THE Ipswich Jets have reignited their fading Queensland Cup hopes with a character-laden come from behind win against Wynnum Manly in Toowoomba yesterday.
The Jets were down 16-0 midway through the first half.
They were guilty of poor defence in the middle of the ruck and pushing passes in attack.
It was a familiar theme and much of the reason they had lost five of the previous six games.
“It’s crazy to think we keep letting it happen,” Jets vice-captain Ian Lacey said. “We were starting to think, ‘here we go again’.”
It took the Jets a quarter of the game to get into the match and Lacey blames the confidence they had lost in their recent poor run.
“Our boys took 20 minutes to realise we can tackle them,” he said. “We started doing that and things turned for us.”
The Jets had players’ player Nemani Valekapa to thank for sparking the fightback.
It was his bust that led to the Jets’ first try and reduced the half-time deficit was 10 points. The Jets also knew they were turning with a gale behind them.
At one stage in the first half a Wynnum Manly drop kick went the length of the field.
So the mood in the Jets change room at half-time was positive.
“We knew we didn’t play well in the fist 20 minutes,” Lacey said.
“But after that we started to roll through them.”
The fightback meant shelving the desperation plays and resorting to “old school footy.”
“We’ didn’t try to do the fancy stuff,” Lacey said. “We gave the ball to (Lama) Tasi and Rod (Griffin) and said ‘get it under your wing and get us out of here.'”
The Jets were lucky to have Tasi back from Brisbane Broncos duty and equally lucky Lacey’s knee was good enough to let him play.
Lacey didn’t feel he deserved the official man-of-the-match award he was given but it is no coincidence that winning form has returned with the presence of the fiercely competitive halfback.
He believes the win will have a huge effect on the rest of the Jets’ season.
“It’s massive,” Lacey said.
“We’ve been there or thereabouts in the last five weeks in patches.
“But our confidence was down and things were going against us.
“To come back is a massive confidence boost and we’ll take a lot out of that. But there’s a long way to go. We’ve got three games to get it right.”
Thanks to the QT, Jay Buchan and Kevin Farmer – for more on the story check out http://www.qt.com.au/news/here-we-go-again-mood-changes-as-jets-recover/1971072/