Jets swoop late to overrun Bears
by Jason Hosken - NSWRL
A hat-trick to winger Samuel Stonestreet has seen Newtown Jets bump North Sydney Bears into second spot on The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup ladder after an exciting 40-28 victory at North Sydney Oval.
Coming off a last start loss to the ladder-leading Panthers, Newtown were desperate to make amends. A fortuitous six-again from the opening set launched the Jets attack, and by the ninth minute they had two tries on the scoreboard before the home side had even touched the ball.
Jonaiah Lualua finished off a Kade Dykes cut-out pass for the first, before his wing partner Samuel Stonestreet extended the margin to eight points with a try in the opposite corner.
When Jets playmaker Luke Metcalf strolled across in the 16th minute, at 14-0, Newtown looked to have one hand on this year’s Frank Hyde Shield.
A fumbled bomb by the Jets proved decisive and when North Sydney lock Renouf Atoni crossed after the error, it sent the Bears on a rampage. Winger Vuate Karawalevu then bagged a double in quick succession, and after the 30 minute mark the Bears had their noses in front 16-14.
Newtown struck back to lead 20-16 at the break when Stonestreet finished off a Kayal Iro burst for his second try of the half.
The second half started much like the first, only this time it was the Bears who opened the scoring. Replacement forward Ben Thomas crashed over first and when Karawalevu completed a hat-trick of his own after 58 minutes, Norths had marched clear 28-20.
In a contest where the momentum of the game moved in different directions, it was Newtown who finished with a surge. Four tries within a scintillating 15 minutes were enough to blow the final margin out to an unexpected 12 points.
A racking touch finder by halfback Braydon Trindall swung the momentum Newtown’s way. Lualua slid over in the next set before Iro raced away five minutes later to give Newtown the lead.
Hooker Jayden Berrell and Stonestreet crossed for late tries to blow out the margin in what had been a thrilling end-to-end contest.
Newtown’s Kade Dykes proved instrumental in the Jets victory. An early long ball set up the first try and when he wasn’t probing in attack, the fullback was extinguishing several threatening raids by the Bears.
North Sydney created just as many opportunities as Newtown. Expansive attack saw Karawalevu cross for three tries, and with a little more luck the long-striding winger would have had four if not for the Jets’ scrambling defence.
Kayal Iro is certainly one to watch for the future. The powerful centre tormented the Bears’ right edge defence all afternoon. With two try-assists before the break, he did it all on his own with 12 minutes to go, racing 80m to put Newtown in front.
North Sydney led 28-24 when centre Toa Mata'afa was ruled to have lost the ball over the try-line with 12 minutes left to play.
That try-scoring opportunity may well have been enough to see the Bears hold on. From the moment Iro raced away to score in the next set, Newtown were never headed.
North Sydney are back at home next week against Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Saturday’s live match on Fox League.
Newtown have the bye before lining up to face Mounties in Round 11 at Henson Park on the 21st May.
Samuel Stonestreet 3, Jonaiah Lualua 2, Luke Metcalf, Kayal Iro, Jayden Berrell tries;
Braydon Trindall 4 conversions
North Sydney 28:
Vuate Karawalevu 3, Renouf Antoni, Ben Thomas tries:
Tom Carr 4 conversions.
Half-Time: Newtown led 20-16.
Match statistics compiled by Stuart McCarthy (JETS):
1st half: Newtown 14/16 (88%) Norths 10/13 (77%)
2nd half: Newtown 13/16 (81%) Norths 12/16 (75%)
Fulltime: Newtown 27/32 (84%) Norths 22/29 (76%)
1st half: Newtown 63 tackles (55%) Norths 51 tackles (45%)
2nd half: Newtown 55 tackles (51%) Norths 53 tackles (49%)
Fulltime: Newtown 118 tackles (53%) Norths 104 tackles (47%)
1st half: Newtown 2 Norths 2
2nd half: Newtown 2 Norths 3
Fulltime: Newtown 4 Norths 5.
Newtown’s team was:
Jonaiah Lualua, Samuel Stonestreet
Kayal Iro, Tyla Tamou
Luke Metcalf, Braydon Trindall
Reubenn Rennie, Jesse Colquhoun
Thomas Hazelton, Caleb Uele
Tyler Slade, Franklin Pele, Vincent Rennie, Dylan O’Connor.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Vuate Karawalevu, Tom Carr
Kevin Naiqama, Toa Mata’afa
Lachlan Lam, Sandon Smith
Naufahu Whyte, Jordan Leiu
Terrell May, Daniel Suluka-Fifita
Tukupa-Ke Hau Tapuha, Jerry Key, Ben Thomas, Denzal Tonise
Coach: Jason Taylor.