Newtown Jets bagged three late tries to defeat Wyong 32-16 in an entertaining match at Morry Breen Oval.
The biggest crowd of the season at Morry Breen Oval was treated to a good game of footy, unfortunately the majority of the fans went home disappointed.
The game was less than a minute old when a turnover allowed Newton to attack. Quick hands shifted the ball right for Jacob Gagan to score in the corner and the Jets enjoyed an early lead.
If not for that early try, both teams were pretty even but that soon changed as Wyong made several errors that would prove costly.
Newtown began to stamp their authority on the match with Kurt Kara, David Fifita making good metres and Matt McIllwrick looking dangerous out of dummy half.
The Jets soon set up an attacking raid and again they got the reward with a blind side play sending Jordan Drew over untouched.
From the restart Newtown made good metres and again put pressure on the Roos defence. It was looking a good afternoon for the visitors when McIllwrick went the short side linking with Fa’amanu Brown, who found Anthony Moraitis running a good line to break through. Luckily for the Roos, Fa’amanu Brown was having and off day with the boot, otherwise the score could have been much greater.
It was not looking like the Roos day, with their first chance to post points coming late in the half with no result. Jackson Hastings had little opportunity to create anything but he was slowly feeling his way and had a hand in the Roos first try.
Finally, after persisting down the left side Wyong got on the scoreboard on the stroke of half time with Chris Centrone scoring in the corner. Although 12-4 down at half time, the Roos were back in the contest.
Newtown began the second half the better with an early opportunity going to ground from Fifita, who dropping the ball with line in sight.
Wyong were struggling until a good break from winger Dom Reardon got the Roos out of trouble. A couple plays later Omar Slaimankhel crossed for the Roos. Cornish converted the try and it was game on at 12-10. 8 minutes into the second half.
Wyong were beginning to get on top, looking more dangerous with the ball. The Roos shifted the ball left and Chris Smith, who had only entered the field scored the Roos third try, which gave them the lead. Cornish extended that lead to 4 points with a great conversion.
However, it didn’t take long for Newtown to strike back. Fifita turned provider putting Jason Schirnack under the posts. Brown kicked his first for the day and it was 18-16 to the Jets with 20 to play.
It was getting heated out in the middle with the teams exchanging pleasantries and the referee had to settle the boys down. The anger between both teams was soon turned to concern moments later when Jets five/eighth Josh Cleeland had to be carried from the field with a leg injury. It was a sad ending for what was a good afternoon from the number 6.
The game was evenly poised and you felt like it needed something special. That moment came 13 minutes from time when Matt Evans and Travis Robinson linked for a good try. Kurt Capewell took over the kicking duties with no luck and the score was 22-16 to the Jets in a nail biter.
A hard, solid run from Abraham Papalii put David Fifita on the ground with the front-rower needing a few moments to find his breath. Papalii’s run wasn’t enough to inspire his troops as Newton picked up the ball in good field position. Just as it looked like the Jets were setting up for a field goal, Moraitis grubbered for himself and after a little bit of soccer the back rower had his second of the match.
Fa’amanu Brown rubbed salt into the wounds scoring another try moments later, but an impressive conversion by David Fifita lifted the scored to 32-16 and that’s how it ended at full time.
Somehow the Jets ran away with late but it was a gutsy performance by the Roos who will be disappointed not to collect the 2 points at home.