Jets stall with Mounties loss
It was a match between one and two on the competition ladder that promised so much yet ultimately turned out to be a disappointing one for the Newtown Jets and the healthy crowd that turned out to support them.
Despite enjoying the better field position throughout the contest it would be Mounties who would prevail, a late intercept try sealing an 18-12 triumph.
On a perfect autumn day at Henson Park the Jets began with plenty of intensity and an early try to Josh Cleeland, giving the home team a 6-0 lead, gave them hope of a positive result.
Squandered opportunities however allowed Mounties back into the game and they didn’t need much of an invitation, their rangy back rower Mitch Barnett scoring twice in quick succession to put his team up 12-6 at the half time break.
The Jets came out after half time with a similar enthusiasm to how they started the match but a combination of unforced errors and strong Mounties defense continually turned them away.
With time ticking and Newtown again attacking a wayward Jets pass was intercepted by Kato Ottio, the tall Mounties winger dashing 85 metres to score, ensuring his team would remain on top of the Intrust Super Premiership table.
Regaining the kickoff with less than a minute on the clock a second Cleeland try, after the five eighth collected a kick rebound, brought the scores closer together and provided a more accurate indication of the difference between the two teams.
Newtown Coach Greg Matterson would have been pleased with the effort but disappointed with the execution in what was perhaps a lost opportunity against the team comfortably out in front of the competition after the first 10 rounds of the 2016 season.
For the Jets Jordan Drew had some good moments at right centre, Kurt Capewell had some good touches and was dangerous although mostly well-contained by the Mounties defense, while back rower Anthony Moraitis worked tirelessly on the Newtown right hand side. At hooker and then playing lock late in the match Matt McIlwrick got through a mountain of work in the middle of the field.
With a tightly bunched ISP table the Jets could find themselves anywhere from third to sixth after the rounds of matches is complete.
Newtown Jets 12
Josh Cleeland 2 tries, Fa’amanu Brown 2 goals
Mitch Barnett 2, Kato Ottio tries, Cameron Phelps 3 goals