HIGHLIGHTS: Jets v Magpies (Rd 5)
The Newtown Jets continue to climb the NSW Cup table with their third straight victory, running out 30-18 winners over the Wentworthville Magpies in wet and windy conditions at Henson Park.
The Jets left edge attack reeked havoc on the Magpies all match long with Mitch Brown bagging a double while former Canberra Raiders centre Sami Sauiluma made a number of half breaks on his way to scoring his fourth try of the season.
While Wentworthville will be disappointed with their fourth loss of the season, the return of Parramatta Eels front rower Richie Fa’aoso after 18 months on the sideline suffering from a broken neck was one of the few bright spots for the struggling Magpies.
It was an uphill fight for the visitors from the outset with back-to-back penalties allowing Newtown to put quick points on the board as Dallas Wells threw a long cut out pass to Mitch Brown to go over untouched in the left corner.
Nathan Gardner’s conversion from the touchline was waved away leaving the score at 4-0 after just six minutes.
A string of possessions saw the Magpies take the lead in the 22nd minute, when Luke Kelly put Ben Crooks into a wide-open gap with the centre freely able to advance the ball under the posts to give an easy conversion to Kelly.
It didn’t take the Jets long to hit back with a sweeping play to the right resulting for an individual piece of brilliance by Dallas Wells as the five-eighth bounced off one defender and beat another to score and give Newtown a 10-6 lead following Gardner’s conversion.
When Daniel Abou-Sleiman put in a perfectly weighted grubber kick for Sami Sauiluma just before the break, the Magpies were faced with an eight-point deficit heading into the sheds, a tall order given Wentworthville’s lack of attacking presence in the opening stanza.
The Magpies came out firing after the break, storming down the field off consecutive penalties before fullback Adam Quinlan capitalised on an error in the in-goal by the Jets to reduce the margin to just four points.
Just when it looked as though Wentworthville were going to mount a charge and take their first lead of the game, consecutive penalties gave Newtown ideal field position allowing Dallas Wells to put Patrice Siolo into a yawning gap to make it 20-10 following Gardner’s conversion.
Two tries in the space of eight minutes to Mitch Brown and Nathan Gardner stretched the lead out to 30-10 with a quarter of an hour remaining to effectively wrap up the game.
With the Jets looking to have put the cue in the rack, the Magpies scored two tries in eight minutes to send a scare around Henson Park but in the end it would prove trivial as Newtown went on to record their first home win of the season.
With points coming at a premium for Wentworthville so far this season (18 points per game on average), the side’s attack will certainly be a point of emphasis for head coach Brett Cook at training this week.
Newtown Jets 30 (Mitch Brown 2, Dallas Wells, Sami Sauliluma, Patrice Siolo, Nathan Gardner tries; Gardner 3 goals) bt Wentworthville Magpies 18 (Ben Crooks, Adam Quinlan, Daniel Alvaro, Halauafu Lavaka tries; Luke Kelly goal)