NRL State Championship: Newtown, Burleigh make late changes

Fresh off winning their respective second-tier competitions, the Newtown Jets and Burleigh Bears will fight to be crowned NRL State Champions on Sunday.

The feeder team to the Cronulla Sharks, the entertaining Jets are looking to continue a miraculous run after coming from seventh to clinch the Canterbury Cup NSW title.

Burleigh, meanwhile, have been strong all year in Queensland's Intrust Super Cup, locking down a top-four spot before going up a gear in the finals to reign supreme.

With plenty of first-grade experience and predicted future stars in action, this clash shapes as a gripping precursor to the NRLW and NRL grand finals at ANZ Stadium.

Match: Jets v Bears

NRL State Championship -

Full Time
Jets

Home Team

Jets

Scored 20 points
Bears

Away Team

Bears

Scored 16 points

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • LIVE PASS
  • Foxtel

The Rundown

Team News

Jets: There are major changes to the team announced on Tuesday with Matthew Evans and Luke Polselli replacing Aaron Gray and Tyrone Phillips in the backs. Billy Magoulias has switched to five-eighth, replacing Jack Williams, with Greg Eastwood brought in to start at lock. Siosifa Talakai has also dropped off the bench with Wes Lolo getting a call-up to the interchange.

Bears: Headlined by regular Titans winger Anthony Don, Burleigh will field 12 NRL representatives. Oliver Percy has been left off the bench from the final team announced an hour before kick-off with Jeff Lynch elevated to the interchange.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Jets is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Bears is number 1 Kurtis Rowe
  • Winger for Jets is number 2 Sione Katoa
    Winger for Bears is number 2 Tyronne Roberts-Davis
  • Centre for Jets is number 19 Matt Evans
    Centre for Bears is number 3 Sami Sauiluma
  • Centre for Jets is number 4 Ronaldo Mulitalo
    Centre for Bears is number 4 Josh Berkers
  • Winger for Jets is number 18 Luke Polselli
    Winger for Bears is number 5 Anthony Don
  • Five-Eighth for Jets is number 13 Billy Magoulias
    Five-Eighth for Bears is number 6 Dylan Phythian
  • Halfback for Jets is number 7 Braydon Trindall
    Halfback for Bears is number 7 Jamal Fogarty

Forwards

  • Prop for Jets is number 8 Toby Rudolf
    Prop for Bears is number 8 Luke Page
  • Hooker for Jets is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Bears is number 9 Pat Politoni
  • Prop for Jets is number 10 Jaimin Jolliffe
    Prop for Bears is number 10 Jack Buchanan
  • 2nd Row for Jets is number 11 Scott Sorensen
    2nd Row for Bears is number 11 Hayden Schwass
  • 2nd Row for Jets is number 12 Jayson Bukuya
    2nd Row for Bears is number 12 Blake Leary
  • Lock for Jets is number 25 Greg Eastwood
    Lock for Bears is number 13 Sam Coster

Interchange

  • Interchange for Jets is number 14 Teig Wilton
    Interchange for Bears is number 14 Matt Robinson
  • Interchange for Jets is number 15 Jackson Ferris
    Interchange for Bears is number 15 Josh Rogers
  • Interchange for Jets is number 21 Wesley Lolo
    Interchange for Bears is number 17 Api Noema-Matenga
  • Interchange for Jets is number 23 Daniel Vasquez
    Interchange for Bears is number 18 Jeff Lynch

Key match-up

Both fullbacks grabbed man-of-the-match honours in their grand finals – so the battle between Will Kennedy and Kurtis Rowe should be one to savour.

A constant threat with his speed and agility, the Sharks-contracted Kennedy finished the extra-time try that ensured the Canterbury Cup trophy would belong to Newtown.

Former Wests Tigers player Rowe bagged a double and broke seven tackles in Burleigh's triumph. With a dry track forecast, the pair could run amok. 

For the Jets to win

Good things happen when Newtown throw caution to the wind. Having scored 20 points or more in their past nine matches, the Jets boast great confidence in attack and will back themselves to outscore Burleigh in a shootout.

For the Bears to win 

Given they also have a string of high-scoring wins in the bag, the Bears may well adopt the same mindset as Newtown and counter fire with fire. If that's the case, ball control will be crucial – there could be a hefty price to pay for errors with such strike power in both outfits.

Stat Attack 

The opposing halfbacks each possess a booming boot and could decide the outcome through their kicking.

Jets No.7 Braydon Trindall has punted the ball for an average of 179m per match compared to Jamal Fogarty's 248m every outing for Burleigh.

And another thing...

Neither club has won an NRL State Championship. Newtown haven't competed in the fixture since its 2014 inception, while the Bears squandered a chance in 2016.