NSW Rugby League First Division. Parramatta v Newtown

Newtown might have lost Friday night?s First Division match against Parramatta by 24-18, but this was one of the Jets? better performances of the year. There were some outstanding efforts in scrambling defence, and a sense of collective strength and toughness right across the park. With two forwards sidelined by injury in the first half, Newtown played most of this fast and furious contest down to two men on the bench. It was one of those occasions that even in a losing dressing room, the Jets could all look one another in the eye and say with genuine conviction: "we all had a go tonight".

The Jets had an ordinary first half in terms of completed sets, but improved markedly in this area in the second half. Captain and fullback Garth Wood was a standout, with strong kick returns, fierce defence and determined charges into the Parramatta defensive line. Steve Skinnon, clearly now one of the First Division?s form forwards, was an inspiration to his fellow packmen. Others to impress were Dave Lambert, Tere Glassie and Alf Duncan, but it was a night when all the Jets showed pride in themselves and their team. Aaron Trinder, Duncan, Troy Barnes and Ben Tickle scored Newtown?s tries.

In the Metropolitan Cup match played at Henson Park on Saturday, the Jets threw out a strong challenge to the semifinals-bound Ryde-Eastwood, but some decidedly ropey refereeing decisions and the Hawks? forward power won out in the end, with the visitors getting home by 36-22. Late tries to the Hawks blew out the final margin. Jets utility player Simon Davies, who alternates between the wing and the second row, snared himself four tries, equalling the club record in the Metropolitan Cup competition. Ray Carriage scored Newtown?s other try. Simon Mason, a terrific clubman, backed up for the Metro squad after grafting hard against the Eels on the previous evening.

Newtown plays away in both grades this weekend. In the First Division, Newtown travels to Penrith Stadium to take on the Panthers on Sunday, August 4, with the match timed to start at 12.40 p.m. In the Metropolitan Cup, Newtown plays Wentworthville on Saturday, August 3 at Ringrose Park, with this match starting at 4.30 p.m. You can keep up with all the Newtown club news and results by calling 1300 36 36 90.