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Metcalf masterclass keeps Jets flying high

By Newtown Jets Media 
The Newtown Jets continued their perfect start to The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup season with an emphatic 50-10 Round Three victory over St George Illawarra Dragons at Kirkham Oval, Camden.

Newtown looked switched on from the outset and threw the ball around despite the wet weather, which was soon reflected on the scoreboard with a trio of tries inside the opening 15 minutes.

The Jets’ Reuben Rennie grounded a neat kick from halfback Rhys Davies to open their account. Moments later, some fancy footwork from fullback Lachlan Miller bamboozled the Dragons' middle defenders as he sliced through with ease, before linking with five-eighth Luke Metcalf who raced over to score. A further try to winger Jonaiah Lualua in the 11th minute extended the lead 16-0.

The Dragons were starved of possession during this period, only having the ball on two occasions. Newtown soon took another opportunity with the lion's share of possession when Dean Blore evaded a tackle to score in the 19th minute. The Jets crossed for their fourth try minutes later through centre Kayal Iro, extending their lead to 20–6.

The game finally began to tighten with both sides sharing equal possession for an extended period, which saw Dragons’ rake Connor Muhleisen scoring the home side's second. A penalty goal to the Jets courtesy of Metcalf on the halftime whistle saw Newtown head into the sheds leading 22-10.

It was a sloppy start to the second half from both sides but Newtown quickly shifted into gear again, scoring two quick tries through Metcalf and Iro - both securing their respective doubles.

The Dragons fought their way back into the contest with a strong kick return from flanker Jonathan Reuben, who linked with fullback Treigh Stewart to gain a handy 60m. The Red V went on to mount more pressure on the Jets, forcing an error and a dropout in the following sets after the line-break. However, the Jets chanced their hand with a short dropout which found the touchline as they regained possession.

A penalty moments later allowed them to roll down the field and score another in the 56th minute through a barnstorming run by interchange prop Thomas Hazelton, who carried several Dragons defenders over the line and planted the ball down.

Newtown then took full advantage of the Dragons' unsuccessful short kick-off, going upfield to score through Mawene Hiroti and extend their lead to 44-10 with 15 minutes remaining. Metcalf would go on to score his hat-trick, rounding out a strong individual performance, with his side recording a hefty 50-10 victory. 

Talking points
The Newtown spine of Metcalf, Davies and Miller looked dangerous all afternoon and hardly missed a beat. They were allowed to play an attacking brand of football with the Jets’ forward pack laying down a strong foundation and getting the playmakers into the good-ball areas.

Metcalf would end up with three tries in a well-polished performance.

The Dragons woes continued with a third loss in as many weeks to start their 2022 campaign.

Key moment
The Dragons' failed restart in the 60th minute was the nail in the coffin, gifting the Jets great field position as they went on to score out wide via Mawene Hiroti in the ensuing set.

St George Illawarra then allowed Luke Metcalf to bag his hat-trick soon after.

What's next?
The Jets will want to keep their perfect record intact when they host the Newcastle Knights on Saturday 2nd April at Leichhardt Oval, with footy fans able to catch all the action live on Foxtel from 12:45pm AEDT.

Newtown 50
Luke Metcalf 3, Kayal Iro 2, Reubenn Rennie, Jonaiah Lualua, Thomas Hazelton, Mawene Hiroti tries; Luke Metcalf 6 conversions, 1 penalty goal
St George-Illawarra 10
Dean Blore, Connor Muhleisen tries; Dean Blore 1 conversion.

Newtown’s team was:
Fullback: Lachlan Miller
Wingers: Jonaiah Lualua, Mawene Hiroti
Centres: Jensen Taumoepeau, Kayal Iro
Five-Eighth: Luke Metcalf
Half-Back: Rhys Davies
Lock: Jack Williams
Second-Rowers: Jesse Colquhoun, Reubenn Rennie
Front-Rowers: Royce Hunt, Kurt Dillon
Hooker: Tyler Slade.
Thomas Hazelton, Franklin Pele, Zac Woolford, Vincent Rennie.
Coach: Greg Matterson.

The St George-Illawarra team was:
Fullback: Treigh Stewart
Wingers: Jonathon Reuben, Bailey Antrobus
Centres: Mathew Feagai, Tautau Moga
Five-Eighth: Dean Blore
Half-Back: Bradley Deitz
Lock; Jaiyden Hunt
Second-Rowers: Jackson Shereb, Michael Molo
Front-Rowers: Daniel Alvaro, Poasa Faamausili
Hooker: Connor Muhleisen
Ethan Clark-Wood, Joshua Curic, Josh Carr, Jack Boyling.
Coach: Russell Aitken.

See the match highlights - courtesy - CLICK HERE

Photos - courtesy Mario Facchini - mafphotography

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.