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#VBNSWCup Result: Newtown Jets 31 Penrith Panthers 30

The Panthers winning streak was abruptly ended at 11 games with the Newtown Jets showing tremendous character when all looked lost at the 60 minute mark to storm home and score 25 unanswered points in just 14 minutes to complete the most unlikely & thrilling comeback of the season, winning 31-30 at Allianz Stadium. The result was one for the true believers especially considering Newtown was outscored 6 tries to 5, completed less sets than their counterparts, made more errors, broke the line just twice all games yet somehow conjured an amazing win to keep their finals hopes alive.

Eto Nabuli’s 2nd minute try from a Tom Humble kick was cancelled out when a Dureau’s cross field kick was taken from Wes Naiqama’s grasps by Nathan Stapleton to score 10 minutes later but a Sio Siua Taukeiho error from the next set was pivotal as the Panthers proceeded to score back to back tries. The first try to Naiqama came from Tom Humble’s pet play of going right wrapping around Sam Anderson before linking with Waqa Blake who provided his winger with a 15 metre saloon passage to the try line and was duly converted by the Fijian veteran from the touchline. Quick play the balls in the next set allowed the Panthers forwards to roll downfield before Matt Robinson broke through up the middle from 40 metres out before offloading to Luke Capewell to score underneath the posts giving Penrith a handy 16-6 lead.

The Panthers soon extended that lead to 16 points when Humble attacked the Newtown left edge once again this time from 35 metres out linking with Vaipuna Tia Kilifi before the back-rower popped a great offload to Kieran Moss to burst clear before putting Naiqama in for his second try of the afternoon.

The kicking game of Humble and Capewell with the strong wind behind them placed plenty of pressure on Newtown’s back three and the Panthers could have extended their lead even further shortly before half time when Capewell’s cross field kick was batted back by Nabuli only to be fumbled by Robinson close to the try line with the Jets defence at sixers and sevens.

Penrith were hampered early in the second half with Robinson withdrawn for 18th man duties with the NRL team and compounded soon after with Tim Grant’s forced out of the game with a hamstring injury but the Panthers looked anything but hamstrung when scoring two tries in the opening ten minutes as the Jets gifted Penrith two tries through fundamental errors to Anthony Cherrington and Nathan Smith.

The Panthers looked in control leading 30-6 as they heading into the final 20 minutes of the game but what has often been the case in this winning streak, the Panthers once again took the foot off the pedal, inviting the Jets back into the game. A 61st minute Dureau cross field kick was spilt by Naiqama & the loose ball was pounced upon by Harris to score out wide. Minutes later Harris came up with one of the plays of the season winning a scrum against the feed and two tackles later Kane Evans barged his way over from a reverse pass from Kurt Kara despite cries of double movement from the Panthers captain, Kevin Kingston.

The Panthers inability to secure any possession continued when a Humble kick from a rare Penrith penalty failed to find touch, compounded further by a penalty for a high tackle that saw the Penrith five-eighth placed on report. That man again, David Harris came up trumps with a crucial play from dummy half putting in a grubber kick into the in-goal that evaded Naiqama and allowed Jonathon Reuben to ground the ball just inside the dead ball line. Stapleton’s goal kicking was spot on from the touchline in tricky conditions to give the Jets hope trailing by just 6 with still 11 minutes remaining.

Another penalty to Newtown late in the tackle count allowed the Jets to attack once more and in the 73rd minute Kara went on a short blindside play linking with Stapleton whose cut out pass allowed Matt Evans enough ability to evade Nabuli and score in the right corner despite there been some doubt on the put down. Stapleton completed a perfect day with the boot with another magnificent conversion from the sideline to level the scores.

Humble’s horror final 20 minutes of play after being the dominant player on the field for the previous 60 minutes continued when he kicked out on the full from the kickoff gifting Newtown the opportunity to steal the lead, which they duly did when Dureau kicked the field goal from 15 metres out.

Penrith finally got some sets in the closing minutes and were hell bent on tying the game through a field goal of their own but two field goal attempts from Humble were charged down and a final attempt on the siren was sprayed wide by Will Smith to give Newtown a memorable win.

The Panthers will now re-group and prepare for their arch-rivals the Cronulla Sharks in Bathurst next Saturday at 12:45pm while the Jets travel to Belmore Sports Ground next Friday night to take on the Bulldogs at 7pm.

Newtown 31 (Nathan Stapleton, David Harris, Kane Evans, Jonathan Reuben, Matt Evans tries; Nathan Stapleton 5 goals; Scott Dureau field goal) d. Penrith 30 (Wes Naiqama 2, Eto Nabuli, Luke Capewell, Anthony Cherrington, Nathan Smith tries; Wes Naiqama 3 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Referee: Chris Treneman. Touch Judges: Peter Crombie-Brown, Jason Higgins. Penalties: Newtown 7-6. Half-time: Penrith 20-6. Goal-kickers: Nathan Stapleton (Newtown) 5 from 5 Wes Naiqama (Penrith) 3 from 6.


1              Jonathon Reuben

2              Brett Lane

4              Junior Vaivai

5              Matt Evans

3              Nathan Stapleton

6              Samisoni Langi

7              Scott Dureau

8              Kane Evans

9              Kurt Kara

10           Ryan Verlinden

12           Brad Barrett

13           Sio Siua Taukeiaho

17           Ray Moujalli


11           Rhyse Martin

14           Andrew Pearn

15           David Harris

21           Saulala Houma


1              Kieran Moss

2              Eto Nabuli

3              Waqa Blake

4              Will Smith

5              Wes Naiqama

6              Tom Humble

7              Luke Capewell

8              Sam Anderson

9              Kevin Kingston

10           Tim Grant

11           Vaipuna Tia Kilifi

12           Matt Robinson

13           Ryan Simpkins


14           Reagan Campbell-Gillard

15           Kierran Moseley

16           Anthony Cherrington

17           Nathan Smith

Editor of nothingbutleague since site inception in 2013. Massive Penrith Panthers fan (Member 13120). Email:


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