Ipswich Jets defy hurdles to push premiers

(Thanks to the QT -Jay Buchan and Sarah Harvey)

IT will go down in the record books as a loss.

But the Jets proved at Wynnum yesterday they will challenge every team in the Queensland Cup this season.

The Jets went down 20-16 to Wynnum Manly after losing halfback Ian Lacey (ankle) and centre Brendon Marshall (ribs) to injuries in the first half.

In the second half they were further disadvantaged when captain and lock Keiron Lander was sent for 10 minutes to the sin bin at a crucial time in the game.

Wynnum Manly had the wind behind them in the first half but it was the Jets who struck first.

Jets winger Nemani Valekapa pounced on a Donald Malone grubber kick for a 4-0 lead.

But it wasn’t long before the premiers used the breeze to their advantage and put the wind up the Jets, scoring twice to lead 12-4 at half-time.

“They were pretty dominant in the first half,” Jets hooker Matt Parcell said of the Seagulls.

“They were getting numbers in the tackle, which slowed us down.

“We had some opportunities in the middle but made silly little mistakes.

“Our goal was to hit them up the middle, then go wide, then return to the middle and look for a lazy man. But we couldn’t get that roll on.

“Their kicking game was good and we were stuck in our own half a lot.”

Lacey’s injury meant Parcell’s little brother Sam, who was expected to play only limited minutes off the bench in his top-grade debut, played the whole second half at halfback.

The depleted Jets edged closer to Wynnum early in the second half with a penalty goal but suffered a crucial blow when Lander was sin-binned 11 minutes after the break.

“The second half got a bit fiery,” Matt said. “Keiron copped a knee in the tackle from their number 10, then an elbow in the face.”

Lander responded with a punch and was marched for his troubles.

“It didn’t cost us the game,” Parcell said. “If anything it pumped us up a bit.”

It looked like the Jets would hang on without conceding points through the 10-minute period they were without their skipper but Wynnum scored when he had one minute remaining off the field.

The Jets stormed home to trail 18-16 following tries to Dane Phillips and Javarn White.

But it was too little too late as the Seagulls sealed it with a penalty goal near the end.

“Everyone was disappointed,” Parcell said. “Because we knew we could have won the game.”

The Jets took confidence from the knowledge they were so close to the premiers in trying circumstances.

Matt was impressed by the performance of his younger brother in as difficult a Queensland Cup initiation as he could have asked for.

“It was as tough as they come in the Queensland Cup,” said Matt, himself in just his second season in the top grade.

“I think he was a little bit nervous but he handled it really well.”

In Reserve grade, the Jets lost by the same score 20-16.

In colts, Wynnum Manly won 32-18.

State of Play

Queensland Cup Round 4

Wynnum Manly Seagulls 20 (Nat Barnes, Matt Seamark, John Te Reo tries; Matt Seamark 4 goals) def Ipswich Jets 16 (Javarn White, Nemani Valekapa, Dane Phillips tries; Donald Malone 2 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.