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The Sydney Airport Jets survived a nerve-wracking final ten minutes to defeat the Newcastle Knights 34-32 in the VB Premier League competition match played at Henson Park on Saturday, after leading 24-16 at half-time.
Newtown's captain Craig Field, virtually straight off the plane from France, dominated proceedings by scoring one try, directly setting up four others as well as making a vital try saving tackle. Sydney Airport Jets front-rowers James Stosic and Daniel Manousso, who were both making their first grade debuts, were the best Newtown forwards and they received strong support from Chris Williams, Phillip Leuleuai and Thomas Gemmell. Former Penrith player Ben Vaeau impressed in the centres, while ace winger Alf Duncan and fullback Andrew Le Breton each scored two tries. The impressive Le Breton saved the game for Newtown with an outstanding individual defensive effort in the last minute of play and looks to be set for a splendid season.
Player fatigue was clearly a major factor, as this was the Sydney Airport Jets' first game under full match conditions for the season and one that was played in extreme humidity. Newtown has a big assignment next Saturday against the crack St. George-Illawarra Dragons VB Premier League team, with this match at Henson Park due to start at 4.30pm.
In the opening round of the NSWRL Jim Beam Cup competition, Newtown turned in a disappointing performance in going down to the Sydney Bulls 48-22, with Simon Crotty the stand-out player for the Sydney Airport Jets. There are better days ahead for this team, as this was the first time this combination had played together. Newtown has a bye in the Jim Beam Cup competition this coming weekend. The Newtown RLFC - proud to be sponsored by Sydney Airport and the Petersham RSL Club. Next Saturday, March 27: Henson Park NSWRL VB Premier League Sydney Airport Jets v. St.George-Illawarra Kick-Off: 4.30pm. The Sydney Airport Jets have a bye in the NSWRL Jim Beam Cup competition this weekend.