RUGBY LEAGUE: Like the wind at Stadium Mackay, the Ipswich Jets were a southerly gale.
They left the cane capital by leapfrogging the Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters on the Intrust Super Cup ladder with a 36-20 win.
Mackay’s Marmin Barba was typically electric for the Jets but didn’t cross the line for the first time in more than a month.
“Marmin played well in front of his home crowd,” Jets co-coach Ben Walker said. “There were a lot of his family (and friends) there, they definitely bolstered their crowd.”
The Jets’ enterprising style of football was tapered by the windy conditions but Walker said his side had some success with the game plan. A try in the opening minute set the tone for the match.
“I don’t think we were in that game, to be honest,” Cutters’ coach Kim Williams said. “We conceded a try in the first set and it didn’t get much better.”
Two disallowed tries didn’t help the hometown cause but Williams didn’t believe the decisions had an impact on the result.
“Plenty of the players will be disappointed when they’re shown their video this week,” he said.
Former State of Origin player Chris Walker regularly barbed with Cutters five-eight Cameron Cullen, who the Jets eyed-off as a weapon for the Cutters.
“He (Cullen) is a very talented player,” Ben Walker said. “Those two will have a good laugh after it.”
On debut, 19-year-old Wests product Blake Atherton went close to scoring and summed up the night.
“We squandered a lot of chances early and never recovered,” he said.
Ipswich Jets 36 (Parcell 2, Anderson, Valekapa, Cleeland, Martin, Capewell tries; Anderson 4 goals) d. Mackay Cutters 20 (Cullen 2, Pereira, Tavae tries; Taylor 2 goals)