Two tries in the space of three minutes from winger Jacob Gagan during the second half with the game in the balance, has spurred the Newtown Jets to a 26-10 victory over the Illawarra Cutters in their round nine VB NSW Cup clash at Henson Park.
Coming off the back of two losses the match was an important one for the Newtown side to remain in the top eight and in reach of the competition leaders, with the Gagan tries and a standout performance from halfback Todd Murphy getting the Jets across the line.
The win was built on the back of an outstanding first half defensive effort, with the Jets going on with the job in the second 40 minutes.
In the Jets victory they were without Sami Sauiluma and Mitch Brown, who were called up into the Sharks NRL squad, as well as Pat Politoni, the hooker on stand-by as 18th man for the Sharks for their match against the Warriors.
Blake Ayshford, Nathan Gardner, Dallas Wells and Saul Houma were the other Sharks contracted players turning out for the Jets in the win.
Russell Packer, playing his first official rugby league game after being convicted of an assault, was a member of the Illawarra Cutters team. The Cutters are the feeder team for the St George Illawarra Dragons.
With the win the Jets move to 10 points and into fifth position on the competition ladder. Their next match is against the Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground.
Newtown Jets 26 (J Gagan 2, N Mataitonga, B Ayshford, D Abou-Sleiman tries; T Murphy 3 goals) bt Illawarra Cutters 10 (J Hunt, K Glymin tries; S Crook goal)
Match Highlights - CLICK HERE
Newtown’s team was:
Nathan Gardner, Cory Brown, Nesiasi Mataitonga, Blake Ayshford, Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Dallas Wells, Todd Murphy, Tim Robinson, Tarek El Masri, Patrice Siolo, Andrew Pearn, Kurt Kara, Saulala Houma. Bench: Jacob Gagan, Kurt Dillon, Ray Moujalli, Jordan Galloway. Coach: Greg Matterson.
The Illawarra Cutters team was:
Justin Hunt, Tyson Cranston, Junior Vaivai, Charly Runciman, Kiti Glymin, Drew Hutchison, Shannon Crook, Jake Marketo, Nathan Green, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, Rory O’Brien, Sam Coster, Russell Packer. Bench: Shannon Wakeman, Geoff Daniella, Rulon Nutira, Hayden McCrae. Coach: Scott Logan.