By Newtown Jets Media
Both the Newtown Jets and Penrith Panthers went into this Knock-On Effect NSW Cup ninth round fixture with drastically-changed team line-ups.
COVID-19 regulations meant that neither side was able to include any NRL full-time squad members. The Jets made late inclusions by drawing on players from both the Glebe Dirty Reds Ron Massey Cup and the Cronulla Sharks Jersey Flegg squads.
Newtown began confidently and ran up a 14-0 lead after 24 minutes, with tries to Bronson Garlick, Edward Aiono and D’Rhys Miller. Penrith, the unbeaten NSW Cup competition leaders, hit back with two converted tries for Newtown to take a 14-12 lead into the half-time break.
The Panthers took control of the game immediately after half-time when they laid on three converted tries to break away to a 30-14 lead. Bronson Garlick scored his second try in the 57th minute, but Penrith added three more tries to run out winners by 46-18.
Coach Greg Matterson noted the disruption arising from putting together a greatly-changed team at short notice, but he further observed that this applied to Newtown’s opponents as well. Matterson said he was disappointed with the lack of defensive commitment shown by the Jets in the second half.
Coach Matterson commended the contributions made by the Glebe Dirty Reds players (Honeti Tuha, Eli Roberts and Wyatt Rangi) and the Cronulla Sharks Jersey Flegg youngsters (Thomas Rodwell, Tyler Slade, Jesse Colquhoun and Kade Dykes) who had all been drafted into the Jets team at the eleventh hour.
Newtown’s next match is an away game against the Newcastle Knights, a match due to have been played in round two but was postponed because of heavy rain.
This match against the Knights is set down for Saturday, 15th May, with the venue and kick-off time to be announced early this week.
Thomas Jenkins 2, Adam Fearnley 2, Soni Luke, Liam Henry, Ethan Clark-Wood, Luke Sommerton tries; Niwhai Puru 7 conversions
Bronson Garlick 2, Edward Aiono, D’Rhys Miller tries;
Honeti Tuha 1 conversion.
Half-Time: Newtown led 14-12.
Honeti Tuha, Edward Aiono, Eli Roberts, Dylan O’Connor, Thomas Rodwell, Jack A. Williams, Tyla Tamou, Tyler Slade, D’Rhys Miller, Bronson Garlick, Brock Ilett, Zac Woolford, Brock Gray.
Interchange: Ethan Natoli, Duwanye Mariner, Jesse Colquhoun, Wyatt Rangi.
18th man: Kade Dykes.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Jake Toby, Ratu Luke Nadurutalo, Vito Tevaga, Thomas Jenkins, Ethan Clark-Wood, Niwhai Puru, Soni Luke, Jayden Tanner, John Faiumu, Arthur Crichton, Billy Tsikrikas, Luke Sommerton, Alec Susino.
Interchange: Adam Fearnley, Liam Henry, Anton Iaria, Bradley Fearnley.
18th man: Hohepa Puru.
Coaches: Peter Wallace and Brad Drew,
Match highlights courtesy of the NSWRL
Photo caption:Newtown Jets lock Tyler Slade (in possession) confronts a solid line of Penrith Panthers defenders at BlueBet stadium on Saturday.The other Newtown players are (from the left): Zac Woolford, Tyla Tamou and Honeti Tuha.
Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography