The Jets first grade game was always going to be a fiery affair and there was no place for the faint-hearted. It was 13 minutes before the white stripe was crossed but the visitors did it in style with three tries through gaps on the flank as well as through the centre. In the final 10 minutes of the first half the Jets finally opened their account. Blake Richardson scored off a great cross-field bomb from Chad Jacobson and Jade Hooper kicked through to dive on the ball. The Jets trailed by 16-12 at the break. Forbes started the second half scoring two tries in the first six minutes, then leading by 16 points. Four minutes later Mick Clarke powered over near the posts in one of his trademark angled runs. The Forbes’ tactics finally backfired and they had a player in the bin with a second given a rest for perhaps suggesting the referee was wrong. With superior numbers the Jets made the ball do the work and gave big prop Alex Sambrook the chance to power over. With six minutes to go the Jets were trailing by four points when a back-line move from wing to wing saw Jordan Richardson score the winning try. Chad Jacobson converted four from four and Jade Hooper one from one with the Jets hanging on to run out winners 30-28. Alex Sambrook was among the best with captain/coach Tim Walker, players’ player award winner Jordan Richardson and replacement Luke Brown all having big games.
The reserve grade side gave the visitors way too much start. The penalty count was lopsided with the home team failing to read the referee, who is only new to the district and has a number of different interpretations. The Magpies however had a number of seasoned players who read the referee and the game well, exploiting any gaps when the Jets failed to move up in a line. The first half saw two tries, both to Forbes, one early in the half and one late in the half to lead 12-0 at half- time. Both tries were scored from well in their own half. Other than that the Jets tackled tenaciously but still left too many gaps. The Jets lost two valuable players to injury in the first half, Dale Hutchison to an ankle injury and Jake Burke to a dislocated shoulder. The second half saw Forbes score three more tries. One when they spread it wide, another again through gaps, and one try off a blatant forward pass. With less than five minutes to go, the Jets were awarded a penalty and Chad Pink scored in the corner off a good back-line move. Four minutes later Shannon Murphy made a good bustling run to score an individual try. Joey Mikulic converted both tries. The final score was 30-12 to the visitors.
Good games by captain/coach Josh Barlow who leads by example and tops the tackle count week after week and to young Johnny Clarke who picked up the players’ award at presentation. It is also good to see the return of Steve Newman who is getting better each week.
Jets’ under 18s side continue to play a mixed bag with periods of controlled play and periods of most undisciplined play. In the second minute they let in an easy Forbes try but minutes later redeemed themselves when Aaron Ashley scored off a good back-line play; Dillon Anning converted. Ten minutes later Forbes found gaps in sloppy defence but then had to play with 11 men after having only come with 12 players and having a player sinned binned. Narromine took advantage of numbers and ran a good try when Tom Newlands set up Blake McDonald and Anning converted. Six minutes later they were in again after the home side cleaned up a dropped ball by Forbes with Brad O’Brien crossing the line. With a huge numbers advantage they should have gone further ahead, but instead conceded a series of penalties that allowed Forbes to score again minutes from the break, and lead by two points. In the opening minute of the second-half the Magpies made a good break from their own half to score, however the Jets hit back with a great run from Jye Carter which set up a Dillon Anning try and conversion. Minutes later Carter again scrambled through heavy defence to score a well deserved try, Anning converted. Forbes however hit back with another six points. With 10 minutes to go Tom Newlands put up a great cross field kick to Jackson Clarke who offloaded for Aaron Ashley to pick up his second.
Forbes ran in two more in a matter of four minutes as the Jets made error after error. Blake McDonald scored a fine try from dummy half with a minute to go, but the home side still let Forbes in for a final try on the bell, the visitors coming away victors 48 to 38.
Good performances for the Jets by Jye Carter and Jackson Clarke and players’ player was Aaron Ashley.