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The Sydney Airport Jets defeated the Newcastle Knights by 36-8 in the VB Premier League match played at Toyota Park on Saturday evening. Newtown had led by 30-0 at the half-time break but could not maintain their points-scoring momentum in the second half.
The Jets fielded a partly rebuilt team in this match, but all of the promoted youngsters stood up and delivered in what was potentially a real danger game for Newtown. The first half was as good as any forty minutes of football turned on by the Jets this season, and made a favourable impression on the big Toyota Park crowd. Newtown?s completion rate fell away markedly in the second half, and the Knights had far more possession than the Jets in this period. This win keeps Newtown in second position on the Premier League competition table.
Experienced Newtown front-rower David Thompson had an authoritative comeback game but suffered a tragic re-occurrence of his knee injury. Jets coaching staff and players will be waiting anxiously for a further medical prognosis this week. Big ?Thommo? received strong support from his fellow front-rower James Stosic and second-rower Luke Harlen turned on his best display this year. Tom Gemmell and Jon Green were two other forwards that impressed on the night.
Halves Russell Aitken and Geoff Johnson ?clicked? as a new combination immediately and really put it to the Knights defence in the first half. Johnson, a 2004 Country Firsts representative, has played very well on every occasion this season when called on to assume greater responsibilities. Centre Beau Scott racked up an amazing 33 tackles and winger Frank Samia helped himself to two tries. Young Sharks Jersey Flegg fullback Mitch Brown made an outstanding Premier League debut and showed that he really is one to watch for the future.
Newtown had no Jim Beam Cup playing commitment on the past weekend due to the restructured competition draw. The Jets? central-western NSW affiliate club Parkes had a runaway 52-10 win over the Nyngan Tigers, making the Spacemen equal Group 11 first grade competition leaders with Wellington.
The Sydney Airport Jets take on the in-form St.George-Illawarra Dragons at OKI Jubilee Stadium next Sunday (July 24th), with this important VB Premier League showdown kicking off at 1.00pm. It is of course the main curtain-raiser to the Dragons-Sharks NRL local derby starting at 3.00pm.
The Jets are back at Henson Park in the Jim Beam Cup this coming Saturday (July 23rd), when they host Cabramatta. This match is set down for 3.00pm and is of vital importance to both teams? semi-final aspirations. There will be curtain-raisers at Henson Park on Saturday from 12 noon.
Photo courtesy of John Veage.