ISP Preview: Jets chase top 4 berth
After sneaking home in Newcastle last weekend the Newtown will be looking to lift a notch on Saturday when they face a test of their Intrust Super Premiership credentials against the competition leading Mounties.
A late try to youngster Lachlan Stein saw the Jets register a narrow 22-19 win over the Knights to consolidate their place inside the top eight and stay in contention for the top four with just three matches remaining.
As he has done for most of the season, Sharks-contracted centre Kurt Capewell was dynamic in the Knights game, creating a try, running for almost 200 metres and proving difficult to handle throughout the contest.
With one NRL game under his belt and looking for further opportunity at the top level in the future, Capewell believes the Jets can get better in the run into the finals in sounding a warning to their rivals.
"Yeah I'm feeling confident I think we've got a lot of improvement in us, we sort of got shuffled around a bit with the Origin period,” Capewell told NSWRL media. "Going into the finals, if we put a fairly good team on the park and we keep our sense and go to plan we should go all right.”
For their clash with Mounties the Jets received some good and bad news during the week as to the make-up of their team.
On a negative, centre Jordan Drew was ruled out for the rest of the 2016 after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this week, while on a positive note Newtown welcome back Fa’amanu Brown and Matt McIlwrick after the pair were called up into the Sharks NRL squad last week.
Jets Coach Greg Matterson will be looking for Brown and McIlwrick to inspire the troops this week, with the likes of Jesse Sene-Lafao, Junior Roqica and Anthony Moraitis also needing to stand up and perform against a strong Mounties forward pack.
While the Mounties forwards, who include NRL regulars Shaun Fenson and Jarrad Kennedy amongst their ranks, will again attempt to lead the way, out wide winger Kato Ottio has scored 23 tries this season and is sure to be intent on adding to that tally on Saturday.
Mounties won the first encounter between the two teams this season by 18-12.
The fifth placed Jets (29 points) v Mounties (38 points) match is scheduled for a 3.00pm kick off at Aubrey Keach Reserve.
Team lists courtesy the NSWRL ISP Match Centre – CLICK HERE
ISP Match Centre, including game details and the competition table – CLICK HERE
Highlights from last week’s ISP round of matches – CLICK HERE
Steele Sports will broadcast the game live, coverage beginning at 2.30pm – www.steelesports.com.au
Photo – Courtesy Gary Sutherland – Kurt Capewell on the attack