In a disappointing first up result, the Newtown Jets have been soundly beaten by the Newcastle Knight.
Poor ball control and a series of missed opportunities gifted Newcastle field position and points, with the home team running out comfortable 24-4 winners.
The first try came against the run of play and would be something of an indicator of what was to follow, with Newcastle fullback Tex Hoy collecting a Jets grubber kick in his own in-goal before heading downfield on a 75-metre run.
Three tackles later with the Newtown defence in scramble mode, back rower Beau Fermor would run into a huge gap and plant the ball down under the uprights. The try was converted and less than 10 minutes into the match the home side led 6-0.
The second score again came after the Newcastle side was able to turn defence into attack, the Knights picking up a spilt ball then running 60-metres into their opponents end of the field.
Again the Jets were unable to hold the Knights out, winger Starford Toa scoring wide out. The conversion was waved away but it was 10-0 Newcastle.
The Jets continued to squander chances at one end, with the Knights again capitalising at the other, Hoy scoring his team’s third of the first half as their lead extended out to 16-0, an advantage they would take to the break.
Now with the stiff southerly at their backs and following what was likely a stern half time chat from coach Greg Matterson, the Jets responded early in the second period, Jackson Ferris crossing to narrow the margin to 12 and when Braydon Trindall’s kick at goal was wide it was 16-4 Knights.
Now with momentum on their side the Jets pressed their opponents line but the next try came about in similar fashion to the first two, a poor kick on the end of a Newtown set of six saw young Knight Phoenix Crossland claim the ball and run 90-metres to score his team’s fourth try of the afternoon.
The conversion was waved away but the Knights had a winning lead at 20-4 with 23 minutes of the match to go.
In a game of missed opportunities for the Newtown team next it would be Bronson Xerri who was denied, the centre slicing through on a scorching 40-metre run, only to be called for a double-movement when pulled down by the Knights cover within inches of the try line.
Despite the unfortunate finish to Xerri’s eye-catching run, his moment of brilliance was a reminder as to why he is held in such high regard at the Cronulla club.
The Xerri no-try was the last throw of the dice for the Jets, with a four-pointer wide out by Kiah Cooper making it 24-4 and ending any chance of a Newtown comeback.
Next match for the Jets is a game against Mounties at Shark Park on Saturday, with kickoff at 12.45pm as the curtain-raiser to the Sharks v Titans NRL match.
Jackson Ferris try