Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles fall to their third straight defeat.

By Ricky Newell

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles fell to their third straight defeat following a heartbreaking 22-16 loss to the Newtown Jets in round 10 of the NSW Cup on Sunday afternoon. 

In a game that went right down to the wire at HE Laybutt Field, Blacktown, the Sea Eagles and the Jets traded tries towards the end after a scrappy 4-0 lead at the break for the home side.

Defence proved to be the key in the first half but seemingly went out the window in the second. 

The Jets scored two tries in the final five minutes, including a try on the stroke of full-time when the scores were level, to steal the two competition points. 

Newtown struggled to get out of their half in the opening 10 minutes and sat back to defend as Blacktown gained momentum. Despite the chances, the home side were thrown over the same sideline twice in a matter of minutes as they continued to search for the first points.

The Sea Eagles interchange was made to work after the loss of second-rower Brad Parker to a HIA in the 13th minute. 

© Bryden Sharp Photography

Back-to-back penalties in front of the Sea Eagles’ try line invited chances for the Jets to break through, only to be met by a wall of defenders as both sides struggled to capitalise on their field position. 

Off the back of a well-worked shift, Sea Eagles winger Watson Heleta went over untouched to score in the 18th minute for a 4-0 lead.  

Blacktown was on the back foot for the next 20 minutes and looked to concede at times as the Jets continued to win repeat sets from poor infringements. Despite this, they were able to hold out the onslaught of attack and force Newtown back with some strong defence to hold a 4-point lead at the break. 

The Sea Eagles rolled the dice and ran the ball on the last tackle in the 45th minute. Hooker Jamie Humphreys and second-rower Zane Dunford combined to break through the defence but unfortunately Dunford turned the ball over, inviting Newtown downfield with a full set. 

Jets full-back Kade Dykes took advantage of the field position his side was in and broke through the defence to score next to the posts one minute later, giving them a 6-4 lead. 

© Bryden Sharp Photography

Blacktown captain Brandon Wakeham failed to convert a penalty goal in the 53rd minute after hitting the left upright. 

The Sea Eagles crossed for their second try 40 minutes after their first to regain the lead. Wakeham threw a risky cut-out pass to centre Clayton Faulalo, who pushed past two defenders to score for a 10-6 scoreline in the 58th minute. 

Newtown quickly took the lead back as Dykes crossed for his second try, bringing the score to 12-10 with 13 minutes remaining. 

Blacktown kept their foot in the door and scored to once again regain the lead through full-back Lehi Hopoate in the 71st minute.

Lock Caleb Navale broke through the defence at the halfway line and stormed downfield before passing to Hopoate, who beat the opposing full-back to score for a 16-12 scoreline. 

The Sea Eagles made an error in the moments that followed the kick-off that proved to be costly, as the Jets quickly shifted the ball to the right edge to score through winger Samuel Stonestreet to level the scores at 16-all with four minutes to play. 

In heartbreaking fashion, Newtown surged downfield, broke through the defence and scored under the posts through Dykes for a final scoreline of 22-16. 

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in round 11 of the NSW Cup at North Sydney Oval on Sunday, May 19, at 3pm. 

Jets 22 (Tries: Dykes 45’, 66’, Stonestreet 75’, Dykes 79’. Goals: Hiroti 3/4) d Sea Eagles 16 (Tries: Heleta 18’, Faulalo 58’, Hopoate 71’. Goals: Wakeham 2/3)