The Newtown Jets have one hand firmly on the Tommy Raudonikis Cup, overturning an 18-point deficit to snatch a remarkable 23-22 win over the Western Suburbs Magpies in the sides' Round 12, 'Return to Lidcombe' clash at Lidcombe Oval.
Match: Magpies v Jets
Round 12 -
Venue: Lidcombe Oval, Sydney
Jets halves pairing Jack Williams and Kyle Flanagan were instrumental in running down the fast-starting Magpies – Williams crossed for a second-half double before Flanagan iced the come-from-behind win with a pressure field goal the 77th minute.
As was the case in their Round 11 win over the Penrith Panthers, the Magpies took little time to find the front – centre Toni Tali crossing for the game's first points with barely two minutes expired.
Five-eighth Tyson Gamble laid on the try, and the No.6 converted the ensuing shot on goal to see the Magpies to a 6-0 lead.
Making his second start in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, Jets winger Charlton Schaafhausen replied in kind with a try of his own in the 12th minute. Sent down the touchline frim five-eighth Jack Williams' pass, Schaafhausen bumped off would-be tacklers to get one back for the Jets.
Halfback Kyle Flanagan was unable to convert, as the Magpies maintained their two-point advantage.
Garner's quick-fire double (23rd, 26th) extended the Magpies' lead to 12, before a burrowing run from interchange hooker Braden Robson rocketed the side to a 22-4 front.
Though in a boost to their hopes before half-time, the Jets found a late reply in the opening 40 minutes – Anthony Moraitis touching down for a try, following Watson Heleta's error at the back when looking to defuse a Williams bomb.
Staring into the beaming sun, Heleta couldn't handle the end-over-end bomb, which was collected by Flanagan and shovelled to Moraitis to score. Flanagan made amends for his earlier miss from the tee, splitting the uprights to take the score to 22-10 at the break.
In a grafting, grinding second-half that lacked points and flare, 22 minutes had expired before the scorers were troubled – Williams crossing for his first, and the Jets' third of the afternoon, to lessen the deficit to six points.
Williams' try came on the back of a bustling Sione Katoa run down-field, which from the next play-the-ball, Billy Magoulias offloaded in traffic to see the wily No.6 in for a try.
Interchange utility Addison Demetriou broke his way through the line with a remarkable carry from the next set of six, charging on a 60-metre carry to skittle the Magpies defence. Fighting his way for a quick play-the-ball, Demetriou's efforts were enough to see opposite winger Lucas Price sent to the sin bin for a professional foul.
Williams ran his way over the line to complete his double off what was a nifty show-and-go, and Flanagan converted to level the scores at 22.
And so, it would be that Flanagan's boot would go on to decide the contest, as the No.7 showed maturity beyond his years to slot a heat-of-the-moment field goal to see the Jets to a narrow lead.
Newtown host Western Suburbs in 24 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, in the second leg of the Tommy Raudonikis Cup.
Newtown Jets 23 (J Williams 2, C Schaaufhausen, A Moraitis tries; K Flanagan 2, K Dillon goals; K Flanagan field goal) def Western Suburbs Magpies 22 (L Garner 2, L Tali, B Robson tries; T Gamble 3 goals)