The Sydney Airport Jets' 34-22 loss to St. George-Illawarra at Henson Park on Saturday proved just how competitive Newtown can be with the best teams in the 2003 NSW Premier League. This match also proved how the Jets' errors and missed opportunities are invariably very costly against such well-credentialled opponents. Newtown's Official Patron John Singleton was in attendance, and no doubt was pleased with his team's overall effort against the power-packed Dragons. The Jets had done well to only trail by 18-10 at half-time, after turning in a shoddy first half completion rate. Alf Duncan and Craig West scored Newtown's first half tries, with West's try coming from some slick scrum base work from new signing Craig Field. Roared on by the big home crowd, Newtown had the Dragons back-pedalling early in the second half after a try to centre Dustin Cooper (on loan from the Melbourne Storm). However, the Jets failed to maintain their momentum and to make use of their territorial advantage, allowing the Dragons to counter-punch with an eighty metres try. The visitors then enjoyed a glut of possession over the next fifteen minutes, scoring two more tries on the back of repeat sets of possession. Newtown fought back with a converted try six minutes from full-time, with Cooper seizing upon a deftly-placed kick from Field. The Jets' best were forwards Monah Elahmad, Joe Lichaa, hard working Tony Phillips and captain Troy Barnes. Dustin Cooper gave a strong first-up display, and five-eighth Craig West again impressed. Craig Field, in his first game of grade football in two years, showed what value he will be to the club in the forthcoming weeks. The Jets travelled to Ringrose Park in the Jim Beam Cup competition on Saturday afternoon, and given the unsettled nature of the team's preparation for this match, competed reasonably well despite going down to Wentworthville by 44-18. The Sydney Airport Jets meet the Penrith-St.Marys Cougars in both grades at the Western Weekender Stadium, St. Marys this Saturday (June 14). The NSW Premier League match kicks off at 3pm, and the Jim Beam Cup curtain-raiser is timed to start at 1.15pm.Like
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