The Newtown Jets certainly didn’t let the hipsters in the crowd down with a 38-14 decimation of the Wests Tigers.
It was “Hipster Day” at Henson Park, an initiative set up by the Jets to promote diversity among their ever-so loyal fan-base, something the Mitch Brown inspired Jets certainly thrived on with an incredible performance in the heat.
The goal-line defence was diabolical in the opening 15 minutes for both sides, and while the Jets improved and eventually turned it on, the Tigers continued the disappointing trend for the entire 80 minutes.
The Tigers began the match with a bang, as they immediately forced their way up field and scored though Jacob Liddle, a try that came after a few sets on the attack.
After a 20-metre restart, the Jets hit back after a barnstorming 80-metre set which was finished with a try, before the Tigers did the same thing to the Jets just five minutes later off the same restart with a try to Chance Peni to increase their lead to 10-4.
Off the back of a penalty, Fa’amanu Brown decreased the deficit to 10-8 with a wonderful solo try that saw him fool the Tigers goal-line defence with a show and go, and finished off by muscling his way over the line.
In what was the first sign of solid goal-line defence for the match, the Jets were held up twice and forced a dropout in the one set. Tigers coach Paul Stringer would have been incredibly frustrated however, as the defensive set was to no avail when Jordan Drew finished off a right-to-left shift moments later to give Newtown their first lead of the match.
Josh Cleeland exposed the Wests Tigers defence when he broke through untouched from a mid-field scrum, and Matt Evans linked up with Jacob Gagan to plant the ball down to give the Jets a 10-point lead.
A penalty goal on the stroke of halftime meant the Jets went into the sheds 22-10 up in a first half riddled with poor defence and errors.
Peni began the second half with a purely accidental, yet brutal high tackle, which immediately put his side on the back foot.
An incredible try followed in the 50th minute, when Travis Robertson made an outstanding linebreak, drifted infield, gave an inside ball for Drew to offload on to Brown’s boot, who simply picked the ball up and completed the try.
Nathan Milone got caught up and slammed in a tackle, resulting in an awkward landing and eventually being taken off the field due to concussion.
While there were certain question marks over the offside, David Fifita sealed the match after he pounced on a grubber that came after consecutive sets on the Tigers line.
Fifita made an amazing run coming out of trouble, fending off defenders like flies and proving extremely hard to handle. At the other end of the set, Gagan secured his double after taking a Cleeland cut-out pass and scoring a runaway try to increase the Jets’ lead to 38-10.
Jeremy Marshall-King took a slips-like catch and ran 95 metres to score a consolation try for the Tigers, but incredibly, his team-mates were so out of energy that only one player went past the halfway line to congratulate him on the effort.
While a draw and a tight loss have meant that not all results have gone the Jets way this season, they have put solid and consistent performance in the opening five weeks of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, and today typified that they will be a force to be reckoned with.
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