The Magpies went into the game with three of their starting line up withdrawing
late in the week due to injury and then with the game only a few minutes old,
they lost second row forward Leivaha Pulu.
In the 3rd minute of play, the Jets received a relieving penalty for an
infringement in the play the ball area. After gaining plenty of ground with the
kick, they took a tap on the Magpies 10 metre line. The ball spread quickly to
the centre of the field before an inside pass from Blake Lazarus was collected by
Jets captain Khalid Deeb who showed good strength before forcing his way over
the line, directly under the black dot. Wing three quarter Brett Lane added the
extras to take an early lead 6 points to nil.
The Magpies quickly responded in the 7th minute when they picked up a dropped
ball. They peppered the opposition line before half Joshua Murray threw a flat
pass to Magpie captain Mitch Achurch who showed a clean pair of heels to score
adjacent to the uprights. Five eight Rhys Lenarduzzi locked up the scores at 6 all
after a simple conversion.
The game settled into a torrid affair with both teams pleasing the crowd with a
free running style football which was enhanced by solid defensive sets.
In the 23rd minute the Magpies paid for giving the Jets another penalty. After
claiming plenty of metres with the penalty kick, they took a quick tap which
caught the Magpies defensive line short. After a solid run by second row forward
Brad Barnett, Jets five eight Jonathon Ford took over. He accelerated past a
couple of defenders to score his team’s second try which was converted by Lane.
Jets 12 – Magpies 6.
The Magpies hit back almost immediately. After a series of runs by hooker Troy
O’Sullivan, lock forward David Harris and wing three quarter Lance Siataga, the
boys found themselves close to the Jets try line. Rhys Lenarduzzi called the
play before putting in a perfectly weighted kick into the oppositions in goal area.
Plenty of chasers put pressure on a Jets player, resulting in a knock on.
The line drop out was taken on the full by Wests prop forward David Fifita who
charged down field. After playing the ball on the Jets twenty metre line, dummy
half Troy O’Sullivan ran across field before picking out second row forward Josh
Davis who brushed aside two attempted tackles before putting the ball over the
line. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful. Jets 12 Magpies 10.
The remaining fifteen minutes of the first half would see Wests score two tries
with the Jets grabbing their third.
In the 28th minute, after several settling runs, a Jets player hit the blind side
of the ruck where he was met with a strong ball and all tackle from wing three
quarter Lance Siataga which forced the ball from his grip. From the ensuing
scrum, Wests received a penalty for offside play. The ball was spread across the
backs to Siataga who, despite plenty of attention, crossed for his first try of the
afternoon. With the conversion flying wide, the Magpies hit the lead for the first
time 14 points to 12.
Following a couple of hit ups after the re start in play; the Magpies knocked the
ball on. It was pounced on by a Jets before the Magpies were penalised for
being offside. A quick thinking Blake Lazarus received the ball from the tap and
after weaving his way through a couple of Magpies players, scored his teams’
last try of the first half. Lane grabbed the extras putting his team back in front
18 to 14.
With five minutes left in the first half, the Magpies were determined to get
back on the score board and at least go into the break on an even keel. After
receiving the ball from a Jets mistake, the Magpie forwards made good metres
down the middle of the field. At the completion of their set, a kick was put
across field by Lenarduzzi. Seemingly having the situation covered, a Jets player
lost control of the ball which was picked up by wing three quarter Tangely
Naiyaravoro who reached out to put the ball on the try line. The conversion
attempt went close, but was waved away. Magpies 18 Jets 18.
The second half could not have started any worse for the Magpies after the Jets
scored three tries, two of which were converted, in the first 8 minutes. The first
was scored by centre three quarter Willie Mataka who took full advantage of an
overlap before fullback Rhys Pritchard reached out for a try of his own. Within
minutes, Mataka scored his second try under similar circumstances. The result –
Jets 32 Magpies 18.
The Magpies showed plenty of spirit when they got back on the try scoring list
in the 14th minute. After being held up over the Jets line, the ball was delivered
to Siataga on the blind side. In what was a repeat of his first try, he forced his
way over after shaving the corner post. Prop forward David Fifita stepped up to
the mark and kicked a sensational goal from the touch line with the wind blowing
strongly. Jets 32 Magpies 24.
The game certainly was not out of the Magpies grasp even when Pritchard
crossed for his second after receiving a clever banana kick from Blake Lazarus
which put his team further ahead 38 to Magpies 24. There was still 20 minutes
left on the clock, anything was possible!
The Magpies went close to scoring on a couple of occasions during this period,
but last ditch defense from the Jets kept the Magpies at bay. As time wound
down, it was becoming more difficult for the home team.
In the 32nd minute the game was well and truly put out of the Magpies reach
when replacement Scott Jones darted from dummy half to score his teams eight
and final try of the afternoon. Lane kicked his sixth goal to help his side take a
game winning lead 44 points to 24.
In the closing minutes, Siataga capped off a good game by scoring his teams
sixth try of the day, three individually. Lenarduzzi converted the try. In the end,
Newtown Jets ran out winners 44 points to 30.
Whilst the score may reflect a dominant display from the Jets, eight tries to six
was a good reflection on the closeness of the game.
Next game – Wests Magpies vs. Cronulla Sharks, 1pm Saturday 14 May
2011 Henson Park, Newtown. Double header Jets vs. Windsor 3pm.
Scorers for the Magpies – Lance Siataga 3 tries, Josh Davis 1 try, Tangely
Naiyaravoro 1 try, Mitch Achurch 1 try. Rhys Lenarduzzi 2 conversions with 1
conversion to David Fifita.
Scorers for the Jets – Rhys Pritchard 2 tries, Willie Mataka 2 tries, Jonathon
Ford 1 try, Khalid Deed 1 try, Blake Lazarus 1 try and Scott Jones 1 try. Brett
Lane 6 conversions.
Players player match ball – Lance Siataga.
Leos best three – Mitch Achurch, David Harris and Rhys Lenarduzzi.