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The Newtown Jim Beam Cup team's handling errors and pushed passes contributed to their 22-10 defeat against Wentworthville on Friday night. Scott Frater reports from Ringrose Park that there were a number of positives to come out of the game, such as the exceptional display by Newtown fullback Ben Cook, the good form of new signings Wade L'Estrange (ex-Parramatta) and Andrew Mortimer (ex-Bulldogs), as well as the aggressive defence shown by the Sydney Airport Jets forwards.
Bulldogs VB Premier League coach Kevin Moore said after the match he expected this Newtown Jim Beam Cup team to win plenty of games after coming through a tough section of the draw. Newtown's inability to complete their sets of possession and to maintain pressure in the opposition's quarter put paid to any hopes of an upset win over the 2003 grand finalists. Second rowers Warren Weiss and Nelson Lomi turned in strong performances, and former Warriors halfback Chan Ly looked sharp with the ball. Ben Cook's kick returns and try-saving tackles stamped him as the player of the match. Newtown's iron man prop of the early 1980's and now popular mine host of the palatial Hurstville Ritz Hotel, Steve Bowden, entertained the Sydney Airport Jets players on Saturday afternoon. Big Steve's generosity knew no bounds, and the Newtown club is very grateful for both his 2004 sponsorship and for the tremendous bash he threw for the players on Saturday. The Sydney Airport Jets partnership with the Parkes Spacemen was further strengthened on the weekend, when powerfully-built Newtown second-rower Bruce Po turned out on loan for Parkes in their Group 11 home game clash against Cobar. By all accounts Bruce gave a strong performance in Parkes' 38-20 win and he received a great reception from the crowd at the game and back at the Parkes Leagues Club. The famous Jets logo of course has pride of place on the front of the Parkes jersey for the 2004 season.
This coming Saturday (May 1st) sees Newtown take on Parramatta in the VB Premier League match at Parramatta Stadium, with this match timed to start at 5.30pm. In the Jim Beam Cup, the Sydney Airport Jets are away to the Erina Eagles at Erina Oval on Sunday, May 2nd, with this game kicking off at 3.00pm.