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The Premier report - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Tue, 03 Apr 2007 01:27:00 GMT

North Sydney Premier League coach Wayne Lambkin was looking for improvement in his team, and got it with a strong 28-16 win against the Sharks on Saturday night at Toyota Park.

The five try to two win came as a result of a more efficient play the ball, and a better understanding between players in only their second match of the season together.

“Big improvement” felt Wayne Lambkin, claiming better formation in attack out wide and “effective scoots from the ruck”.

Coach Lambkin named Ex Cronulla player Jardine Bobongie, who scored the Bears final try and Souths talented number 9 Isaac Luke as two of the Bears best. Isaac’s barnstorming 30 metre run to score in the first half was a highlight of the night.

Other good performers included young halfback Eddie Paea, winger Fetuli Talanoa who scored two white hot tries, and Bears recruits Conrad Ta’akimoeaka and Ryan Verlinden. The win keeps the Bears entrenched in the top 8 after 3 rounds.

NORTH SYDNEY 28 (Fetuli Talanoa 2, Beau Champion, Isaac Luke, Jardine Bobongie tries; Beau Champion 4 goals) defeated CRONULLA 12 (Paul Stephenson, Brett Finn tries; Mark Lennon 2 goals)

Newtown and the panthers were locked up at 12-all at halftime in Saturday’s VB Premier League match at Henson Park, but a sub-standard second half performance from the Jets saw Penrith coast home to an easy 42-18 win.

The Jets fielded a considerably changed line-up from the winning combination over in Auckland the previous Sunday.

Halfback Josh Lewis had been ruled out on Thursday and Kiwi international centre Iosia Soliola was a late recall to the Roosters NRL squad on Saturday morning.

Standout forwards from the Auckland Lions match Nigel Plum and Shane Shackleton had also won promotion up into the NRL team.

Newtown began promisingly when Jamie Soward’s pinpoint corner kick was cleverly flicked back inside for replacement centre Rory Kostjasyn to score.

Soward converted from wide out for the Jets to lead 6-0. Penrith equalised in the 20th minute courtesy of a woefully soft intercept try.

The Jets looked more impressive when in possession but their mediocre completion rate, pushed passes and several missed scoring opportunities prevented the home side from setting up a commanding halftime lead.

Soward laid on a brilliant individual try 4 minutes from halftime which he also converted, but the Panthers equalised through another easily-taken try right on the forty minutes mark.

Newtown looked ready to take control of the second half when Soward sent a 40/20 kick tumbling end over end into the northern left-hand corner.

When the Jets turned over possession in the following set, this seemed to set the tone for the remainder of the second half.

The Panthers regained the lead with a dummy-half try in the 45th minute, and then added converted tries in the 55th, 64th and 65th minutes that took the contest well beyond Newtown’s reach.

The Jets turned in another average completion rate in the second half, conceded a stream of penalties that enabled the Panthers to repeatedly get clear of their danger zone, as well as narrowly missing two try-scoring chances that might well have kept them in the game.

Soward and hooker George Ndaira combined neatly five minutes from fulltime for Ndaira to dash in under the posts, but it was all far too late for the club that has made an art-form of barnstorming second half finishes in the past two seasons.

Soward predictably was the players’ player award winner and he received best support in the backs from Rory Kostjasyn and Aaron Lai.

panthers 42 (Craig Trindall 3, Liam Campbell, Keith Peters, Bryan Norrie and Matthew Forwood tries; Craig Trindall 7 from 7 goals) NEWTOWN JETS 18 (Rory Kostjasyn, Jamie Soward, George Ndaira tries; J Soward 3 goals).

In other games, St George-Illawarra registered their first victory for season 2007 with a 32-20 win over Balmain-Ryde Tigers at WIN Stadium.

Reigning premiers Parramatta defeated Western Suburbs 38-18 at home to score their first back to back win.

Newcastle just held off Canberra 26-24 on Monday night while the Bulldogs defeated Auckland 34-28 after trailing 18-10 at half-time.

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