Family link haunts Devils

The number 10 for Norths in their 1980

premiership-winning team was Gary Walker, who had three young sons in tow.

At the time, few could have predicted that these three young boys would come back to haunt the Devils in 2015.

At Bishop Park today, the Ipswich Jets took on the Norths Devils with Ben and Shane Walker coaching and Chris playing centre against the club where their father Gary starred. Ironically, Ben played under 7s at Norths and Chris played Queensland Cup for the Devils in 2006.

Gary had just settled onto the hill to watch the round 6 clash when two key team changes were announced.

An unwell Marmin Barba was a late withdrawal for the Ipswich Jets, while Norths had to replace their captain and half Darren Nicholls who is headed to the Souths Rabbitohs this week.

The Jets have made a habit this year of starting games well; and this week was no different with Dane Phillips placing a kick that Norths couldn’t handle, despite the courageous efforts of fullback Luke Pollock.

The Jets half was there to pounce and get the day rolling for the visitors. The conversion was successful and the Jets had the 6-0 lead they wanted.

It took another 30 minutes for Norths to impact the scoreboard in what was a real slugfest with Norths having plenty of ball through-out the first half but unable to crack the Jets line until Brett Greinke crashed his way over to get Norths level at 6-all.

Norths followed that with an attacking try that saw them take the lead through former Jet Max Seumanutafa who scored in the right hand corner.

At half time the Devils were leading 10-6, and for only the second time this season the Jets found themselves behind at the break.

Ben and Shane calmly reiterated their simple message and confidence in what was required in the final 40 minutes.

It took nine minutes into the second half for Jets right hand combination of Walker and Brandon McGrady to show the half time message hadn’t been lost. Walker showed footwork and passing skills to get the ball to the young winger, who scored his second Intrust Super Cup try to get the Jets back in front at 12-10.

All week the Jets had spoken about the danger of Norths’ hooker Krys Freeman and in the 55thminute the red headed danger man made his dash and split the Jets’ markers to get Norths back in front at 16-12.

Shortly after the Devils were rewarded with a penalty and they took the shot at goal to extend their lead to 18-12.

But then Jets centre Nemani Valekapa decided enough was enough and that he’d do it all himself. From 60 metres out Valekapa busted through and ran the field to score his sixth try in six games and take the game to an 18-18 deadlock.

From the kick off the Jets second-rowers combined to go the length of the field, starting with Sam Martin who found Liam Capewell who then off-loaded to Carlin Anderson to score under the posts. Just like that, the Jets had a 24-18 lead with 13 minutes to play.

The Jets hung on to record their fifth win in a row and sit alone in second spot on the Intrust Super Cup ladder with a home game against the Burleigh Bears next week. The Norths Devils will take on the Pride in Cairns.

IPSWICH JETS 24 (Carlin Anderson, Nemani Valekapa, Brandon McGrady, Dane Phillips tries; Carlin Anderson 4 goals) def NORTHS DEVILS 18 (Krys Freeman, Brett Greinke, Max Seumanutafa tries; Sam Foster 3 goals) at Bishop Park.

Final teams

Norths Devils: 1. Luke Pollock 2. Dylan Galloway 3. Steve Elliott 4. Kainga Turner 5. Rogan Dean 6. Sam Foster 7. Sean Yorston 8. Richard Tuala 9. Krys Freeman 10. Francis Molo 11. Rhett Webster 12. Brett Greinke 13. Todd Lowrie 14. Byron Creighton 15. Max Seumanutafa 16. Matt Mizzi 17. Josh Afoa

Ipswich Jets: 1. Carlin Anderson 3. Chris Walker 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Brandon McGrady 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Josh Seage 9. Matt Parcell 10. Rod Griffin 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Troy O’Sullivan 15. Kurtis Lingwoodock 16. Billy McConnachie 17. Liam Capewell 18. Gerico Cecil