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Newtown?s VB Premier League team lost their final trial match by 20-16 in the game played against the Newcastle Knights at Gosford on Saturday evening. The Sydney Airport Jets had led 12-0 after ten minutes, but then turned in a disappointing team performance for the remainder of the match.
This of course was a team comprising a new combination of Newtown and Cronulla squad members who were playing together for the first time this season, and the ultra-humid conditions were certainly not conducive to good handling. Newtown?s completion rate worsened as the game progressed, and allowed the Knights to grab a not very convincing victory. The Jets will need to ?gel? together quickly, as their first round opponents the Cougars are renowned competition front runners.
Newtown was best served by impressive young front rower John Green, hard working veteran David Thompson, and by forwards Clifford Manua and Kevin Kingston. Centre John Sinisa made an amazing 25 tackles, and New Caledonian-born winger Dimitri Pelo gave a lively performance.
In the Jim Beam Cup selection trial played at Windsor on Friday evening, Newtown fielded a large number of young hopefuls who were outgunned by the Wolves, who will probably be one of the competition?s stronger team?s this year. Once again the tireless Luke Ellis showed what a tremendous clubman he will be for Newtown this year.
There is no VB Premier League trial match this weekend, as Colin Murphy and his coaching staff set to work fine-tuning the squad for the competition?s opening round against the Cougars at Toyota Park on Saturday, March 12.
Next Saturday (March 5th) sees a full afternoon of Rugby League action at Henson Park, with the Sydney Roosters Matthews Shield and SG Ball teams playing local rivals South Sydney at 12 noon and 1.30pm respectively. At 3.00pm, the Macarthur Bulls Police RLFC takes on the Parkes Spacemen reserve grade team, and at 4.30pm the Newtown Jim Beam Cup squad meets up with our Group 11 affiliate club, the Parkes RLFC first graders. This is a great opportunity for Newtown supporters to welcome our central western NSW partners, both at Henson Park and at the official welcoming function back at the Jets Sports Club on Saturday evening.
1970?s Rugby League legend ?Lord Ted? Goodwin is to be the afternoon?s special guest, as Ted played with Newtown back in 1979 and then captain-coached the Parkes Spacemen to two Group 11 premierships in the early 1980?s.