In a disappointing start to their 2015 campaign the Newtown Jets have gone down by 24-14 to the Wests Tigers.
With a side including nine Sharks NRL squad members, too many errors and a big penalty count against the them, the Jets had their chances but in the end couldn’t get over the top of a committed Tigers outfit.
It appeared they would be in for a good day when the Jets got off to a good start, Junior Roqica crossing in just the sixth minute of the match after running onto a Kyle Stanley pass.
The try was converted by Todd Murphy to make it 6-0 Jets but from there they lost their way as the Tigers dominated the next 30 minutes of the match.
A 12th minute try to Kurtis Rowe from a fortuitous bounce opened the scoring, before his wing opposite John Sila went over twice in succession and despite all three conversions sailing wide the Tigers were up 12-6.
After a string of penalties the Tigers went further in front when Salesi Funaki crashed through some weak Jets defense and at 18-6 the visitors were well and truly on top.
With half time approaching and almost against the run of play the Jets however would narrow the margin, Sami Sauiluma, running into a gaping hole in the defensive line off a well-timed Nathan Gardner pass.
Murphy’s kick at goal swung wide but the try sent the Jets to the sheds with a renewed enthusiasm down by just 18-10.
The second half saw some end to end action but no points, until winger Blake Judd exploited an overlap to edge the Newtown side closer at 18-14 Tigers.
The Jets had numerous chances to go ahead, but a combination of poor ball control, lack of discipline and desperate Tigers defense denied the home team.
In the final wash-up it was the Tigers to extend the lead, a long line break putting them on the attack before a cross field kick found Sila wide open for a third try on the afternoon.
For the Jets the Sharks contingent made solid contributions, with Sauiluma, Murphy and Stanley the best of the group.
Another negative was an injury to Stanley who limped off late with a leg problem. Further examination and possible scans will determine the extent.
Next up for the Jets is an away match against Newcastle next Saturday at Cessnock Sportsground.
Junior Roqica, Sami Suailuma, Blake Judd tries, Todd Murphy goal
WESTS TIGERS 24
John Sila 3, Kurtis Rowe, Salesi Funaki tries, Josh Drinkwater 2 goals
Photo courtesy Steve Montgomery/ourfootyteam.com