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Fantastic finals run continues for underdogs

September 17 2012

by Jodie Newell


  1. BulletAmazing day of rugby league at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday. The two classic league teams in Newtown and Balmain had big wins over the weekend.


The Jets run has simply been incredible. As we mentioned in our review, Spielberg couldn’t have written a better script for the Bluebaggers who continually evade losing by any means possible. Consider the following:


At Henson Park against Illawarra on August 26, they were within a whisker of oblivion. Thanks to a last minute penalty kick by Jack Littlejohn they won the game and secured a finals berth.


In last weeks finals match, the Jets were 12 points down in the 2nd half and looked gone. But thanks to Mortimer and Masoe they turned that deficit around and stung the Cutters 36-30.


Then we have yesterday’s thriller. Newtown all but gone with 8 minutes to go trailing the North Sydney Bears by 12 points. Enter again Masoe and Mortimer. Sounds like a legal firm and they acted like one in getting their side out of huge trouble with some season defining plays. Masoe’s charge down and gather of a Bears attempt at a field goal was jaw-dropping. The play could have turned many ways, but ran in favor of the big man who was pivotal in the Jets revival. Newtown Jets coach Greg Matterson singled out Masoe for praise in the packed Jets shed after the game. With Sydney Roosters head honcho in Nick Politis and ARL chairman John Chalk present, Matterson told the gathering : ‘I just want to mention Mose Masoe. Boys, that charge down, when the chips are down, epitomizes Newtown getting off the deck, making the plays that needed to be made. So outstanding effort Mos”.

Sunday’s game was the pick of any, repeat any rugby league final played in Sydney over the weekend, including the Cowboys v Manly, Souths v Raiders games. With all due respect to the winners, the Jets v Bears game had everything and the ending was amazing for the 3,000 plus crowd on hand at Leichhardt.





  1. BulletThe Balmain Ryde Eastwood tigers are the other feel good story of the NSW Cup finals series. The weren't given much of a chance and have defied the tipsters with two outstanding wins over quality opposition. Skipper Sean Meaney has told us that people write off the Tigers at their peril, citing it as a spur to his team. They played big over the past two weeks. Hard man Ray Cashmere has been fearless. He scored a solid try on Sunday and his tackling has been fearless. He will be missed by the Wests Tigers organization when he heads off in 2013 to play for the Shellharbour Sharks in the Illawarra Coal Cup competition.

With recent reports in the Sydney metropolitan press that the NSW Cup Wests Magpies side may be merged into a single Wests Tigers entity next season, means that we could be seeing the Balmain name playing for the last time.

It would be an amazing NSW Cup grand final if the Jets and Tigers made it through.


  1. BulletSpoke to Wests Tigers winger Joel Reddy who was watching his teammates yesterday at Leichhardt. Reddy told us he was ineligible to play because he hadn't played enough games to qualify for selection. Seems a shame because we saw Joel on a couple of occasions play for the Tiger combine and do well.

Don’t mess with us Ray Cashmere (far right) during the Tigers win over Wentworthville.

Cashmere was unrelenting in defense & attack.

image: 2012 NewellMediaGroup

  1. BulletIt was a perfect day at Leichhardt Oval yesterday and it was good to be at the rugby league following that awful protest in the city the day before. Just what is Australia coming to? the thugs who ran amok in the city streets on Saturday would be helped if they focussed their minds on engaging Australian society and contributing to it in a unique and positive way. Hazem El Masri is a perfect example. His work in rugby league was nothing short of admirable and set the bar for others to follow. Bachar Houli who plays for AFL side the Richmond Tigers is another great example of diversity in Australian life. There is no place in Australia for what happened on the weekend. Play the game please!.



  1. BulletSpoke to Wests Tigers winger Joel Reddy who was watching his teammates yesterday at Leichhardt. Reddy told us he was ineligible to play because he hadn't played enough games to qualify for selection. Seems a shame because we saw Joel on a couple of occasions play for the Tiger combine and do well.


  1. BulletGreat to see 2GB in attendance who joined Triple H 100.1 FM and Hawkesbury FM as the game broadcasters. The games themsevles were a “told you so moment” for those who spend much of their time covering NRL games. Andrew Moore, Daryl Brohman and Bob Fulton were glowing in their praise of the weekends rugby league. We keep saying it the VB NSW Cup competition has been nothing short of excellent quality.


  1. BulletTriple H’s Alby Talarico was king of the kids during the half time breaks, MC’ing a goal shoot out with the Manly, Mounties, Wests Magpies involved. Was great to see the Wests Magpies jersey on the field.


  1. BulletIt was an awful moment for Tiger player Jy Hitchcox who suffered a bad ankle injury. You knew he was in trouble as he was audibly in pain. Most rugby league blokes hardly murmur a whisper regardless of the pain. Yet we found out later, Jy had every reason to do so, as coach Paul Fletcher revealed to us post-game that he had suffered a broken ankle. Just typing that makes you wince. We wish Jy all the best for a speedy recovery.