Ipswich Jets v Townsville Blackhawks at the North Ipswich Reserve on 12th March

Ipswich Jets v Townsville Blackhawks at North Ipswich Reserve on Sunday, March 12 – 12.40pm* (Live on Channel 9)

By Michael Nunn

Ipswich Jets
1. Wes Conlon 2. Michael Purcell 3. Marion Seve 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Richard Pandia 6. Luke Capewell 7. Dane Phillips 8. Billy McConnachie 9. Christopher Ash 10. Nathaniel Neale 11. Samuel Martin 21. Jesse Roberts 22. Tyson Lofipo 14. Mikaere Beattie 15. Sebastian Pandia 17. Mitchell Carpenter 16. Fakahoko Teutau

Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker

Townsville Blackhawks
1. Carlin Anderson 2. Paul Byrnes 3. Temone Power 4. Ty Carucci 5. Jonathon Reuben 6. Kyle Laybutt 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Sam Hoare 9. Anthony Mitchell (c) 10. Corey Jensen 11. Blake Leary 12. Andrew Niemoeller 13. Shaun Fensom 14. Kierran Moseley 15. Kieran Quabba 16. David Munro 22. Oshae Tuiasau 18. Ross Bella

Coach: Kristian Woolf

Last time they played: Round 15 2016.
IPSWICH JETS 24 (Michael Purcell 2, Ben White, Nemani Valekapa tries; Wes Conlon 2, Haydan Lipp 2 goals) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 12 (Jonathon Reuben, Delouise Hoeter tries; Matt Bowen 2 goals) at Jack Manski Oval.
Head to Head: Jets 3 Blackhawks 2

The Jets v Blackhawks have produced some great games at Ipswich, Townsville, Lang Park and Charters Towers but this week the Jets will get to host the Blackhawks at the North Ipswich Reserve in the televised game. In Ipswich the Jets and Blackhawks are locked 1-1. The Jets beat Townsville 36-24 in 2015 and in 2016 Townsville beat Ipswich 30-18.
In both games at the Reserve the Jets have got off to a great start, leading 16-6 at half time last season and 24-0 after 40 minutes in 2015.
The Jets will be looking for a similar start on Sunday.
In round one the Jets and Blackhawks both had wins. The Blackhawks got over the Devils while the Jets beat Tweed.
The Jets are one of only two teams that that have a positive ledger in the two years that the Blackhawks have been in the Intrust Super Cup. The Hunters are also leading them 3-2.
The Blackhawks have lost eleven games in their two years, six of those to either the Hunters or Jets.
Eight of that eleven have been away from home. The Jets trouble the Blackhawks because we are unpredictable and they struggle to adapt. Let’s hope this continues this Sunday.

The Blackhawks of course will have former Jets’ fullback Carlin Anderson. Anderson played 60 games for the Jets (59 Intrust Super Cup) scoring 39 tries and 107 goals for 370 points.
In round one making his debut for Townsville against Norths Carlin was solid making 11 runs and 98 meters, one try assist and three line break assists, one line break and two tackle breaks. In defence five tackles and one missed tackle.
I spoke to Carlin this week: “I wasn’t super happy with my game. I am enjoying the structure and as a team we defended really well on Sunday against Norths.”
The Blackhawks came up against a Norths’ side with several Broncos playing and had to work hard for the win.
It was 4-4 at half time and in the second half the Blackhawks won the game 18-16 with their try line defence impressing coach Kristian Woolf.
“We did a really good job in the way we wanted to defend for each other set after set.”
The Blackhawks were clinical and got the job done.
The Blackhawks had 47% of the ball but defended the Devils to distraction. Townsville only missed 18 tackles and made 37 more tackles than Norths.
Anthony Mitchell playing his 50th games for the Blackhawks this week was strong against Norths and played 80 minutes he was their top defender with 37 tackles and two tackle breaks. Mitchell loves to drift across letting runners go until he picks up the huge body he wants to use or the sweeping play.

The Jets haven’t started a year off with two straight wins since 2008 when they won their first five games. The other three times that the Jets won their first game in 2003, 2010 and 2016 they followed it up with a draw in 2003 and a loss in 2010 and 2016. In 2011 the Jets drew their first two games of the season then won two in a row.
Against Tweed the Jets won their fifth round one game in the Intrust Super Cup, the 34-6 win was the Jets’ biggest ever round one win with the previous being against Easts 32-16 in 2010. It was also only the second time the Jets have won a round one game away from home with the other one being 2003 against Toowoomba.
Against Tweed the Jets attacked with 31 offloads but keeping the Seagulls to one try was more impressive. The Jets only missed 27 tackles compared to the leaky Seagulls 55.
The Jets ran the ball 43 more times than the Seagulls.
The Jets made six line breaks to 0.
The Jets had 59% of the ball.
The Jets made 496 metres more with the ball than the Seagulls.
The Jets outside backs number 1 to 5 all made over 100m.
Wes Conlon had seven tackle breaks.
This week is a battle of the styles, the Blackhawks are big, clinical precise and exact against the unpredictable Jets with off loads which have troubled the Blackhawks in the past.