( Thanks to QT, Jay Buchan and Sarah Harvey.)
IPSWICH’S dreams of a first Queensland Cup title are over for another year at least.
The Jets lost to Norths 26-20 in the elimination semi-final at the North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday.
Ipswich was chasing the game after three minutes when Norths second rower Jay Aston went straight through the Jets’ forwards from a penalty tap for a 6-0 lead.
Ipswich’s defence, the part of the game they pride themselves on most, was made to look second rate as the Devils won the tactical battle early on.
They targeted the gap behind the markers and the home team was found wanting.
In Ipswich’s stirring win over minor premiers Redcliffe a fortnight ago, the Jets successfully nullified the Dolphins’ attack with their rush defence.
Norths did their homework because every time a Jets defender rushed out of the line, Norths threw a short ball to a support player and inevitably there was a gap to run into.
The Devils scored two more tries through the tactic to lead 16-0 after 24 minutes.
Jets five-eighth Brendon Lindsay, who announced his retirement after the game, lamented the Jets’ poor start and some of the decisions that went against his team.
“The way we started wasn’t the best,” Lindsay said.
“As a team we worked our way back into the game and came close on the scoreboard. We got close to turning the game in our favour.
“In the end, a couple of dodgy calls probably cost us.”
One of those was described by Lindsay as a “turning point”.
“We gave away a couple of penalties for taking blokes out,” Lindsay said.
“Then Lace (Ian Lacey) gets taken out with a shoulder charge and nothing happened.”
The penalty count went against the Jets 10-5 and Lindsay had a point. But the Jets contributed to their own downfall.
Ipswich made things harder than they needed to be, conceding penalties and dropping balls at crucial moments.
“We didn’t help ourselves, definitely,” Lindsay admitted.
“In the last eight or nine weeks, we weren’t doing those things.
“It was a knockout semi and we probably didn’t handle it as well as we could have.”
Despite that, the Jets were able to gain some momentum late in the first half and tries to Matt Parcell and Nat Neale made it 16-12 to the Devils at halftime.
The Jets began the second half as they would have liked to have started the match, dominating the Devils with mistake-free football.
A try seemed inevitable but again ill-discipline cost the Jets when Keiron Lander conceded a penalty for a grapple tackle.
A couple of dropped balls in possession let Norths off the hook further and they hit back with a try under the posts for a 22-12 lead.
Ipswich regained the momentum and tries followed to irrepressible fullback Javarn White and Kurtis Lingwoodock.
Lindsay’s failure to convert either try cost dearly and the Jets trailed 22-20 with 13 minutes remaining.
When cool heads were needed, the Jets lost theirs with a couple of panic plays giving the Devils field position for one more try to bury the home team’s hopes.
“That’s knockout semi-finals,” Lindsay said. “We didn’t take our opportunities.”
The Jets FOGS Cup (Reserve grade) team bowed out earlier in the day with a 22-20 loss to Wests.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Ipswich gave away too big a start through poor early defence. They found their mongrel eventually and began to dominate, but every time it seemed they were about to take the lead, penalties or dropped balls enabled Norths to hang on.