A late converted try to the Jets saw Newtown record a 26-24 win over the Wests Tigers, in a drama-filled afternoon at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Round 4 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition.
Scoring the last try of the afternoon in the match’s dying stages, it was also Newtown who opened the scoring, courtesy of winger Matt Evans who collected an inch-perfect kick to swoop for points.
Halfback Fa’amanu Brown’s deft chip to the corner set the Jets’ engines into gear, though he couldn’t add the extras from wide out as the margin remained at four.
Needing a spark, the Tigers found one in the form of the returning Jamal Idris – his late offload as the hosts went deep onto the attack caught the Jets short – as Jeremy Marshall-King dived in for a try in response to Newtown's points.
Marshall-King finished off the adlib move in style, collecting a grubber into the in-goal to see the Tigers back into the contest.
As the sides went about trading their blows, the imposing figure of Tony Williams was too hard to handle for the Tigers, as the Jets hit back through the edge-forward’s try.
Williams shrugged off would-be defenders to crash over for the four-pointer, and Brown would have no such trouble raising the flags, second time around.
Though again it would be Idris the man to see the Tigers add to their tally, the former VB Blues representative throwing the decisive passes for tries to Nathan Milone and Jackson Littlejohn respectively.
Jordan Rankin slotted one of the two conversions, before adding another two points in the form of a penalty goal to ensure the Tigers took an 18-10 lead to the sheds.
With coach Greg Matterson’s half-time address still ringing in their ears, the Jets made a flying start to the second period – a fortunate piece of play ending with a try to winger James Tuitahi.
Tuitahi crossed for his first of the match to reduce Newtown’s deficit to four, and so it would remain as Brown’s conversion attempt found the steelwork.
The points brought an energy and an added intensity to the Jets’ play, and after turning the Tigers away from their line, found more joy as Jayden Walker collected a Brown grubber to score.
Though a different style of kick to the one that resulted in the evens try, the outcome was the same for the Jets with Walker crossing for the side’s fourth try.
Brown converted, sending the Jets to a 20-18 lead.
In an error-riddled final quarter, the Tigers would turn gifted position into points, as Marshall-King scored his second try of the afternoon.
Marshall-King's scurry close to the line proved an assessment too difficult for the tiring Newtown defence to turn away, with Rankin adding the extras from adjacent to the posts to send the Tigers out by four.
The lead, though, would not remain, as penalties saw Newtown in attacking field position with which they were able to capitalise upon.
Tuitahi bagged his second try of the afternoon with near-on five minutes to play, setting the challenge to Brown to convert from the touchline.
Stepping up to the mark, Brown showed little signs of nerves with the game in the balance, adding the extras to take the Jets out to the final 26-24 score-line.
Newtown Jets 26 (J Tuitahi 2, M Evans, T Williams, J Walker tries; F Brown 3 goals) def Wests Tigers 24 (J Marshall-King 2, N Milone, J Littlejohn tries; J Rankin 4 goals)