By Nathan Beuman at Henson Park
The Newtown Jets have bounced back from a recent form slump, downing the Wyong Roos 40-26 in a high scoring affair at Henson Park.
Unlike the first game of the double header, wind played a major part in the second of the afternoon’s fixtures, with both sides’ goal kickers struggling to find the uprights.
A grubber kick from Samisoni Langi into the in goal saw Brett Lane pick up the first points, before Sio Siua Taukeiaho converted to give Newtown a 6-0 lead after just four minutes.
Former Newtown Jet, Jono Ford, used his footwork to get to the line just minutes later, with Mark Kheirallah’s kick from the sideline waved away, leaving the scoreboard to read 6-4 after nine minutes.
Newtown broke the stalemate in the 18th minute, when back rower David Harris put Jonathon Reuben in for a four pointer on the left wing, making it 10-6 following Taukeiaho’s missed conversion.
Wyong hit back six minutes before the break, when Tekina Vailea crashed his way over on the right edge, before Kheirallah’s kick at goal was waved away to leave the Roos still trailing by two points.
The visitors finally took the lead with just two minutes remaining in the half, when Kheirallah put Bennett Leslie into a gap on the same right edge, with the Kheirallah shot at goal once again failing to find its mark.
Just when Wyong thought they were starting to win the arm wrestle, a break by Junior Vaivai on the stroke of half time saw the centre score in his debut for Newtown, giving the Bluebags a 16-12 lead heading into the sheds following Arana Taumata’s conversion.
With the wind picking up during the intermission, so did the rate of scoring, with tries to Newtown’s Matt Evans and Ryan Verlinden putting the Jets up 26-12 after 48 minutes.
The Roos managed to make the most of a rare opportunity down the business end of the park, when Mitch Williams went over to give his side a much needed boost, before Kheirallah picked up his first conversion of the afternoon to make it 26-18 with half an hour remaining.
Two tries in the space of four minutes to Lane and Taukeiaho saw the Jets push their lead out to 36-16 with 20 minutes left.
Wyong staged a mini comeback late in the half, with a double to winger Grant Nelson giving the Roos hope, but the wind pushed both of Kheirallah’s attempts at goal away from the uprights, leaving the visitors still down ten points with eight minutes remaining on the clock.
Newtown wrapped up the game four minutes from full time, when Vaivai somehow managed to get a ball away to Matt Evans for his second try of the afternoon, and more importantly, securing the much needed two competition points for the Jets.
The win sees Newtown move up to nine position, sitting just one point shy of the Newcastle Knights in eighth, while the loss puts Wyong in 10th, just two points out of playing finals football.
The Jets will be at home again this weekend when they host the Sharks in a critical clash for both sides while the Roos will be back at home when they host Manly in a must win clash on Saturday afternoon.
Newtown Jets 40 (B Lane 2, M Evans 2, J Reuben, J Vaivai, R Verlinden, S Taukeiaho tries; S Taukeiaho 2, A Taumata 2 goals) def. Wyong Roos 26 (G Nelson 2, T Vailea, M Williams, J Ford, B Leslie tries; M Kheirallah goal) at Henson Park.