Fielding a team short on experience but full of enthusiasm the Newtown Jets lost no fans when beaten in the final minutes by the Intrust Super Premiership leaders Mounties last weekend.
The Jets delivered a wholehearted performance against a strong Mounties team, one which will have them confident of a bold showing in the final two rounds of the regular season and then in the finals series to follow.
Two Sharks NYC players in Keenan Yorston and Lachlan Stein filled in capably for the Jets, with the pair again named for this weekend’s clash with the North Sydney Bears.
Also set to run out for the Newtown side on Saturday are Sharks-contracted players Fa’amanu Brown, Anthony Moraitis, Junior Roqica, Jacob Gagan, Matt McIlwrick, Josh Cleeland and Kurt Capewell.
Regular front rower Jesse Sene-Lafao has been called up into the Sharks NRL squad for their match against Souths on Monday.
The Jets and Bears, who will play for the Frank Hyde Shield, are scheduled for a 3.00pm kick off at Henson Park on Saturday.
Below is the Jets team list and a comprehensive report courtesy of Newtown Jets media of the round 23 match against Mounties.
ISP Team List – round 24
Jets v Bears
Saturday, August 25
1 Jaline Graham
2 Corin Smith
3 Keenan Yorston
14 Anthony Moraitis
5 Jacob Gagan
6 Josh Cleeland
7 Fa'amanu Brown
8 Junior Roqica
9 Matt McIlwrick
10 Saulala Houma
11 Malakai Houma
12 Kurt Capewell
13 Kurt Kara
4 Brent Anderson
16 Jason Schirnack
18 Arana Taumata
20 Kurt Dillon
24 Harrison Muller
By Newtown Jets Media
Fatal flaws prove to be the Jets downfall.
With a place in the competition’s top four as an incentive, the Jets turned on one of their best displays of the season in the first thirty-nine minutes of this match against the competition leaders.
A converted try to Mounties after the halftime siren saw Newtown take a 16-6 lead into the break.
The Mounties proved for the second time in recent weeks that they are great escape artists (two weeks ago they had overhauled a 28-6 half-time lead by Wests Tigers). On Saturday Newtown extended their lead to 24-6 thirteen minutes into the second half, but Mounties pulled back through three converted tries to draw level at 24-all with seven minutes left to play. The Jets conjured up what might have been the match-winning try in the 77th minute, but failed to close out the game when they had the chance. Mounties pulled off a one hundred-metre try in the 79th minute that was converted to snatch a most improbable 30-28 win.
The win guarantees Mounties the 2016 Intrust Super Premiership NSW minor premiership.
Other 23rd round results ensured that the Jets at the very least cannot miss a place in the top eight, and Canterbury’s upset win over the New Zealand Warriors in fact keeps the Jets’ hopes of a top four finish (and a double-chance in the finals) alive.
The infuriating circumstances of this loss on Saturday were particularly gut-wrenching for players, team staff, officials and supporters alike but as coach Greg Matterson said to his players back in the dressing rooms, “individual errors are not to blame – in this club we win as a team, and we lose as a team. Now let’s get ready to meet the Bears at Henson Park.”
Alofi Mataele, Kato Ottio, Sam Williams, Shaun Fensom, Jarrad Kennedy tries; Sam Williams 5 goals
Jacob Gagan 2, Anthony Moraitis 2, Fa’amanu Brown tries; Kurt Capewell 4 goals.
Here is the NSWRL ISP NSW competition table after 23 rounds: http://live.nswrl.com.au/comp/197
Half-Time: Newtown led 16-6.
Referee: Damian Briscoe. Touch Judges: Mitchell Stone and Mathew Damaso.
Jaline Graham, Corin Smith, Keenan Yorston, Lachlan Stein, Jacob Gagan, Josh Cleeland, Fa’amanu Brown, Jason Schirnack, Anthony Moraitis, Kurt Capewell, Malakai Houma, Matt McIlwrick, Junior Roqica. Bench: Kurt Dillon, Kurt Kara, Saulala Houma, Arana Taumata. Coach: Greg Matterson.
Strapping young centre Keenan Yorston from the Cronulla Sharks NYC (Holden Cup) squad was on debut for the Newtown Jets, and we congratulate him on this honour: http://www.sharks.com.au/team/profiles/keenan_yorston.html
Mounties (the Canberra Raiders partnership club):
Zachary Santo, Kato Ottio, Patrick Mataele, Sonny Bristow, Alofi Mataele, Maurice Kennedy, Sam Williams, Shaun Fensom, Scott Sorenson, Jarrad Kennedy, Rhys Kennedy, Adam Clydsdale, Willie Mataka. Bench: Jarrod Brackenhofer, Sam Duggan, Royce Hunt, Jacob Mayer. Coach: Steve Antonelli.
