By Jake Bull
The Illawarra Cutters got off to a good start to their season with a 28-12 victory over the Newtown Jets at Henson Park, Marrickville on Saturday.
In very warm conditions, the game was split into three 20 minute periods to ensure there was no injuries to either side in their first game back after pre-season training over the past month.
The short game time on offer meant that all players were looking to impress and it did not take long for the first try of the game.
A set close to the line for the Jets was capitalised on by Jordan Galloway who scored under the posts.
With no conversions on offer, Newtown lead 4-0.
Five minutes later the visitors hit back with a try of their own courtesy of Fraser Alcock to square the game at 4-4 after also scoring under the posts.
Both sides showed vulnerability up the middle and it was another try in the middle third which hurt the Cutters.
A line break in the play beforehand put the Cutters on the back foot which saw Corey Brown score for the home side.
Newtown took this lead into the first break at 8-4.
It was the Jets who started the strongest after the interval when Tori Tuiletufuga crossed the white line for a 12-4 lead.
Just after the half-hour mark, new player Blake Wallace showed good signs when he took the defence on himself, scoring next to the posts.
This reduced the gap to 12-8 with half the game remaining.
Cutters winger Nathan Smith tied the game at 12-all seven minutes later to give the team some much needed confidence heading into the final period with the game locked up.
In the 45th minute, five-eighth Beau Henry got a try of his own after stepping a few players.
This try gave the team their first lead in the contest at 16-12.
Minutes later and the momentum had shifted to the Cutters as a short side play found Dylan Strickland who finished the fine work in the lead up.
The try extended the lead to 20-12.
A nice ball from Henry to prop Jokatama Dokonivalu put the visitors ahead even further before a later try to winger Eli Roberts sealed the win for the visitors.
Illawarra Cutters 24. Tries: Alcock , Wallace, Smith, Henry, Strickland, Dokonivalu.
Newtown Jets: 12. Tries: Galloway, Brown, Tuiletufuga.