Macquarie Raiders at home came out firing, but the Jets didn’t. There were way too many dropped balls and incomplete sets in the first half and this resulted in the home side scoring four unanswered tries to lead 22-0 at the break.
The Jets were behind the eight-ball from the start with captain/coach Tim Walker out injured, as was hooker Riley Cape who has still not returned to the field after receiving a cheap shot in the game against Dubbo CYMS five weeks ago.
The Raiders scored the first try of the second half and it was 13 minutes before the Jets posted points when Mick Clarke at dummy half made a trademark powerful run from eight metres out to score.
Chad Jacobson added the extras. Macquarie ran in two more tries and then with four minutes on the clock replacement forward Curtis Orcher made an angled run from out wide across the face of goal to score, carrying three defenders with him.
Jacobson slotted his second and then the Raiders sealed the game with a try on the bell to run out winners 44-12. The score did not reflect the game in the second half as the Jets put up a valiant but disjointed effort. Macquarie bemoaned their loss of a couple of players however the Jets had winger Jye Carter, hooker Luke Hemsworth and Lucas Payne all joining Walker and Cape on the sideline in the first half and they did not return to the field.
In addition forward Alex Sambrook carried heavy bandaging to the face after a high shot early in the second half. He was finally replaced late in the second half.
This week’s bye will be very welcome by the players before hosting Wellington on July 22.
The Jets reserve grade also got away to a slow start with the Raiders up 22-0 after 26 minutes. With a minute to go Jacob McNaught made a burst, offloaded to captain/coach Josh Barlow who broke the line, passed to support in the form of Scott Paulston, Paulston drew the defence and passed back to Barlow who scored; Trent Jacobson added the extras. The reserve graders, with players playing up into first grade, plus having players absent or injured, were always going to struggle.
Injuries during the game continued, none less than iron man Dale Hennessy who came off with a broken nose from a high tackle.
The home side ran away with four unanswered tries in the second half to run out winners 46-6. The Jets played their hearts out, but did not have the answers for the fast and strong Raiders outfit.
The Under 18 side started the game with just nine players which swelled to 11 in the opening minutes.
The Raiders made use of their superior numbers to run up a 42-0 lead with two minutes left to go to half time when Aaron Ashley brought the Jets crowd to their feet with a sweet field goal. They were on the board. Another try to the Raiders saw a 48-1 half-time score. Raiders continued the demolition in the second half and led 64-1 after six minutes in the second half. The Jets were not going to give up.
They dived on a loose ball and in the next set Aaron Ashley scored after quick hands from the young Jets.
This was followed by another three tries to the Raiders over the next 12 minutes. In the dying minutes, Dillon Anning slotted a penalty goal and the siren sounded with an 80 to 7 win to the Raiders.
The Raiders were determined to reach 100 points and to their credit the Jets were just as determined they wouldn’t. The Narromine side was starved of the ball throughout the match and they tackled their hearts out. Given the superior numbers and a bench full of reserves the Raiders would not be too pleased with the result. Top marks to a very young, small and undermanned Jets side.