Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
The Newtown Jets VB Premier League team boosted their points for and against ratio with a 54-10 win over Western Suburbs at Henson Park on Saturday. The Jets led 22-4 at half-time but there were several periods of the game where the Magpies applied prolonged pressure on the Newtown defensive line. Wests certainly had the better of play for an extended period after half-time as they strove to get back into the game, but the Jets ran away with the match in the last twenty minutes as they piled on six tries, including some spectacular long range crowd-pleasers.
2GB identity Tom Raudonikis was on hand to present the newly-instituted trophy named in his honour for annual competition between these two 1908 foundation clubs. Tom played for both Wests and Newtown with great verve and distinction, and no doubt the tough old campaigner was impressed with the sparkling form displayed on Saturday by Newtown?s halves Josh Lewis and Jamie Soward. Both youngsters scored and created tries, kicked well in general play and confirmed to the Henson Park crowd what a double gilt-edged investment the Sydney Roosters have made for the future.
In addition to the mesmerising performance turned in by the halves, both Jets centres Lelea Paea and Sam Perrett played well, with Perrett forming a super-slick combination with dashing winger Troy Malcolm (who scored three tries). Fullback Aidan Kirk and left-side winger Aaron Lai withstood a barrage of high kicks confidently.
Newtown?s forwards provided the grunt and the metres for the backs to shine, with front-rowers Mickey Paea and Danny Williams grafting hard in the midfield. They received strong support from impressive backrowers Mitch Aubusson and Daniel Dumas. Utility forwards John Doyle and Luke Gordon gave professional dummy-half service and also made lots of yardage with well-judged runs.
The disrupted Jim Beam Cup competition schedule proved to be the Jets undoing as they went down to Cabramatta by 26-14 on Saturday evening. The Newtown team looked very rusty after two games in five weeks, and the Jets high mistake rate played into the hands of one of the most improved teams in the competition. Newtown front-rower Ritchie Parker was the team?s standout performer, and he received good backup in the forwards from Khalid Deeb, Billy Baleilomaloma and Darren Lang. Andrew Le Breton was the best of Newtown?s backline.
In the Sydney Women?s Rugby League competition, the Newtown Jetettes demolished the Windsor She-Wolves to the tune of 26-0. Up in Group 11, the Parkes Spacemen were out-enthused by the Manildra Rhinos and dropped two priceless competition points in their 36-22 loss.
Both Newtown Jets teams face tough playing assignments and lengthy away trips this coming weekend. The Jim Beam Cup side travels to Windsor on Sunday (June 25th) with this match against last year?s premiers kicking off at 3.30pm. In the VB Premier League, the Newtown Jets take on the Canberra Raiders at Canberra Stadium on Sunday, with this match timed to start at 12.20pm. This game is of course the main curtain-raiser to the Roosters-Raiders NRL match set down for 2.30pm.
Tom Raudonikis is in a cheerful mood as he poses with the victorious Newtown Jets VB Premier League team after Saturday?s 54-10 win against Western Suburbs at Henson Park.
Photo courtesy of Mike Biboudis (Mobile: 0410 691 114).