From all reports everything points to a NSW Cup classic this Saturday at Henson Park when the Jets take on the Bulldogs in a match with significant finals implications.
The two teams are on equal points on the VB NSW Cup competition table and both are desperate to consolidate their positions in the top eight with a victory on Saturday.
The game between the sixth-placed Bulldogs and Newtown who are seventh also represents a special milestone for a Jets warrior in hooker/utility Kurt Kara.
Saturday’s match against the Bulldogs is Kara’s 100th NSW Cup match with Newtown after joining the club in 2011, with his recent performances recognised when he was brought in to train this week with the Sharks NRL squad.
Kara was previously with Western Suburbs in the NSW Cup and is a product of the Waikato Rugby League and New Zealand Warriors development systems. He has played primarily as a hooker with the Jets and on occasions has turned out at five-eighth, half-back, lock and as a second-rower.
This weekend Kara and the Newtown-contracted boys will be looking for solid contributions from Nathan Gardner, Blake Ayshford and half-back Todd Murphy, three of 10 Sharks full-time squad members in the 17-man Jets team.
Gardner in particular has been in outstanding form of late, with his input set to have a considerable impact on the result of the match.
The Jets faced the Sharks NRL squad in an opposed training session at Remondis Stadium on Wednesday evening as the two teams went about preparing for their respective matches this weekend.
The Newtown v Canterbury match is scheduled for a 3.00pm kick-off at Henson Park tomorrow, with more Jets news and game day information following;
NSWRL VB NSW Cup – 18th Round
Jets v Bulldogs
Saturday, July 11
Newtown’s team for Saturday is:
Nathan Gardner, Dallas Wells, Blake Ayshford, Mitch Brown, Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Gerard McCallum, Todd Murphy, Ray Moujalli, Pat Politoni, Tim Robinson (Capt), Tinirau Arona, Sami Sauiluma, Junior Roqica. Bench: Andrew Pearn, Kurt Kara, Nesiasi Mataitonga, Saulala Houma.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
The Canterbury-Bankstown team is:
Jaline Graham, Tyrone Phillips, Chase Stanley, Jacob Loko, Corey Thompson, Matt Frawley, Dane Chisholm, Antonio Kaufusi, Damien Cook, Danny Fualalo, David Minute, Adam Elliott, Jason Schirnack. Bench: Levi Dodd, Makahesi Makatoa, Herman Ese’ese, Brad Clark, Tautalatasi Tasi.
Coach: Andrew Patmore.
The Cabramatta RLFC is Newtown’s partnership club in the Ron Massey Cup competition. Kurt Drysdale is a former Sharks NYC player who was badly injured playing with the Cabramatta Two Blues.
The NSWRL, Cabramatta and a number of other sporting clubs and organisations, the Sharks included, will attempt to assist Kurt and his family with some upcoming fundraising events and initiatives. Please stay tuned to the Sharks website and social media channels for more information when it becomes available.