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With the Sydney Airport Jets having the bye in the VB Premier League, Newtown?s Jim Beam Cup side held centre-stage at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon and maintained their winning form with a thumping 56-8 win over the Central Coast club Erina.
Despite the extent of the winning margin, Newtown had to work hard for the competition points and did well to defend their line for extended periods in the first half when Erina had the bulk of possession. The Jets contained a lot of pressure from the big Eagles forward pack and seized control late in the first half. Three tries within five minutes close to half-time saw Newtown go to the break with a useful 22-4 lead.
The Jets dominated the second half and added a further six tries to record their best win of the season. Newtown?s physical strength, fitness and backline speed were decisive factors and provided eloquent testimony to the benefits derived from the club?s professionally-programmed weights training and gym sessions.
This was an excellent team performance in which every player contributed. The most prominent of the forwards were Cameron Ciraldo (three tries), Lafi Manua and hooker Kiel Roberts. Young Roberts is playing confidently and showed good judgement in his dummy-half running. Newtown was best served in the backline by John Sinisa, John Berkley and back-rower turned centre David Vial. The giant Vial displayed an amazing sleight of hand in setting up a superb try for John Berkley just before half-time.
Coach Greg Matterson noted that his team had been building up to a performance like this, and that the side?s determined defence in the scoreless opening twenty-five minutes of the first half had been a critical factor in the outcome.
Newtown?s affiliate club Parkes had a tearaway 58-32 win in Group 11 over the Manildra Rhinos, played in front of a big crowd at the Spacemen?s well-appointed Pioneer Oval headquarters.
The Newtown Jetettes broke through for their first win of the season with a clear-cut 28-12 victory at Redfern Oval over the improbably-named Sydney Bulls women?s team.
Next Saturday (June 11th) sees a huge program of Rugby League football at Henson Park. The action gets underway at 11.30am with the Sydney Roosters ? North Sydney Jersey Flegg match. The Roosters and Bears clash in a VB Premier League competition game at 1.15pm, and in the main game at 3.00pm, Newtown is at home in the VB Premier League to the St.George-Illawarra Dragons.
In the Jim Beam Cup competition, the Sydney Airport Jets travel to Ringrose Park on Sunday (June 12th) to take on Wentworthville, with this match due to start at 3.00pm.