HIGHLIGHTS: Jets v Mounties (Rd 7)
Mounties made it seven wins in a row and remain unbeaten after a 24-8 victory over the Newtown Jets at Henson Park.
The Mounties proved why they sit on top of the VB NSW Cup ladder thanks to stellar performances by halves pairing Josh McCrone and Mitch Cornish, who guided them to victory.
It was a dramatic afternoon for the two form sides of the competition with Mitchell Beggs from the Mounties and Jack Noble from the Jets having to be taken to hospital after being stretchered off the field in separate incidents.
The opening 15 minutes was evenly poised but it was Cornish who broke free from a Jets defender and then threw the pass to his centre Mitch Cronin who scored in the left corner. Cornish converted from the sideline to make it 6-0 to the Mounties.
Todd Murphy constantly had the Jets on the front foot in terms of field position with a brilliant early kicking game that paid off in the 28th minute when they got on the scoreboard for the first time through Dallas Wells who sprinted to athletically plant the ball down in the corner. Nathan Gardner missed the conversion and the Mounties were up 6-4.
Gardner got injured just five minutes shy of half time but stayed on the field despite having an obvious limp. The Jets hung on with a wounded defensive line until the half time siren and the score remaining 6-4.
The second half began dramatically as Mounties player Mitchell Beggs had to be stretchered off the field after an attempt to tackle Saulala Houma on halfway.
In the 47th minute, it seemed the Mounties had furthered their lead through their left-winger Gus Aiga but he was ruled to have stepped out before attempting to score the try.
Mounties right-winger Jeremy Hawkins got his chance to score just two minutes later and made no mistake as he powered through the defence off a scrum. Cornish missed the extras and it was 10-4 to the Mounties.
The Jets reduced the deficit to two points in the 60th minute when Murphy re-gathered a kick and then put a second kick through into open space for Blake Ayshford to pick the ball up off the bounce and score a wonderful try.
Murphy took over the goal-kicking duties due to Gardner’s previous injury but wasn’t successful in evening up the scores as Mounties lead 10-8.
The Jets came hard at the Mounties with Houma leading the way for the forwards with some barnstorming runs.
Daniel Abou Sleiman thought he took the lead for the Jets when he appeared to have scored in the left corner but stepped out in the process.
A great try-saving tackle denied the Mounties a try under the posts. However Noble went down injured in the 70th minute and the referee let the game continue.
The Jets were a man down and McCrone was able to step his way through a depleted defensive line to score under the posts.
Time was eventually called off after the successful conversion as Noble had to be stretchered off the field.
Jack Ahearn put the result to bed for the Mounties with a try in the 78th minute. Cornish converted and kicked a penalty goal just two minutes later to make the final score 24-8.
The Mounties will host the Penrith Panthers next week at Aubrey Keech Reserve, while the Jets will travel to Mt Smart Stadium to face the New Zealand Warriors.
Mounties 24 (J Ahearn, J Hawkins, M Cronin, J McCrone tries; M Cornish 4 goals) bt Newtown Jets 8 (D Wells, B Ayshford tries)