NSW Cup Round 21 Match Report vs Newtown Jets

Wayne Cousins

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles continued their charge to the NSW Cup finals with an impressive 28-12 victory over the Newtown Jets at Henson Park today.

The Jets went into the round 21 match in third place on 27 points with Blacktown Workers in sixth position. The win moves Blacktown Workers into fifth spot on 24 points, subject to tomorrow’s results, after Canberra lost to the Warriors on Friday. The top five teams contest the final series.

A crowd of at least 10,000 enjoyed a glorious sunny afternoon with the match the feature of the annual ‘Beer, Footy and Food Festival’, with league fans having the chance to enjoy over 25 different craft beer stalls at one of rugby league’s traditional home grounds.

The Sea Eagles produced a solid first half to lead 14-6 at half-time as thousands of league fans enjoyed the opportunity to kick the footy around on the field at the break.

Manly props Ethan Bullemor and Toff Sipley both had strong games and played some good minutes as they look to force their way back into the NRL team after being dropped this week. Full-back Kaeo Weekes also had one of his better games.

Blacktown Workers got off to a great start when half-back Jakob Arthur crossed in the second minute after some nice footwork near the line. Five-eighth Cooper Johns converted for a 6-0 lead.

The fine start continued minutes later when winger Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega crashed over in the left corner. Johns failed to convert from the sideline for a 10-0 lead after eight minutes.

Newtown quickly replied when winger Tom Rodwell scored off a second kick that initially came from a Blacktown Workers mistake.  Mawene Hiroti converted for a 10-6 scoreline after 11 minutes.

Blacktown Workers centre Morgan Harper crashed over in the 34th minute and upon celebrating gave a nice little friendly ‘hello’ welcome to the locals, promoting a roar from parts of the packed hill. Johns failed to convert from the sideline for a 14-6 scoreline.

© Bryden Sharp Photography

The Sea Eagles almost pulled off a try early in the second half when a nice play down the right side by second-rower Zac Fulton and winger Jake Toby almost saw Johns score in the corner off a Toby kick only for the ball to bounce into touch on the line.

Blacktown Workers were not to be denied a few minutes later when a play down the left flank on the last tackle saw Tuaimalo Vaega score out wide for his second try in the 51st minute. Johns failed to convert into the wind for an 18-6 lead.

The Jets hit back with a nice play from full-back Manaia Waitere to send prop  Rhys Dakin over next to the posts for a converted try for an 18-12 scoreline after 63 minutes.

A terrific offload in traffic by forward Ben Condon put prop Toff Sipley into a gap before sending Weekes on his way in a 20 metre run to the line in the 69th minute. Johns converted for a 24-12 lead.

Two minutes later, centre Clayton Faulalo continued his superb tryscoring form when he crossed out wide to all but seal victory for the Sea Eagles. Johns failed to convert for a 28-12 lead.

Blacktown Workers now play St George-Illawarra Dragons at Ron Costello Oval, Shellharbour, on Saturday, July 29, at 3pm.

© Bryden Sharp Photography