It wasn’t the ideal result, but nearly 12,000 turned up to watch Round 3’s Grand Final rematch with Melbourne Victory.
There were plenty of positives to take from the game, including some standout performances across the park.
REPORT: Close, but no cigar in Newcastle
Here’s what we learnt.
Final third dominance
While the result didn’t go Newcastle’s way on Saturday night, there’s no doubting the performance was one of the most threatening in recent memory.
The Jets dominated the stats – 21 shots, including 11 in the first half, with ten of those coming from inside the box. The best of those would surely have to be Ronnie Vargas’ effort, which was denied by the crossbar.
Getting the ball in the mixer was also a highlight - 20 crosses with an accuracy of 35%. The challenge next weekend against Sydney is turning that dominance into goals.
Lachlan Jackson has enjoyed a recent run in the starting XI, and on Saturday night played one of his best games in Jets colours yet.
Solid in the backline, the tall timber did a good job keeping the likes of Keisuke Honda relatively quiet for ninety minutes.
And not only was his defensive work on point, but going forward he looked better than ever.
Sending Honda the wrong way one minute, giving Leigh Broxham the run around the next, it was inspired stuff from the left-back.
“It’s the best game I’ve seen Lachlan Jackson play,” Jets boss, Ernie Merrick said in the post-game press conference.
If Kosta Barbarouses’ Grand Final goal had been scored at the Southern End, would VAR have been on hand to rule it out?
The technology worked this time around against Victory, assisting the on-field referees in ruling out his 48th-minute strike for offside.
Long may it last!