Jets bounce back at Belmore
It was all Bulldogs for almost 39 minutes of the match, with the home side dominating proceedings in their round six Intrust Super Premiership clash with the Newtown Jets.
However just when all seemed bleak for the Newtown side, a Josh Cleeland try seconds before half time, followed by a Jacob Gagan four-pointer only minutes after the break put the Jets on course for what would be a somewhat unlikely 28-22 win.
Starved of possession in the first half, some of it by their own doing and some as a result of goof play from their opponents had the Bulldogs up 18-0 with half time fast approaching.
The two teams appeared destined to go to half time with the Jets three converted tries behind until Cleeland took on the line from close range and crashed over with the hooter to end the half sounding in the background.
The conversion attempt from Fa'amanu Brown sailed wide but the try had lifted the Newtown spirits and given them hope of a second half revival.
Shortly after returning to the field that belief went up another level when Gagan capitalised on a fumble from his opposite number and when Brown slotted the sideline conversion it was a game on at 18-10 with plenty of time left on the clock.
Now well and truly on the front foot the Jets marched down into Bulldogs territory again and it was just four minutes later when Brown managed to get over the line himself after a determined effort from dummy half and when he was again successful in converting the try the Jets trailed by just two at 18-16 with still 33 minutes of the match to go.
Keeping the pressure on a long cut-out pass from Jaline Graham put Gagan into space and the big Sharks winger did the rest, planting the ball down for his second try and the Jets had taken their first lead of the night at 20-16 in front.
Brown converted from wide out once more to make it 22-18 and all of a sudden it was the Dogs doing the chasing with 18 minutes of the game remaining.
Newtown defended a couple of Canterbury attacking raids before securing the win and the two competition points when Cleeland crossed for his second in the 75th minute and when Kurt Capewell, taking over the kicking duties from Brown, was successful in adding the extras the Jets were home at 28-18.
The Bulldogs scored a consolation try through centre Tyrone Phillips but time ran out on their challenge and Newtown had emerged winners.
For the Jets the two Brown's played strongly, Mitch at fullback and on the wing and Fa'amanu at five eighth and then hooker, while prop Malakai Houma provided plenty of impact after entering the game from the interchange bench.
Backrowers Kurt Capewell and Anthony Moraitis also had some good moments, as did Jets prop Kurt Dillon who was a tower of strength in the middle of the field. Cleeland also had some good touches, with his two tries coming at opportune moments for his team on the night.
The win saw the Jets move to nine competition points, one ahead of Wentworthville and Mounties, both who have games still to play in round six.
The Jets next assignment is a match against the Illawara Cutters at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Saturday.
NEWTOWN JETS 28
Josh Cleeland 2, Jacob Gagan 2, Fa'amanu Brown tries Brown 4 goals
THE BULLDOGS 22