Courtesy of Ben Wilmott at The QT.
FIVE teams are fighting tooth and nail for the last remaining spot in the Intrust Super Cup final six and this weekend could prove crucial to the Jets chances of making the list.
With the top five teams leading the competition by at least three wins each, the defending premiers find themselves in a battle for sixth place alongside Northern Pride, Souths Logan, Wynnum and the Sunshine Coast.
After struggling to get off the ground earlier in the season, the Jets are back to their winning ways with a chance to stretch their current streak to five straight games against Mackay.
With the prospect of hosting the last-placed Cutters at North Ipswich Reserve, Jets vice-captain Fakahoko ‘Huskie’ Teutau has warned his teammates not to fall complacent.
“It’s not going to be easy against Mackay,” Huskie said. “They will want to fight for that sixth spot too and they will be looking to upset us. The Cutters beat us last time and it just comes down to who wants it more.
“It’s more pressure on us because we’ve lost a few at home this season and we need the win with so many teams chasing that sixth spot.”
This year the Jets have been on the wrong end of the tackle count, penalties given and points scored against opposition sides.
However with the finals fast approaching Ipswich have recorded upset wins over Townsville and PNG to give their title defence hopes a much needed boost.
As one of the key senior players behind the Jets standout season last year, Huskie is confident the Jets can become the final team to make the top six.
“Definitely,” he said. “It took a while to get going after we started this year but now have begun to get that rhythm back again.
“Even though we weren’t where we wanted to be it has been good motivation to see us rise up the ladder.”
Handed the role of vice-captain for his ability to inspire those around him on the field, Huskie said he leaves the speeches to captain Dane Phillips.
“I don’t do much talking,” Huskie admitted. “I try instead to show it on the field and lead by example, everything else I leave to Dane.
“It’s important that we try not to concentrate on the pressure and just focus on our own game.”
Building strong momentum before their tough run home, Huskie hopes to pass on the culture which made the Jets the envy of Intrust Super Cup club’s last year.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries and players out but I trust that whoever is out someone will come in and fill that position,” he said.
“Our defence has worked well recently and our attack is always strong. I would love to help get the new guys going and show them that feeling we had last year.
“It comes down to working together, if we can work as well as we did last year the teams on top should be looking at that sixth spot and watching out.”
Intrust Super Cup: Ipswich Jets v Mackay Cutters from 4.30pm today at North Ipswich Reserve.
BRL: Ipswich Jets v West Brisbane Panthers from 3.30pm today at Kev McKell Oval, Arana Hills.
Colts: Ipswich Jets v Sunshine Coast Falcons from 2.30pm today at North Ipswich Reserve.
Ipswich Jets Intrust Super Cup, today (4.30pm) at North Ipswich Reserve:
1. Wes Conlon
18. Michael Purcell
3. Ben White
4. Nemani Valekapa
5. Richard Pandia
14. Christopher Ash
7. Dane Phillips (c)
22. Tyson Lofipo
9. Mikaere Beattie
19. William McConnachie
21. Jesse Roberts
11. Samuel Martin
10. Nathaniel Neale
6. Hayden Lipp
8. David Fa’alogo
12. Liam Capewell
13. Fakahoko Teutau
15. Sebastian Pandia
Co-coaches: Ben and Shane Walker.