Preview: Jets and Phoenix clash on the Coast

It’s another midweek clash for our Jets as we head to the Central Coast to face Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday night – a match where an important three points are up for grabs.

After tasting defeat at the hands of Western United in Ballarat, we move onto the second leg of our string of away matches. This one is vital too as we take on the seventh-placed Phoenix who sit just three points ahead of us.

Wellington are currently enjoying a six-game unbeaten streak heading into this one, with two draws and four wins coming from those matches, and they’ll be hopeful of continuing that run as we pass the halfway point of the season and start to begin into the business end.

Although we managed to score a big victory last time out against our upcoming opponents, their results have drastically improved since then with the help of new mid-season additions to their squad.

Here’s the full breakdown of Wednesday night’s clash:


Date: Wednesday 8 March 2022

Kick-off: 7:45pm

Venue: Central Coast Stadium

How to Watch: Paramount+


Played: 42

Jets: 14

Draws: 6

Phoenix: 22


It feels like an eternity ago due to the various disruptions to the seasons, but it was only three months ago when our Jets managed their biggest win of the season yet, beating the Phoenix at home 4-nil.

However, since then Wellington have put their early season woes behind and kicked on. After losing to the Jets in that match, the New Zealand club lost their next two, but have found form since taking points from their next six – which includes victories over Western United, Macarthur, Victory and Brisbane.

The Phoenix now sit three points ahead of us and are also vying to cement a spot in the top six making this clash a crucial one for our Jets to make sure we keep in touch with them, and the sides above us.

Over recent years, this fixture has been a tightly contested one, with each team winning three games from our past six encounters.


The first half of the season has proven our Jets are one of the more entertaining sides in the competition when going forward and attacking, however our defence has struggled and it’s an area that Manager Arthur Papas pinpointed as a focus for improvement in the coming weeks.

Western grabbed both their goals last week from set pieces on the weekend, and this week our side will be looking to sure up that part of their game.

With that being said, our team are still in the top half of the league when it comes to tackles per game, with almost 10 a match, compared to Wellington who currently sit at the bottom of the league in that area with six.

We also have a 58% tackle success rate, while the Phoenix enter this one with 54%.


Dylan Murnane (Newcastle Jets)

The speedy left fullback has been in and out of the starting team, mainly due to injury and load management, but has often made an impact each time he’s been on the pitch.

He picked up the assist to our only goal scored last week, and also was one of our goalscorers last time we met with Wellington.

The 27-year-old has often showcased his great dribbling skills down the left edge, particularly going forward into dangerous positions. He also currently is one of our best at keeping the ball, with a dribbling percentage of 72%, and has 83% pass accuracy.

He proved he can change the balance of a match by his second half appearance last week, and he’ll be hopeful of doing that was once again against Phoenix on Wednesday night.

Oliver Sail (Wellington Phoenix)

He’s arguably the in-form goalkeeper of the competition and has contributed significantly to their recent purple patch.  

Over his five most recent outings, Sail has made 24 saves, and only conceded three goals, and his ability to pull off great saves could be a defining factor in this one if he’s at his best.

When comparing save percentages, Sail is currently in the top three of first-string #1s, with Filip Kurto and Jamie Young the only glovemen above him.

Despite that, he’s only managed to achieve two clean sheets this season – the same as our team – and our Jets will be out to make sure that that number stays at two.


Over the years of the A-League, Wellington have rub over the Jets, but when looking at recent results, it’s been almost a completely even contest.

In the past five seasons, there’s been 11 matches between the two sides, with both securing five wins and a draw. The only difference is our Jets have found the back of the net 19 times, to Phoenix’s 15.

This match will also mark the sixth time the sides have faced one another away from either’s usual home venue (McDonald Jones Stadium and/or Sky Stadium), with all the previous five games ending in a Jets win or draw.

We enter this game as the competition’s leader in possession stats with 58% a game, which contrasts with Phoenix who sit at 48%.

If Jason Hoffman can find the back of the net in the match, he’ll become the equal-leading goalscorer of the Newcastle-Wellington fixture.