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Jets amazing 2012 season reaches fitting conclusion

October 1 2012

by Jodie Newell


There was no other way the Newtown Jets season could have finished their season. Fittingly, Newtown won the 2012 VB NSW Cup 22-18 over a gallant Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers side at ANZ Stadium on Sunday. If it wasn't for a last gasp, game winning kick from Jack Littlejohn a month ago , this amazing ride as coach Greg Matterson described, would never have gone further than a bitter Henson Park defeat and an exit out of season 2012. Yet since that game the Newtown Jets found every avenue available to pouch the 2012 title.


“It’s been a great ride, we’ll ride it for a couple more days now”

- Greg Matterson, Newtown Jets coach


It wasn't the most attractive games played due to the size of ANZ Stadium and it didn't have the atmosphere that has been experienced at Leichhardt Oval in recent weeks. It did however provide a hard fought contest between two sides, who should never have been there based on ladder positions of 7th & 8th respectively.


The game was played in taxing, hot sunny conditions and on a perfect deck prepared for the later NRL grand final between Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.


It was Newtown who settled first pushing hard and fast at the Balmain lines. Daniel Mortimer was his typical self creating plenty of work for the Balmain defenders in Ray Cashmere and Sean Meaney. Mortimer would cap off his efforts by booting a high 5th tackle kick in which Daniel Tupou perfectly marked and stamped the ball into the ground. Mortimer converted and the Jets had the early break 6-0.


The Jets continued to pressure the Tigers and were soon on the scoreboard again thanks to Jack Bosden forcing his way in for a try on a 5th tackle play. Daniel Mortimer added the extras and the Jets skipped clear of Balmain 12-0.


The margin could have been bigger after Alofa Alofa made a sprinting run over the tryline, only to be denied after he was assisted with an obstruction by a fellow teammate and referee Matt Noyen ended the celebrations.


The Tigers used the call to spur their attack into action. Junior Moors was beginning to be a headache for the Newtown defence, as the big man evaded several tackles and gathered precious metres. Ava Seumanafagai put his team on the board after breaking through the Jets defence, Sean Meaney missed the conversion 12-4 Jets.


With the half nearing completion, Balmain kept coming at Newtown and benefitted with a couple of extra sets, thanks to some favorable charge down bounces. Sean Meaney made the most of it, scoring an opportunistic try and conversion and the Tigers were right back in the game 12-10.


Newtown’s cause wasn't helped finding itself a man down after Jack Bosden suffered a nasty suspected broken forearm injury.


The half ended at 12-10 and the players returned to the comfort of the sheds and a welcome cool drink as the warm spring sunshine was taking its toll on both sides.


Balmain began where they had left off and were soon applying pressure to Newtown. On a high 5th tackle bomb from Sean Meaney, Jets winger Daniel Tupou was unable to take what appeared to be a straight forward catch. The Tigers cashed in on their good fortune via a Dane Chisholm try. Meaney was unable to convert, but the Tigers now had the lead and were taking the game to Newtown.14-12 Tigers.


The Jets then responded in the best possible way by scoring a reply try. Mose Masoe led the charge, by gaining solid metres up the middle, giving his side excellent field position. Francis Vaiotu made an outside run to score, Mortimer couldn't convert, Jets back in front 16-14.


The arm wrestle continued when the Tigers responded. In a critical call, the Tigers looked to have a try when Nathan Waters chipped a deft kick into the try zone and Ava Seumanafagai looked to have scored. The video referee was called in and adjudicated that it was not to be due to a knock on.

Balmain refused to be denied and scored a hard fought try due to some excellent passing from Nathan Waters and Sean Meaney.

Josh Davis gladly accepted the work of his team mates scoring in the far corner. Again Meaney missed the conversion.Tigers back in the lead 18-16.


Newtown again replied when Nafe Seluini backed himself to run through the Tigers defence for a try. There was some conjecture from Balmain as to whether or not Mortimer had begun the play squarely. The referees didn't seem to think so and the Jets had the lead 22-18 after the Mortimer conversion.


The remaining minutes were a test of the defensive will of the Newtown Jets who were able to snuff out any chance of a Tiger last-minute try. The hooter blew and Newtown had finally won a grand final on grand final day after previous disappointments in 2008 & 2006.


Coach Matterson and the Newtown players, fans and officials broke out into jubilant celebrations. While obviously disappointed, the Balmain team kept their poise with captain Sean Meaney giving a gracious runners-up speech at the presentation podium.

Daniel Mortimer accepted the VB NSW Cup trophy to the roars of his team mates and the celebrations began for the Newtown Jets. It was a fitting end to an incredible season of VB NSW Cup rugby league.







Newtown’s Justin Carney (with ball) attracts plenty of attention from the Balmain defence

image: 2012 NewellMediaGroup

Final score:  Newtown Jets 22 defeated Balmain Ryde Eastwood 18


Tries Jets: D Tupou, J Bosden, F Vaiotu, N Seluini

Tries Tigers: A Seumanufagai, S Meaney, D Chisholm, J Davis

Conversions Jets:  Daniel Mortimer 3

Conversions Tigers:  Sean Meaney 1

Referee: Matt Noyen

Touch Judges :  Nathan Smith  Jay Farlow

Video Referees: :  Phil Cooley Steve Clark

At ANZ Stadium