The Newtown Jets, the Sharks partner club in the Intrust Super Premiership, have scored their first win against the Knights away from home since 2008 and at the same time helped celebrate Coach Greg Matterson’s 200th game in style.
After giving up an early try the Jets controlled proceedings for the majority of the match, jumping out to a 28-6 lead before holding on to register their first win of the 2016 season.
The Jets finished in a draw in their opening round match and now sit on three competition points after the two matches played.
While the Knights were first to score after capitalising on a Newtown error, for the next 50-odd minutes the game was dominated by the Jets.
Sharks-contracted outside back Jordan Drew contributed three tries, Josh Cleeland and Fa’amanu Brown one apiece, as the Jets jumped out to a match-winning 28-6 advantage before three Newcastle tries in the final 15-minute made the final margin closer than Matterson and his coaching staff would have liked.
Sharks NRL squad members Matt McIlwrick (eye) and Kurt Capewell (knee) suffered injuries in the loss however the early diagnosis is positive with both hopeful of being fit to play next weekend.
Jest fullback Arana Taumata left the field with a hip injury during the second half, with his status going forward unknown.
Following the Newtown Jets media have produced a more detailed description of the game on Saturday.
Intrust Super Premiership NSW
Saturday, 12th March 2016
Cessnock Sports Ground
Newcastle Knights v Newtown
Jordan Drew 3, Arana Taumata, Josh Cleeland, Fa’amanu Brown tries;
Josh Cleeland two goals
Newcastle Knights 20
Luke Yates, Mao Uta, Will Pearsall, James Elias tries;
Bryce Donovan 2 goals.
Half-Time: Newtown led 14-6.
Weather: Very hot, 32 degrees Celsius, slight easterly breeze in the first half, north-easterly breeze in the second half.
Newtown’s team was:
Arana Taumata, Mitch Brown, Jordan Drew, Matt Evans, Jacob Gagan, Josh Cleeland, Fa’amanu Brown, Jason Schirnack, Anthony Moraitis, Kurt Capewell, Junior Roqica, Matt McIlwrick, Myles Taueli. Bench: Kurt Dillon, Kurt Kara, Malakai Houma, Travis Robinson, Jaline Graham (18th man).
The Newcastle Knights team was:
Sam Cook, Ken Tofilau, Jacob Gagai, Bryce Donovan, Mao Uta, Danny Kerr, Will Pearsall, Luke Yates, Brett Jarrett, Tekina Vailea, Josh King, Krys Freeman, Michael Steele.
Bench: James Elias, Tama Koopu, Viti Baker, Robert Mason.
Newtown’s injury list:
Arana Taumata (hip), Matt McIlwrick (eye), Kurt Capewell (knee).
Knights kicked off, with Newtown defending the southern end of the Cessnock Sports Ground.
7th minute: Jets knock on midfield, Luke Yates scores for the Knights next to the posts. Converted by Bryce Donovan, Knights lead 6-0.
10th minute: Knights knock on 10 metres out from their own line.
11th minute: Jordan Drew try, Arana Taumata misses the conversion attempt from wide out. Knights lead 6-4.
14th minute: Jordan Drew seeking treatment for an injury, remains on the field.
15th minute: Knights knock on 40 metres from their own line. It was on the 2nd tackle after receiving a penalty.
16th minute: Jordan Drew scores 8 metres in from the corner, not converted by Fa’amanu Brown. Newtown leads 8-6.
19th minute: Knights win a scrum against the feed and then concede a penalty.
22nd minute: Jacob Gagan sprints into a gap and offloads to Arana Taumata who races 40 metres to score. Josh Cleeland converts the try. Newtown leads 14-6.
34th minute: Jets forced into a goal-line dropout. Big defensive set required by the Jets in very hot playing conditions.
35th minute: Knights kick the ball dead and relieve the situation for Newtown.
36th minute: Mitch Brown treated for injury.
37th minute: Newtown receives a penalty for a Knights play the ball infringement. Kurt Capewell comes off with an injury.
40th minute: Knights try disallowed for obstruction.
Half-Time: Newtown leads 14-6.
Newtown Jets kick off for the second half, defending the northern end. Breeze is now coming from the north-east.
47th minute: Josh Cleeland scores under the posts and converts his own try. Newtown 20-6.
54th minute: Knights can’t clean up a Travis Robinson grubber-kick and Fa’amanu Brown scores 12 metres in from the eastern touchline. Try not converted. Newtown leads 24-6.
59th minute: Travis Robinson and Fa’amanu Brown display great handling skills and Jordan Drew posts his hat-trick. Arana Taumata is down in the back-play. Travis Robinson misses the conversion from wide out and Newtown leads 28-6.
60th minute: Play resumes after a drinks break and Arana Taumata is still on the field.
61st minute: Arana Taumata leaves the field with a hip injury.
65th minute: Try to Mao Uta, not converted by Bryce Donovan. Newtown leads 28-10.
71st minute: Trey to Will Pearsall and converted by Bryce Donovan. Newtown leads 28-16.
74th minute: Knights back on the attack after the Jets fail to clean up a bomb.
76th minute: Jets forced into another goal-line drop-out situation. The Knights knock on 5 metres out from Newtown’s line, after the Jets had been forced to defend for three consecutive sets.
80th minute: James Elias try, not converted by Donovan.
Full-Time: Newtown 28 defeated Newcastle Knights 20
Other ISP NSW results:
New Zealand Warriors 44 defeated Wests Tigers 6;
Penrith 42 defeated North Sydney 10;
Illawarra Cutters 38 defeated Canterbury-Bankstown 12;
Wyong 24 defeated Mounties 18.
Wentworthville 28 defeated Manly-Warringah 0
Newtown’s next ISP NSW match:
ISP NSW – Round Three
Sunday, 20th March 2016
Mt Smart Stadium, Penrose, Auckland
New Zealand Warriors v Newtown
Kick-Off: 11.45am NZ Time (9.45am Sydney time).