The Newtown Jets have held on to secure their second win of the 2019 season, scoring a thrilling 26-24 win over Souths.
See following a match report and a link to game highlights, courtesy of NSWRL.com.
By Blake Edwards (NSWRL Media)
The Newtown Jets have held on to defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 26-24 in a thrilling encounter in front of a large crowd at Henson Park.
With both Newtown and Souths coming off last start losses to Wests and Penrith respectively, both camps were eager to right their wrongs, which was evident early with great intensity shown in the first few minutes.
It was the visitors who struck first through flanker Mawene Hiroti, who weaved through Jets defenders as if they were agility posts, racing away to score a neat opening four-pointer. The Rabbits continued to mount pressure on the Newtown side close to their line, though the Bluebags held strong, dismissing all opportunities the red and green created.
The Jets grit showed it’s worth when they forced their way up the field, reversing the pressure now to Souths. Forcing repeat sets, it was only a matter of time before the visitors were exposed and this came in the form of a burrowing effort from close range by experienced rake James Segeyaro who planted it over the stripe. The momentum was with the home side who produced a blind side play which was finished off comfortably by Matt Evans to take the lead 12-6.
Moments later it appeared the Jets had secured their third try before it was denied by Referee Damien Briscoe, ruling the chasers were in front of the downfield punt. Souths again exposed the right hand defenders of the Jets, when Leigh Higgins roared through a large gap from close range courtesy of a brilliant cut-out pass, leveling the scores at 12-all. A late first half penalty to the Rabbitohs on the stroke of halftime, saw them kick for goal, with Hiroti adding the two to give them a narrow 14-12 lead at the break.
Newtown opted to level the scores shortly after the resumption courtesy of a penalty right in front of the sticks, before they forced their way over the line in the following set with a try to Ronald Mulitalo, extending their lead to 20-14 heading into the final half hour of the contest.
Souths were granted ample opportunities through a string of penalties, but fell at the final hurdle on two occasions. The Jets made full use of their opportunity a short while later, with Mulitalo finishing off a swift backline movement to cross for his second of the afternoon, giving his side a two converted try lead.
Ill-discipline from Greg Matheson’s men again gifted the red and green a scoring opportunity, which they grabbed, when after a poor last tackle kick was fielded short of the line by a Jets player, before Dean Hawkins stripped the ball from his possession, then fought his way over the stripe to keep the bunnies in the game.
Hawkins heroics proved vital in sparking another try moments later, this time out wide to their first try scorer Hiroti. Hiroti failed to converted his own try, leaving Souths two points behind heading into the final fifteen minutes of the tussle.
An error to Jets’ Luke Poselli off a downfield kick from the set after Souths points nearly proved costly, when the visitors again found their way over the line, with the Jets scrambling to hold them out. The Jets looked certain to score when Jackson Ferris burst through defenders in his own half, before toeing it ahead for Rusiate Lumelume who fumbled it over the try-line, deflating the whole crowd in attendance at Henson Park. The Jets were able to hang on in the final stages to secure a well-fought 26-24 victory.
Ronaldo Mulitalo 2, James Segeyaro, Matt Evans tries; Braydon Trindall 4 conversions and 1 penalty goal
South Sydney 24:
Mawene Hiroti 2 tries, Leigh Higgins, Dean Hawkins tries; Mawene Hiroti 3 conversions and 1 penalty goal.
Round 8, Game Highlights - CLICK HERE
Half-Time: South Sydney led 14-12.
Newtown’s team today was:
William Kennedy, Luke Polselli, Matt Evans, Jackson Ferris, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Jack A. Williams (Capt), Braydon Trindall, Billy Magoulias, Teig Wilton, Siosifa Talakai, Wes Lolo, Jaimin Jolliffe, James Segeyaro. Bench: Isaac Lumelume, Josh Carr, Daniel Vasquez, Cruz Topai-Aveai.
Leigh Higgins, Mawene Hiroti, Jacob Gagan, Tarquinn Alatipi-Butler, Dylan O’Connor, Conner Tracey, Dean Hawkins, Keaon Koloamatangi, Trent Peoples, Jack Johns, Tom Amone, Billy Brittain (Capt), Dean Britt. Bench: Brock Gray, Ky Rodwell, Lucky Ta’avale, Lyndon Hills.