IT WAS a whole lot closer than last week but the Jets’ losing form continued with a 32-28 loss to Tweed Heads yesterday.
The down side is it was a match the Jets could have won, had it not been for some costly errors.
The upside is it was a drastic improvement on the previous weekend’s 50-12 humiliation against Burleigh and there were signs the Jets are close to regaining winning form.
“Definitely,” was Jets five-eighth Dane Phillips’ response when asked if it was an improved performance on recent weeks.
“There is plenty of confidence in the team.”
But for all that confidence, the Jets continue to gift possession to the opposition through simple errors, which has been the common denominator in the four losses that have come since they topped the Queensland Cup ladder after round 10.
Four times in the first half, Ipswich coughed up the ball on the first tackle, making life harder than necessary.
It was something Phillips acknowledged had to change quickly.
“We’ve got to minimise errors, especially with our size, being one of the smallest teams,” he said.
The Jets were again without captain and lock Keiron Lander, nursing a sore back.
Lander sets the tone for aggressive intent in defence.
And while his absence was felt, Phillips was pleased to report the attitude defensively was much better than against Burleigh.
“We were a lot tighter this week,” he said.
The Jets’ mid-season slump seems to have coincided with a fall in the metres gained in the middle of the ruck.
In particular, Rod Griffin, who had led the Jets up front since injury to prop Tyson Lofipo, has not dominated like he had earlier in the year.
When the Jets aren’t making metres in the middle, it is harder to execute their ad-lib attack, as ball handling suffers when a team isn’t going forward.
But Phillips said Griffin was immense again yesterday, giving hope the Jets will soon be back to their merry ways from earlier in the season
“He’s definitely back to where he was,” Phillips said of Griffin.
“He scored one 40m runaway try, with most of us cheering him on.
“We need our big fellas to really set the platform.”
Lander’s return will give them added momentum through the middle.
“We can’t do much without him at the moment,” Phillips conceded.
His return would be surely appreciated in what shapes as a crucial game away against Norths on Sunday.
Norths are one of three teams that could move ahead of the fourth-placed Jets if they lose.
Phillips is confident his team is on the right track and is optimistic it will translate into a win this weekend if the Jets get a bit of good fortune.
“If we get a couple of things to go our way, we beat them by 10 or 12,” he said of yesterday’s game.
Tweed Heads Seagulls 32 (Tom Merritt 2, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Pele Peletelese, Cody Nelson, Blake Anderson tries; Jamal Fogarty 3, Blake Anderson goals) def Ipswich Jets 28 (Javarn White, Carlin Anderson, Rod Griffin, Billy McConnachie, Marmin Barba tries; Wes Conlon 4 goals) at Piggabeen Sports Complex.
Article Courtesy of the QT