THE Ipswich Jets have continued their merry ways, beating Souths Logan 50-20 in Cherbourg on Saturday.
It was another piece of evidence in the growing argument that the Jets are genuine Queensland Cup title contenders this year.
The two clubs took the game to Cherbourg promote the competition and Indigenous health in the South Burnett community, which has a rich Indigenous rugby league heritage.
Jets captain Keiron Lander said a highlight was the rugby league clinic the clubs put on for the children of the region.
Players slept in the same room of the Murgon PCYC on mats and turned it into a festive footy weekend in the South Burnett.
The scoreline suggests the game was a festival for the Jets as well, but Lander has warned teammates not to get ahead of themselves with a defining match ahead this weekend.
“One of the most pleasing things was there was a couple of passages where, same old thing, we didn’t get to the end of our sets,” Lander said. “But we defended strongly, which puts us in good stead for the rest of the year.”
The Jets travel to Papua New Guinea to play the third placed Hunters on Sunday in what is likely to be a much tougher test of their mettle and Lander knows it.
Camp songs with hot cocoa on the PCYC floor is a long way from the parochial reception they will receive in PNG.
“We’ve got to mentally prepare for a physical game and a long, hard trip to PNG,” Lander said.
But if ever the Jets were ready for such a test it seems now is the perfect time.
The winner will assert itself as the main challenger to the Townsville Blackhawk’s slender competition lead.
“I think we’re travelling better this year than last year,” Lander said. “But we don’t need to get ahead of ourselves. You can quickly drop a couple of gears.”
The Jets know it only too well.
In the past two seasons their peaks have been followed by drops in standards, costing them a genuine shot at a Queensland Cup title. But Lander has reason to be confident that will not be the case this time.
“I think our boys are more seasoned,” he said.
“Your Josh’s (Seage and Cleeland) and Kurt Capewells have all been here a couple of years and we’ve all been through it together.”
– Jay Buchan
Ipswich Jets 50 (Marmin Barba 3, Brandon McGrady 2, Josh Cleeland 2, Carlin Anderson, Chris Walker, Billy McConnachie tries; Marmin Barba 3, Carlin Anderson 2 goals) def Souths Logan Magpies 20 (Josh Damen, Samisoni Vaioleti, Dallas Anderson, Herschel Gideon tries; Scott Doyle 2 goals) at Cherbourg.