THE Award winners from the round 5 clash with Brothers-Valleys at O'Callaghan Park last Sunday were
Searles Garden Products Man of the Match
Keystar Motors Players Player
THIS was another case of what might have been for the Sydney Airport Jets, when they lost 40-26 to the second-placed Penrith-St.Marys Cougars at the Western Weekender Stadium on Saturday.
The Cougars, grand finalists in 2003, had led Newtown 24-8 after thirty minutes and looked like running away with the match. Converted tries to Newtown right on half-time and immediately upon resumption had the Jets back in the hunt at 24-20. Jets' second rower Bill Najjarin, centre Nelson Leon and winger Alf Duncan combined midway through the second half for what will have to be one of this season's most exhilarating tries. With barely ten minutes remaining on the clock and Newtown trailing 30-26, Duncan went agonisingly close to scoring after a thrilling dash down the left-hand touchline. The Cougars hit back quickly with a scrambling try from a miscued kick, and from that point took control of the game from the tiring Jets.
Newtown paid the price for a lopsided penalty count and for repeated defensive positional lapses on the left-hand side in the first half. The final scoreline gives no indication of what a desperately close struggle this match was and of the physical effort put in by the Newtown forwards. Second rower Phillip Leuluai had an exceptional game, highlighted by an amazing twenty-six hit-ups and some awesome tackling. Craig Field scored two smartly taken trademark tries and did everything he could to rally his team-mates. Bill Najjarin is back to his top form, and made some powerful surges wide of the ruck area. Five-eighth Luke Young, son of former Newtown half-back Phil Young, suffered a broken rib late in the second half and will be out of action for at least a month.
This team is more than capable of winning its fair share of games in the VB Premier League competition, but there are no points awarded for running a gallant second in the harsh reality of Rugby League football.
The Sydney Airport Jets are back at Henson Park this Saturday (April 17) when they take on neighbouring South Sydney in a VB Premier League local derby at 3.40pm. In the Jim Beam Cup curtain-raiser starting at 2.00pm, Newtown hosts The Entrance.
KIWI Cup 18's
Friday 16 April 2004 Wellington vs Auckland Crowns Westpac Trust Stadium, Wellington Kick Off 6.40 pm
(Curtain Raiser To Bulldogs vs Warriors)
MON 12 Apr Bradford Bulls 54 - 8 St Helens
Mon 12 Apr Widnes Vikings 32 - 18 Hull FC
Mon 12 Apr Wigan Warriors 26 - 24 Warrington Wolves
Mon 12 Apr Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 17 - 24 Huddersfield Giants
Mon 12 Apr Salford City Reds 0 - 44 Leeds Rhinos
NOMINATE Your Young Volunteers - The Whitbread Young Achievers Awards 2004
THE Tasman Orcas claimed their first international rugby league scalp while also ruining Russia's New Zealand debut with a 32-16 win at Trafalgar Park on Monday.
MOTU Tony remains confident of retaining his place in the Kiwi test team for the one-off clash with Australia despite missing Brisbane's past three games with a knee injury.
MELBOURNE Storm coach Craig Bellamy has made several changes to his side ahead of Saturday night?s clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, including omitting veteran prop Rodney Howe to make way for the return of Alex Chan.
SYDNEY City Roosters coach Ricky Stuart has named a strong squad to take on the Newcastle Knights at Energy Australia Stadium in Newcastle on Sunday.
Returning to the team is Adrian Morley after serving a 1 match suspension.
The team is;
SOLOMON Haumono has been included in an 18 man side to play Parramatta in Sunday's big NRL clash at Brookvale Oval.
THE South Sydney Rabbitohs is pleased to announce its teams for Round 6 to take on the Melbourne Storm this Saturday, April 17 at Olympic Park.
CRONULLA Sharks coach Stuart Raper has named his squad to take on the Canberra Raiders on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park.
The squad is;
PARRAMATA coach Brian Smith has named a squad similar to last weekends victorious team to meet the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.
Five eighth, Daniel Wagon is yet to be confirmed as he still has a date with the NRL judiciary.
The team is;
THE news goes from bad to worse for embattled club Cronulla with star recruit Nigel Vagana charged by the National Rugby League.
BRONCOS winger Stu Kelly will miss this Saturday night?s clash with the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville due to an ongoing sternum injury