. Playing in near-equatorial humidity, the Jets looked razor-sharp in possession and defended well for extended periods, particularly in their own quarter.
Coach Colin Murphy was pleased with the form shown by several of Newtown's new signings, and the determination shown in defence in such oppressive weather conditions. Try scoring ace Alf Duncan grabbed two tries, including his customary intercept effort, and looks to be set for another terrific season.
In the Jim Beam Cup curtain-raiser between Newtown and Ryde-Eastwood, mandatory drinks breaks were taken every ten minutes due to the stifling heat. The teams were locked up at nil-all until almost half time, and Newtown coach Trevor Schodel reported that there were many positives to come out of a trial where so many of his players were playing together for the first time, and under such onerous conditions.
Newtown is home again at Henson Park on Saturday, February 21, when the Jets take on the North Sydney Bears in the first leg of the 2004 Frank Hyde Cup at 5pm. In the Jim Beam Cup curtain raiser, Newtown plays Norths Jersey Flegg squad at 3pm.