The Jets will be desperate for a win on Saturday after slipping to 10th place on the VB NSW Cup ladder when they host the Penrith Panthers.
A draw last weekend has the Newtown side on the outside of the top eight looking in, however they are just one point outside the top eight, three points behind the seventh placed Bears and with four rounds left hope certainly remains that the Jets can play a part in the finals series.
But the first assignment will be to get over the top of a Panthers outfit currently tied on the top of the NSW Cup table.
Giving them some confidence of a positive result will be the fact that the Jets were able to come away with the points at the one and only meeting between the two teams this season.
The NSWRL has provided the following preview, while also provided is all the match information, the competition ladder after 22 rounds and a full preview of the entire round of VB NSW Cup matches.
The Jets v Panthers match is scheduled for a 3.00pm kick-off at Henson Park
Revenge on Panthers’ Minds
It’s been a while since the Penrith Panthers lost 24-8 in their last meeting with the Newtown Jets in round three.
The defending premiers get the opportunity to extract revenge by ending the Jets’ faint finals hopes.
The Jets’ finals chances took a severe hit after conceding a late try in a 22-all draw with Wests Tigers last weekend. There’s no doubt the Jets will be desperate to score a much-needed win in front of the Newtown faithful at Henson Park.
“It’ll be a tough challenge,” Panthers coach Garth Brennan said. “We lost against them in the first round and we had more strike power then. They have plenty of experience – It’ll be a tough assignment for the young guys in the side but we’ll have to compete.”
With the competition’s best defence, the Panthers remarkably sit in a tie for first place while battling with a significant number of players missing throughout the season. Without several of their key players, the Panthers courageously rallied from an early 16-0 deficit against the top-of-the-table Mounties.
“I was really proud of the effort last week especially with a depleted line up,” Brennan said. “We had five young kids come up from the NYC and the side showed plenty of character to come back from 16-0 down before halftime.”
Although the Panthers possess the third-worst attack, it’s not an alarming concern according to Brennan.
“As I’ve said all year, it’s about continuity in the spine and halves,” Brennan said. “We’ve had so many different combinations that it makes it really hard but that’s part of the VB NSW Cup.”
Newtown v Penrith:
Saturday 15th August, 3:00pm
Listen Live on Radiohub.com.au
Newtown’s team for Saturday is:
Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Nathan Gardner, Mitch Brown, Sami Sauiluma, Corey Brown, Blake Ayshford, Todd Murphy, Andrew Pearn, Kurt Kara, Myles Taueli, Tarek Elmasri, Junior Roqica, Tim Robinson.
Bench: Ahmad Ellaz, Pat Politoni, Kurt Dillon, Ray Moujalli, Saulala Houma, Malakai Houma. Coach: Greg Matterson.
Penrith’s team is:
Kieran Moss, Eddie Aiono, Brent Naden, Chris Smith, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Daniel Foster, Sam Scarlett, Sam Anderson, Sione Katoa, Matt Eisenuth, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Corey Harawira, Adam Docker. Bench: Maliko Filino, Rodney Coates, Oliver Clark, Andy Saunders. Coach: Garth Brennan.
How the NSWRL has previewed this weekend’s full round of VB NSW Cup matches - CLICK HERE - http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2015/08/12/previews_vb_nsw_cup_.html
For the current VB NSW Cup points ladder – CLICK HERE - http://www.nswrl.com.au/seniors/vb-nsw-cup/ladder.html
Joel Moss from the NSWRL media team came up with these interesting talking points on the battle for a VB NSW Cup finals place – CLICK HERE - http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2015/08/10/give_me_five_vb_nsw_.html
Photo courtesy - Mario Facchini – mafphotography