Jets lift off in NZ win
Many in the crowd turned up for a Beer, Food and Festival and as a bonus were at Henson Park to witness the Jets first home ground win of 2017 and their most complete performance of the year, with the Newtown side punishing the Warriors on Saturday.
The Jets ran rampant in the first half, five tries seeing them take a 28-0 lead to the break and from there they held the second placed New Zealanders at bay in chalking up an impressive win.
Big Sharks prop Sam Tagataese bagged a try-scoring double, proving a handful for the New Zealand defence, while Joseph Paulo in the unfamiliar position of five eighth created plenty of opportunities for his outside men.
In his second game for the Jets since joining the Sharks from the Canberra Raiders, hooker Adam Clydesdale was impressive, his crisp work out of dummy half putting him in the frame for a potential call-up to the Sharks NRL squad for their match against the Warriors in Auckland on Friday night.
The match was also celebrated for the fact that journeyman Kurt Kara, a popular Newtown Jet amongst the fans and the playing group, ran out for his 150th game for the Jets.
Tradionally a hooker, Kara played in the halves on the day, capably directing his team around the paddock, while in capping off his milestone match was handed the kicking duties for the final conversion. To the delight of the large crowd Kara slotted over the kick.
While it was one-way traffic on the field, outside the Henson Park picket fence the estimated 6,000-plus crowd enjoyed a range of craft beer stalls and a variety of food options at the Beer, Food and Footy Festival.
With the win the Jets moved to 17 competition points, two wins outside the top eight in 10th position, with five rounds remaining.
This coming weekend the Jets have the bye, followed by a tough run through to the finals, with wins in their remaining four matches needed should they hope to play finals football.
Newtown Jets 38
Sam Tagatese 2, Edrick Lee, Adam Clydsdale, Leigh Higgins, Joseph Paulo, Reubenn Rennie tries; Joseph Paulo 4, Kurt Kara goals
T Palavi, M Cherrington tries; J Pauga 2 goals