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Magpies go down at the death to Jets

Western Suburbs Magpies have gone down to a last minute field goal from the Newtown Jets today in their Round 12 Intrust Super Premiership at Lidcombe Oval.

Playing in front of a strong crowd at the former spiritual home of the Magpies, Brett Hodgson's men showed their attacking class with a dominant opening 40 to lead the Jets comfortably at the break.

However, it was a much different story in the second half as errors from the hosts combined with resilient defending from the Jets allowing the visitors back in to the contest to eventually steal the win.

Toni Tali got the match off to the perfect start when he latched on to the end of a Tyson Gamble grubber after just four minutes of play, with Gamble converting the try to give the Magpies an early 6-0 lead.

The hosts threatened to go back-to-back when they spread it wide to Lucas Price moments later, but the winger was unable to ground the ball out wide — giving Newtown a momentary reprieve. The Jets quickly spread the ball from right to left, and found space down the wing through Charlton Schaafhausen, with the winger darting away from the cover defence to push away from Tali and cross for the visitors first try.

Kyle Flanagan's sideline conversion struck the post, however, leaving the Magpies in front at 6-4.

Newtown looked destined to take the lead when William Kennedy broke through the line, but an incredible try-saving tackle from Watson Heleta to punch the ball free as he stepped inside saved the day for Wests.

A switch of centres from Kevin Naiqama and Tali quickly put the Magpies back on the front foot, with Pita Godinet and then Gamble finding space on the right edge of the Newtown attack. Both times it was Western Suburbs captain Luke Garner who was the beneficiary, with the forward crashing over for two tries in the space of three minutes to take his season tally to eight tries and the Magpies' lead to 16-4.

Braden Robson continued the dominant attacking display from Wests when he crossed seven minutes before half-time, and it could have been more as Naiqama and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak both went close.

However, it would be Newtown who had the last laugh of the opening half, with Anthony Moratis collecting an error from Heleta to score as the siren sounded. Flanagan had no problems converting, with the Jets cutting the score to 22-10 at the break that didn't reflect how dominant Wests  had been.

As was the case with last week's win over the Panthers, it was a slow start to the second half from Western Suburbs that saw them squander good attacking opportunities with errors and poor last tackle options.

Eventually, Newtown would make the hosts pay for that with a quick shift to the right catching out tired defenders, before Jack Williams backed up on the inside to score next to the posts.

Flanagan's simple conversion cut the margin to just six points with 15 minutes still remaining.

Sauaso Sue had the chance to put the game beyond doubt when he crashed through the line with 10 minutes remaining, but was unable to ground the ball as the post denied the front rower from scoring.

That play would prove pivotal in the momentum of the match as a break from Addison Demetriou's linebreak saw Newtown on the front foot and Wests down a man with Lucas Price committing a professional foul to deny the Jets from scoring. 

However, with the extra man advantage, it didn't take long for Newtown to eventually cross as Williams stepped back on the inside for his second try of the game to level the match with five minutes to play.

And a missed field goal from Gamble gave Newtown a seven tackle set, it was Flanagan who proved the hero for Newtown — stepping up from 25m out to land the one-pointer as time expired.

Newtown Jets 23 (Williams 2, Schaafhausen, Moratis tries; Flanagan 3/4 goals; Flanagan field goal) def. Western Suburbs Magpies 22 (Garner 2, Tali, Robson tries; Gamble 3/4 goals)


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Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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