After a two week layoff courtesy of a two byes, a refreshed Western Suburbs Magpies outfit travelled to Henson Park to take on the Newtown Jets in Game 2 of the Tom Raudonikis Cup for 2012 and it was the Jets who prevailed scoring a convincing 60-8 victory on a glorious sunny Sydney afternoon in front of a very healthy crowd who turned up to see two of the great foundation clubs of rugby league.
The Jets were keen to end a four game loosing streak whilst the Magpies just needed to believe in themselves and get the basic things right to secure their first win of the year.
The Magpies had a try disallowed in the 6th minute when a final pass to winger Tuki Jackson was ruled forward. However the Magpies didn't have to wait to long to draw first blood when former Kingsgrove Colts player Henry Godinet scored from dummy half in the 8th minute of play on the back of barnstorming runs by Seffa Silafau & Henry Iuta. The conversion attempt by Nigel Millgate went wide and it was Wests up 4-0.
The Jets scored their first of 10 tries for the afternoon at the 17 minute mark after Wests coughed up possession on their 40m line. After winning the scrum, the Jets were able to work the ball in good field position when former Auckland Vulcans forward, Saulala Houma was able to smash his way through the defence 10m out to score under the sticks. Halfback Blake Lazarus converted for a 6-4 lead.
The Jets were in again just two minutes later after Wests gave away a penalty on the first tackle from the kickoff. Fullback Alofa Alofa scored near the posts after a great run by the #9 Glenn Dumbrell who busted the Wests defence and put Alofa away to score. Lazarus added the extras for a 12-4 scoreline.
Glenn Dumbrell was causing headaches for Wests around the play-the-ball and was rewarded in the 26th minute when he scored besides the posts after pulling out of a high attempted tackle close to the line. Lazarus made no mistake and it was 18-4 in favour of the Jets and that remained the score at halftime.
Wests had some crucial lapses in defence during the first half which led to the Jets scoring and was something that they needed to remedy if they were to make a game of it.
The second half was only a minute old when Newtown increased their lead. Five-eigth Mark Kheirallah sliced through the Wests defence near halfway and raced away to score in the scoreboard corner. Lazarus converted from the sideline and Newtown now led 24-4.
Incredibly, the Jets scored within the next set of six from the kickoff. A great offload by Josh Ailaomai near halfway to centre Usaia O'Sulivan who split the defence before passing to his winger, former Parramatta U20 player, Daniel Tupou who scored outwide. Another conversion by Lazarus made to score 30-4.
Wests were the next to score at the 50 minute mark when winger Michael La Manna scored after centre Michael Lekkas was able to stand in a tackle and offload to classy five-eighth Chris Nay who gave a sweet pass back on the inside to La Manna who ran around towards the posts to score. Nigel Millgate's conversion attempt hit the post and that was the last scoring Wests were to do for the rest of the afternoon.
Newtown scored at the 56 minute mark when Dylan Napa scored from a last tackle play after Ailaomai bumped off two attempted tackles before passing to Napa who scored under the sticks. Lazarus made no mistake with the conversion and its was now 36-4.
A penalty near halfway to Newtown saw them find touch close to the Wests 20m line and winger Daniel Tupou scored his second try for the afternoon at the 60 minute mark after a simple passing movement saw him cross the line out wide but he was able to improve his position to near the posts leaving Blake Lazarus with an easy conversion for a 42-4 scoreline.
Newtown scored three tries in the final 10 minutes the first to Usaia O'Sullivan after a great chip over the top was regathered by Lazarus, the next try was by Kheirallah accelerated through a gap on Wests 20m line and finally to former Windsor, Western Suburbs and Balmain Ryde-Eastwood forward Andrew Pearn near fulltime with all three tries being converted for a final scoreline of 60-8 in favour of Newtown.
For Wests, Tom Morrison would have given Robbie Farah's tackle count in Origin 2 a run for its money and Seffa Silafau also had a great defensive game as well hitting the line hard with his hitups. Henry Godinet was busy around the rucks in defence whilst Henry Iuta continues to impress every game with his ability stand in tackles and offload. Chris Nay has made a complete recovery from his knee injury in the first game of the season and Wests season may have been different had he not succumb to that injury.Winger Tuki Jackson had a big game and was able to burst through tackles several times and the ever reliable Zoram Watene at fullback also had a strong game.
For Newtown, whilst they had no regular NRL first graders in their squad today, they still had a quality team run onto the paddock with several seasoned NSW Cup players and their experience was there to see.
The forwards today were led by Ahmad Ellaz, Josh Ailaomoi who is contracted to the Sydney Roosters after coming across from the Newcastle Knights U20 from last year and Andrew Pearn whilst their halves combination of Kheirallah and Lazarus is one of the best in the competition. Winger Daniel Tupou has first grade stamped all over him and their dummy halves, Glenn Dumbrell and former Wests player Kurt Kara slot into their roles with perfection.
Wests host Cronulla at Campbelltown Stadium next saturday, 21st July with kickoff at 3pm.
Fulltime - Newtown 60 (Tupou 2, Kheirallah 2, Houma, Alofa, Dumbrell, Napa, O'Sullivan, Pearn tries: Lazarus 8, Kheirallah 2 goals) def Wests 8 (Godinet, M La Manna tries)
Halftime - Newtown 18 Wests 4
Scrums - Newtown 10 Wests 6
Penalties - Newtown 7 Wests 7
Goalkickers - Newtown, Blake Lazarus 8/8 Mark Kheirallah 2/2 - Wests, Nigel Millgate 0/2
18 Alofa Alofa
2 Daniel Tupou
3 Usaia O'Sullivan
4 Jack Littlejohn
16 Louis Vaiotu
6 Mark Kheirallah
7 Blake Lazarus
17 Saulala Houma
9 Glenn Dumbrell
10 Andrew Pearn
11 Josh Ailaomai
19 Nick Ehsman
13 Ahmed Ellaz
8 Issac Liu
14 Dylan Napa
15 Kurt Kara
21 Issac Maiota
1 Zoram Watene
21 Tuki Jackson
3 Greg Davis
4 Michael Lekkas
5 Michael La Manna
6 Chris Nay
7 Nigel Millgate
8 Seffa Silafau
9 Henry Godinet
10 Latu Fifita
19 Daniel La Manna
17 Henry Iuta
13 Tom Morrison
14 Terrence Green
15 Francis Tupu
16 Jay Maseuli
18 Tom Pritchard