IT was hard to believe that last year's leading try scorer in Tetley's Super League had not crossed the line once this season up until round eleven.
THERE were tries aplenty in the Sydney Airport Jets' 42-32 loss to South Sydney, in the NSW Premier League match played at Aussie Stadium last Sunday. Newtown looked quite impressive when in possession, but let themselves down badly in defence, conceding a total of nine tries. The Jets' completion rate was their best of the season, but all this good work was undone by the lamentable statistic of thirty-nine missed tackles.
Newtown second rower Joe Lichaa set an outstanding example to his team-mates with twenty-four hit-ups and twenty-one tackles. Billy Najarrin, Tabua Cakacaka, Troy Barnes and Luke Sant also clocked up impressive tackle counts, as the Rabbitohs dominated possession in the first half and in the decisive final twenty minutes of the game. Souths had led 20-12 at half-time, but the Jets fought back to lead 32-24 mid-way through the second half. Craig Field had his best game since joining Newtown, while Ben Tickle and Lee Trasler gave strong support. The Jets might have won the crowd's applause with some creative ball skills, but missing so many tackles against a team with plenty of backline strike power proved fatal.
Newtown's Jim Beam Cup team continues to show plenty of character and improvement, taking the competition leaders The Entrance all the way before losing 32-24. The Jets had led 24-22 well into the second half, and youngsters like Aaron Sweeney, Andrew Abounader, Callan Myles and Frank Reid are all showing the benefit of their involvement in this level of football.
The Sydney Airport Jets are away again in both grades this weekend. The Jim Beamers travel to Ourimbah on Saturday, with this match at Sohier Park due to start at 4.30 pm. The Premier League lads make the road trip to Canberra for the second time this season, with this Sunday match at Canberra Stadium starting at 12.40 pm. Both Sydney Airport Jets' teams are back again at Henson Park on Saturday, July 12.
INSPIRATIONAL Roosters captain Brad Fittler will join an elite band of players on Saturday night, when he plays his 300th first grade game against South Sydney at Aussie Stadium
ANTHONY McCrohon is a young man from the Hunter Valley mining town of Kurri Kurri, who as an outstanding athlete in 1996, trialled for a position in the Knights junior representative teams. Unfortunately tragedy struck on the day of that trial, September 30 1996, which would not only end Anthony's budding football career, but destroy his future well-being.
STORM second-rower Peter Robinson has re-signed with Melbourne today in a deal that will see him remain with the club until the end of the 2005 season.
DRAGONS lock John Cross has been forced to delay his return from a rib injury and will miss tomorrow night's Telstra Premiership match with the Broncos at WIN Stadium.
NEW Zealand Warriors rugby league management have warned Mark Tookey to shed weight or be fined.
BULLDOGS centre Nigel Vagana has signed a three-year deal with the Cronulla Sharks, ending weeks of speculation about his playing future and breaking the hearts of Bulldogs fans in the process.
A book is to be published to mark the 40th anniversary of the Mangere East Rugby League Club. League legend , Olsen Filipaina , speaks openly about his early days playing for the Hawks, Olsen also talks about the move from south Auckland to Sydney which left him so homesick he nearly quit and the racism he says mars the sport.
QUEENSLAND centre Paul Bowman announced on Thursday he would remain with the North Queensland for a further three National Rugby League seasons.
THE cloud over the third State of Origin game has lifted with the Rugby League Players Association received assurances from Suncorp Stadium management that the ground is safe.
THE Bulldogs will be given one final opportunity to retain strike centre Nigel Vagana, but the National Rugby League club looks to be fighting a losing battle.
PERFORMANCE and Development Coaching Clinics:
YORKSHIRE claimed victory in The Origin Game at Odsal on Wednesday night with a comprehensive 56-6 defeat of Lancashire, with London's Chris Thorman doing his Great Britain chances no harm with a fine display.
Thorman, 22, was only called into the White Rose squad on Sunday when captain Danny Orr was ruled out with a rib injury, but he scored a record-equalling 20 points with a try and eight goals and was a deserved Roy Powell Medal winner following a lively showing.
LONDON Broncos will return to Griffin Park on Saturday night after two months and a five-match winning streak on the road.