Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Ned Kelly's famous words "Tell 'em I died game" were quite applicable to the Sydney Airport Jets' gritty performance at Henson Park last Saturday, when they grafted hard all the way against NSW Premier League title favourites the Bulldogs, before going down by 34-22. Spurred on by another big reunion day home crowd, the Jets won the respect of everyone at Henson Park with their never say die effort. Fielding a somewhat makeshift pack, with at least five first choice forwards on the injured list, the Jets fought hard against the well-drilled Bulldogs. Newtown's manpower situation was worsened when impressive young front-rower Aaron Sweeney smashed a shoulder in the game's full-on opening exchanges. The methodical 'Dogs remorselessly punished Newtown for any errors, with virtually every try to the visitors attributable to Jets' mishaps in their own territory, such as poorly directed passes or handling errors. The 2003 Jets brought appreciative roars from the crowd through the quality of their tries, as they bravely repeatedly clawed their way back to keep in touch with the 'Dogs. Fullback Andrew Le Breton was again one of Newtown's best, and he received strong support from centre Dustin Cooper, and forwards Chris Williams, Aaron Trinder and Campbell McNiven. Both replacement forwards Josh Annesley and Andrew Kaleopa worked hard in defence. Scrumbase combo Craig Field and Troy Barnes, after proving so effective against Parramatta the previous Saturday, were kept in relative check by the Bulldogs, although the crafty Barnes conjured up a classic fifty-metres charge-down try. Newtown began in great style against Wentworthville in their Jim Beam Cup match, with fearsome winger Dicky Veramu grabbing an early try. It was all downhill after about twenty minutes as the Jets' defences unravelled and Wenty took control of the game, striding away to a convincing 46-12 win. The Sydney Airport Jets travel to Campbelltown Stadium this Sunday (August 31), for their Premier League clash with Western Suburbs. This match is a curtain raiser to the Wests-Tigers and North Queensland NRL match, and kicks off at 1.00pm. Newtown is away to Woy Woy in the Jim Beam Cup on Saturday afternoon, with the game at Woy Woy Oval due to start at 4.00pm.