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Jets rollercoaster ride continues in dramatic victory over Bears

September 17 2012

by Jodie Newell

The Newtown Jets 2012 season narrative has become something akin to a Hollywood thriller epic. Last kick finishes, a come from behind finals win last week, Newtown club stalwart Glen Dwyer would surely be expecting a call from Steven Spielberg sometime this week requesting a script for a new Indiana Jones movie.

Yet again Newtown defied all logic by coming from behind and defeating an unlucky North Sydney Bears side by 2 points after Daniel Mortimer crisply booted a penalty goal during a golden point finish. Incredibly Newtown were 12 points down with 8 minutes to go and somehow found a way to win.

“If we are behind 18 points, we can win a game”

- Mose Masoe, Newtown Jets

Norths thought they had done enough, but as we are told many times over, sport is a game of inches. The Bears went for a late minute field goal attempt which was blocked by Newtown’s Mose Masoe who gathered the ball on the bounce and stormed down the field setting up a try. The ball could have taken a wrong bounce, Masoe could have fallen over. But those scenarios didn't happen and the Jets went on to an incredible victory.

North Sydney began the game in a much better manner than the previous week, where Newcastle built a large lead and did enough to beat the fast finishing Bears. Coach Wayne Lambkin made sure his side were switched on and the results were quickly shown on the board when Luke Keary scored first and then converted, 6-0 Bears.

Newtown responded magnificently with Daniel Mortimer launching a high bomb on the 5th tackle which saw Justin Carney mark it cleanly and planted the ball down for a try. Mortimer converted and the score was tied at 6-6.

Norths kept up their work rate and were looking the better team. They applied enormous pressure on the Jets defense, earning two goal line drop outs in succession. The Bears hard work payed off with Ryan Carr providing an excellent chip kick and Bennett Leslie pounced on the ball for a try. Keary’s conversion was good and Norths led 12-6.

The Bears soon found themselves with another try, on the back of a rather questionable penalty call from referee Jon Stone. Hooker Brendan McKinnon crossed the tryline and again Keary converted Bears going into half time with a a 12 point lead 18-6.

Newtown coach Greg Matterson surely would have given one of his infamous, paint peeling sprays to his charges during the break. The apparent effects were evident during the first minutes of the second half, with the Jets testing the Norths Sydney defense. Adam Henry and Peni Tagive ran hard at the Bears lines, but couldn't break through due to some excellent defensive work. Norths quickly cashed in on their hard toil when the dynamic winger in Curtis Johnston stormed in for a try. Luke Keary made no mistake and the Bears took a stranglehold on the game increasing their lead by 18 points, 24-6.

The Jets were in serious trouble and needed to lift immediately to get themselves out of a deep hole. Mose Masoe made his intentions clear on the first hit-up of the return kick, pummeling into the Bears ball carrier, sending him spinning backwards from the line. Newtown’s intensity lifted and continued to apply some serious tackling. Mose Masoe capped off that work with a superb try. Mortimer converted. The Jets now had a pulse 24-12.

That pulse became a raging heartbeat when the pocket battleship in Justin Carney snaffled an intercept and burst through the North Sydney line sprinting down the field for an all the way try under the posts. Mortimer had the easiest of conversions, a converted try the difference 24-18.

The Jets fans at Leichhardt Oval were delirious, shouting themselves hoarse with excitement as their team had a serious chance of taking an improbable victory.

Against the run of play, North Sydney shut down the Jets run, when Curtis Johnston skillfully claimed a Jets deflection and ran close to the Bears tryline. Ryan Carr quickly got over the line and Keary added the extras 30-18.

Surely, North Sydney had done enough to win the match and now had a 12 point lead with 8 minutes on the clock. On Newtown’s next set of six, Daniel Topou gathered precious meters with an excellent breaking run. In good field position, Mose Masoe barged through the Bears defense and the Jets were only a try away from tying the game. 30-24.

It was a mad scramble in the last minutes, Alofa Alofa almost tied the scores for the Jets when he looked as though he was over the tryline, but referee Stone deemed he was held up in goal.

In the next drive for the North Sydney Bears, they determinedly pushed their way downfield to get in position for a field goal and attempt to increase their lead by two scores. Ryan Carr’s shot was blocked by the best-on-ground Mose Masoe who blocked the kick and gathered up the ball and charged down the  middle of the field.

Thanks to the Masoe run, the Jets had great field position. Daniel Mortimer then scored the tying try and conversion. Incredibly the Jets had tied the game with 90 seconds remaining.

North Sydney attempted to get in position for a field goal, but even with a penalty, were unable to fire off an effective shot and the game was headed for sudden death golden point.

Newtown were the first team to have possession and it was on this set that the game was decided. A penalty was awarded to the Jets at around 35 meters out on the far side of the ground, with the goalposts located at the aptly named Mary St end. Daniel Mortimer took the shot and it sailed between the posts. Newtown had won another game on the last kick of the day. The Jets fans roared with approval, the Jets players leaped and bounded to each other. Mose Masoe dived over the hugging pack in scenes of pure delirium. The North Sydney players were totally devastated. Curtis Johnson, George Burgess and Ryan Carr stared blankly at the ground. It took them minutes to regain their composure before they trudged off the ground.

Ironically the scenes were the exact opposite same time last year when the Bears prevailed in a last minute thriller.

Newtown now go on to play the minor premiers in Canterbury Bankstown at Leichhardt Oval next Sunday for a chance to play in the Grand Final. With the finest of margins, the Jets have escaped every trap they have found themselves in.The question is can they continue this incredible run next week.

For North Sydney they would be rueing this game as the one that got away, seemingly looking like winners with 8 minutes to go. They have had a good season, but weren't able to apply themselves when it mattered in both finals games. The poor start against Newcastle last week, basically cost them their season.

The Newtown Jets defense sparked a second half revival with solid tackling on the North Sydney Bears attack

image: 2012 NewellMediaGroup

Final score: Newtown Jets 32 defeated North Sydney Bears 30

Tries Jets: J Carney 2, M Masoe 2, D Mortimer 

Tries Bears L Keary, B Leslie, B McKinnon, C Johnston, R Carr

Conversions Jets: Mortimer 5, Penalty Goals: Mortimer 1

Conversions Bears: L Keary 5

Referee: Jon Stone

Touch Judges :  Brenden Wood Jay Farlow

In-goal Judges :  Brendan Lucas Ryan Jackson

At Leichhardt Oval