The Newtown Jets were defeated by a hungry Newcastle Knights outfit this afternoon at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Despite producing an impressive late surge, the experienced Jets side struggled to turn possession to much-needed points.
Newcastle opened the scoring, with Tyler Randell firing an offload to Jacob Saifiti who crashed over in the 5th minute. Kainoa Gudgeon slotted his first conversion to edge the Knights ahead 0 – 6.
Newtown responded with an unexpected attack down the right flank and won consecutive sets. Jesse Ramien inspired a fast play that sent Tony Williams ploughing through the Knights defence to score an impressive four-pointer. Fa’amanu Brown successfully converted to level the score to 6 – 6.
The Knights retaliated in the form of playmaker Jaelen Feeney, who dummied and dodged his way around to cross to the left of the posts. Gudgeon set the ball through the posts to edge his side in front 6 – 12.
Newtown’s defence was put to the test, as their opponents were gifted with consecutive sets of six inside their own half. The Knights played the ball fast and soon enough Brayden Robson would tear through a hole and cross. An unsuccessful conversion left Newcastle ahead 6 – 16.
The Jets once would find themselves once again fighting off a hungry Newcastle pack. In a matter of minutes, the Knights found numbers out right and looked good to score a textbook try on the wing. The Jets, however, shifted just in time and pushed Gudgeon into touch before he had the chance to cross.
Newtown conceded series of unforced errors that gave the Knights the momentum needed to cross once more. A strong Josh King four-pointer and an accurate Gudegon conversion propelled the visitors ahead 6 – 22.
Graced with a penalty seconds before half time, the Jets took the two and hit the sheds trailing 8 – 22.
HALF TIME 8 – 22
An inspired Jets side opened the scoring in the second stanza curtesy of a Joseph Paolo, who cleaned up a punt to touch down behind the posts. Brown slotted the conversion to close the gap 14 – 22.
The Jets capitalised on newfound momentum and it would be the Knights turn to defend their white line. Newtown fired play from left to right, won consecutive sets but struggled to turn possession into points.
Newtown’s hard work finally paid off as Manaia Cherrington sent Jordan Drew over on the wing. Brown’s sideline conversion was waved away and the home side would trail 18 – 22.
With ten minutes to go, Newcastle’s Nick Meaney sprinted through a gap to set up Pat Mata’utia for a clean-cut try. A successful conversion put the Knights further ahead to win 18 – 28.
FULL TIME 18 – 28
Tries to Jacob Saifiti, Tony Williams, Jaelen Feenley, Brayden Robson, Josh King, Joseph Paolo, Jordan Drew, Pat Mata’utia