After claiming a valuable two-point win last weekend to remain in eighth position on the Intrust Super Premiership ladder the Newtown Jets face another test of their finals credentials on Saturday when they host the Blacktown Workers-Sea Eagles in a round 15 match at Henson Park.
The Jets defended grimly in preserving their half time lead in coming away with an 18-16 victory over Newcastle, a win that could prove to be very valuable later in the season as teams battle for top-8 berths.
Five players missing from the Sharks this week due to State of Origin duty means the Jets depth will be tested as players push up into the NRL side.
While the Sharks have named a 21-man squad and the 17-player team won’t be confirmed until later in the week, Newtown regulars Daniel Mortimer, Edrick Lee and Fa’amanu Brown are likely to be required in the top-grade meaning Jets coach Greg Matterson had some holes to fill for the game against Blacktown.
The Jets are in eighth place, the Sea Eagles 11th ahead of their round 15 match.
Only three ISP games are scheduled, with six teams enjoying a bye.
See following the Newtown Jets team list and a comprehensive coverage from the game against the Knights as provided by Newtown Jets media.
ISP Team List – round 15
Jets v Sea Eagles
Saturday, June 17
Kick-off – 3.00pm
1 Matt Evans
2 Brent Anderson
3 Jordan Drew
4 Jesse Ramien
5 James Tuitahi
6 Leigh Higgins
7 Jason Schirnack
8 Kurt Dillon
9 Kurt Kara
10 Jaimin Jolliffe
11 Kenny Niko
12 Jack Williams
13 Jayden McDonogh
14 Tepatasi Fuiava
15 Jordan Galloway
16 Ben Martinez-Murray
17 Saulala Houma
By Newtown Jets Media
The Jets bring back two valuable points from their trip to the northern Coalfields.
NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership NSW – 14th Round
Daniel Mortimer, Jesse Ramien, Edrick Lee tries; Fa’amanu Brown 3 goals
Newcastle Knights 16
Sam Mataora, Trent Hodkinson, Tom Hughes tries; Trent Hodkinson 2 goals.
Half-Time: Newtown led 18-6.
Referee: Adam Cassidy. Touch Judges: Joe Eid and Ben Teague.
Newtown’s team for this match was:
Matt Evans, Edrick Lee, Jordan Drew, Jesse Ramien, James Tuitahi, Daniel Mortimer, Fa’amanu Brown, Jayden McDonogh, Kenny Niko, Jack Williams, Kurt Dillon, Kurt Kara, Tepatasi Fuiavailili.
Bench: Jaimin (Jimmy) Jolliffe, Saulala Houma, Leigh Higgins, Jordan Galloway.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Saulala Houma was playing his 100th game for the Newtown Jets, and Matt Evans was playing his 50th game for the club. Congratulations from everyone at the Newtown RLFC to both players.
Nick Meaney, Tom Hughes, Cory Denniss, Jacob Gagan, Tom Cronan, William Pearsall, Trent Hodkinson, Tyrone Amey, Braden Robson, Pat Mata’utia, Mickey Paea, Joey Morris, Sam Mataora.
Bench: Tom Starling, Bradie Smith, Sam Bernstrom, Pauli Pauli.
Coach: Simon Woolford.
Match Timeline: First Half
Newcastle kicked off to the southern end of the Cessnock Sports Ground.
The Knights came out of the blocks fast and dominated the first five minutes.
6th minute: Sam Mataora scores to the right of the goal-posts.
Converted by Trent Hodkinson. Knights 6-0 after 7 minutes.
10th min; Midfield penalty to Newtown gives the Jets a chance to get at the Knights end.
11th min; Determined try by Daniel Mortimer, scored to the right of the northern end goal-posts
Converted by Fa’amanu Brown. 6-all after 12 mins.
13th min; James Tuitahi goes close on the right-hand northern corner but is tackled out.
21st min: Relieving penalty to Jets to get them away from their own line.
30th min: Jesse Ramien scores 10 metres in from north-east corner.
Converted from wide out by Fa’amanu Brown. Newtown 12-6.
35th minute: Jets moving the ball well and with purpose.
Daniel Mortimer’s cut-out pass ends in a try to Edrick Lee who takes the ball closer in to the posts.
Converted by Fa’amanu Brown. Newtown leads 18-6 after 36 minutes.
38th minute: Knights looking dangerous at Newtown’s end but they lose the ball 5 metres out from Jets tryline.
Half-Time: Newtown leads 18-6.
Completions: Newtown 16/20, Knights 13/18
Newtown had 56% of possession.
Coach Matterson says that defence is the key to the second half and he calls for a huge defensive effort from his players, knowing there will be a resurgence from the Knights. Both teams desperately need to take the competition points from this game.
Jets kick off to the southern end.
Knights knock on a high kick in the 47th minute.
Jordan Drew goes very close to scoring.
Penalty to Newtown in 48th minute helps keep the pressure on the Knights.
Kenny Niko takes a resounding hit to the side of his head and leaves the field for medical observation.
Knights get close to scoring in the 55th minute.
Repeat sets to the Knights at Newtown’s end in the 60th minute and now it’s the Jets under the cosh.
63rd minute: Trent Hodkinson charges down a Jets clearing kick, toes the ball ahead, regathers and scores to the left of the northern end uprights.
He converts his own try. Newtown 18-12 in 65th minute.
Knights stack their left side and good ball-handling and a determined effort by winger Tom Hughes sees him score in the north-west corner in 66th minute.
Not converted. Newtown leads 18-16 with 13 minutes left to play.
71st minute: Knights tackled out over the sideline 10 metres out from Newtown’s tryline.
Knights maintain the attacking pressure.
Jets turn over the ball midfield in the 77th minute.
Penalty to Newtown 20 metres out from their own line in the 79th minute settles the issue.
Full-Time: Newtown wins 18-16.
Coach Matterson says this was a good, hard win and one we needed badly.
Second half completions:
Newtown 13/17; Knights 13/18.
Knights had 52% of possession.
Penalties for the match: Newtown 7-5.