You can always count on John “The Phantom Bluebag” Lynch for the last laugh: When he saw the Mounties team he remarked, “there are more Kennedys on the Mounties team-sheet than you’d find at Hyannis Port!” (You have to be well-versed in American politics to get that one …)
Timeline from Saturday’s game:
Mounties kicked off with Newtown defending the southern end of the ground.
2nd min: Mounties turned the ball over at their end.
4th min: Weight of numbers tell as several Mounties tacklers take Keenan Yorston over the sideline.
Newtown tackled strongly in these early sets, keeping Mounties at their end.
10th min: Newtown looked enterprising with the ball.
12th min: Repeat set to Newtown on halfway line.
13th min: Josh Cleeland and Kurt Capewell combine well and Jacob Gagan scores 10m in from the south-west corner. Gagan had plenty of work to do before scoring.
Not converted by Capewell. Newtown 4-0.
Jets mount a promising attack immediately from the kick-off.
Newtown putting plenty of pressure on the Mounties kicker Sam Williams.
16th min: Jets gain a repeat set 30m out from Mounties line.
Errors at this stage are 3-1 to Mounties.
Penalty to Newtown for stripping by Mounties.
20th min: Fa’amanu Brown slices through for one of his trademark tries, 5m to the left of the posts.
Capewell converted. Newtown 10-0.
Cleeland goes very close to scoring, Jets keeping the ball alive.
24th min: Brown hits, spins and off-loads and Anthony Moraitis scores in the south-east corner.
Capewell converted from the sideline and Newtown led 16-0.
Mounties get the ball at Newtown’s end; Jets winger Corin Smith makes a good catch on a high kick close to Newtown’s try-line.
Malakai Houma made a good relieving run.
Mounties get another shot at Newtown’s line but they knock on.
Jaline Graham denied Mounties winger Ottio a chance to seize a high kick and score.
Jets defence holding and keeping Mounties out.
At this 36th min stage it was Mounties 6 errors, Jets 1.
38th min: Newtown kicked out on the full and then Mounties get a penalty in the next set.
39th min: Williams kick into the in-goal is caught and Alofi Mataele scored. Williams converted from the sideline.
Newtown led 16-6 at half-time.
“Newtown’s very good first 39 minutes!”.
Jets kicked off. Mounties predictably looking very energised after their late first-half try and their quest to narrow the deficit.
Capewell kicks a penalty goal in the 44th min. Newtown 18-6.
Jets lost the ball at their own end, Mounties went close to scoring.
Errors by both teams pointed to the increasing tension of the game.
Capewell made a long relieving run for Newtown and on-debut centre Keenan Yorston went close to scoring.
Saulala Houma is held up over the line. Continued handling errors by both teams.
51st min: Anthony Moraitis crashes over for his second try. Kurt Capewell converts, again from reasonably wide out.
53rd min: Jets lead 24-6. More handling errors and Cleeland goes close to scoring.
Jaline Graham is down for treatment to an injury.
58th min: Ottio scores from an intercept, 5m to the right of the posts.
59th min: Williams converted and its 24-12 to Newtown.
Mounties throw the ball around as the minutes run down.
Nu Brown defuses a dangerous in-goal kick by Sam Williams.
67th min: Good hands by Mounties ended in a dummying run by Williams, scores to the right of the posts.
Williams converted his own try; Newtown 24-18.
Mounties making big metres, Jets knocked on 40m out from their own line.
70th min: Try-saving tackle by Moraitis on Mounties centre Bristow.
72nd min: Penalty to Mounties near Newtown’s line, applying enormous pressure. Shaun Fensom scores for Mounties under the posts; Williams converts; 24-all.
Jets under the pump to say the least.
75th min: Tough Newtown lock Jason Schirnack receives treatment for an injury.
Penalty to Jets for Mounties high tackle; Brown finds the line 30m out from Mounties line.
77th min: Scrambling play; Cleeland loses the ball but referee rules knock-back; Mounties nearly snare the ball.
78th min: Ball gets to Gagan who scored in north-east corner. Not converted, Newtown 28-24.
79th min: Jets kick doesn’t find the line and Ottio grabs the ball, drifts infield and finds runners. Mounties mount a long distance attack and Jarrad Kennedy scores in last minute.
Williams converts; it’s full-time and Mounties have won 30-28.
Error count: Mounties 12, Newtown 7.
Match completions: Newtown 26/34; Mounties 25/33.
Newtown’s next game
NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership NSW – 24th Round; Saturday, 20th August 2016; Henson Park; Newtown (5th Place, 29 points) v North Sydney (8th place, 24 points);. Kick-Off: 3.00pm.
This Jets-Bears match is the second leg of the 2016 Frank Hyde Shield series. There are four teams (including Norths) engaged in a desperate struggle for seventh and eighth positions, so the Bears will come to Henson Park ready for the fight of their lives. Newtown can still make the top four so that will be a huge incentive for the Jets on Saturday.