Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles suffered a 34-16 loss to the Newtown Jets at Henson Park on Saturday in round seven of the NSW Cup.
Although beaten, it was a gallant effort by Blacktown Workers who were in the game until the final 20 minutes. They were also well short on some quality Manly NRL players, including props Toff Sipley and Kurt De Luis who had been in fine form in recent weeks, hence their promotion to the Sea Eagles' NRL team.
Wearing a superb ANZAC commemorative jersey, a remembrance service was held prior to kick-off in front of a huge crowd as part of the annual Jets’ Footy Festival.
After trailing 6-0 through a converted try to prop Thomas Hazelton next to the posts after two minutes, Blacktown Workers then had to soak up some more defensive pressure from the home side. Their efforts were rewarded though 13 minutes later when winger Alfred Smalley dived over from dummy half to score off a strong run by second-rower Kenny Soumpholphakdy. Winger Masi Paulo Fidow converted for a 6-all scoreline after 16 minutes.
Five minutes later, Newtown prop Franklin Pele crashed through three defenders to score out wide. Mawene Hiroti converted for a 12-6 lead.
Blacktown Workers were then left a player short for 10 minutes after Smalley was placed on report and sent to the sin bin for a late shoulder charge on half-back Rhys Davies.
Two minutes later, the Jets were denied a second try to Hazelton after the prop lost the ball over the tryline.
A nice short pass from five-eighth Eiden Ackland saw second-rower Luke Hodge crash over our wide for Blacktown’s second try. Paulo Fidow converted for a 12-all scoreline after 34 minutes and remained that way to half-time.
A touch of luck led to Blacktown’s third try when a kick on the last tackled from half-back Dylan White saw the ball hit the crossbar and bounce into the arms of hooker Joe Tramontana who sent Paulo Fiodow over in the corner for a 16-12 lead after 45 minutes.
Blacktown worked hard to maintain their lead until the 59th minute mark when Newtown crossed for their third try after winger Matt Ikuvalu beat centre Jorge Taufua for pace for a 16-all scoreline.
The Jets then took the lead three minutes later when former Manly U20s player Addison Demetriou backed up in support to score. Hiroti converted for a 22-16 lead after 64 minutes.
Newtown then scored again six minutes later through full-back Kade Dykes stepped and weaved past the defence after a great offload in traffic by Pele. Hiroti converted for a 28-16 lead.
The Jets secured victory when Demetriou stepped back inside and used his strength to score next to the posts. Hiroti converted for the 34-16 scoreline with five minutes remaining.