A fast start and a determined second half defensive effort has seen the Newtown Jets score an impressive 38-6 win over the New Zealand Warriors.
Four first half tries had the Jets out in front and despite a series of injuries that depleted their bench and restricted their interchange options, the Newtown side proved far too good for the Intrust Super Premiership competition leaders.
The Jets scored early when back rower Anthony Moraitis showed plenty of strength to get the ball down, with a Fa’amanu Brown conversion giving the home team a 6-0 lead.
On their next trip down into an attacking zone a Brown kick, mishandled by the New Zealand defense, saw centre Travis Robinson dive on the loose ball, with the conversion doubling the Jets advantage.
A combination of spirited defense and Warrior errors enable the Jets to stay on the front foot with further first half tries to Matt Evans and Malakai Houma, added to a penalty goal by Brown and Newtown was up 24-0 with half time approaching.
The Evans try was a spectacular long distance effort set up by a Josh Cleeland line break, while the Houma four-pointer came as a result of a strong charge from the hard running prop from close range.
After the early onslaught with Jacob Gagan limping off with a hamstring strain and Houma undergoing a concussion test the Jets were somewhat disjoined for a period and New Zealand five eighth Mason Lino capitalised, a try just on half time giving his team some hope at 24-6 to the Jets at the break.
As the Jets would have expected the Warriors lifted their effort in the second period and rather than flashy attack it was the Newtown goal-line defense which impressed, turning their opponents away on a number of occasions.
Realising their stocks were low due to the injury situation the Jets took a penalty goal midway through the second period to extend the lead to 26-6, a move which perhaps took the wind out the sails of the Warriors and virtually assured the Newtown team would come out on top.
At 20-points in front the Jets increased their intensity, a Kurt Capewell try from a Cleeland grubber, followed by a barge over effort from Kenny Niko, rounding out the scoring.
The Jets had good performers right across the field, with hooker Matt McIlwrick busy in the middle, Moraitis and Capewell strong on the edges and Mitch Brown solid at the back.
With Sharks NRL coach Shane Flanagan watching on, all Cronulla-contracted players showed they in-form are ready for the call up in the coming weeks should teammates be selected in the third State of Origin game.
The win saw the Jets move within one point of the competition lead and after a wash-out two weeks ago have a game in hand and an opportunity to grab the top spot.
The Jets next take on the Panthers on Saturday, before their make-up match the following Friday back at Henson Park.
Travis Robinson, Matt Evans, Anthony Moraitis, Kurt Capewell, Malakai Houma, Kenny Niko tries, Fa’amanu Brown 7 goals
Mason Lino try, Lino goal