THE IPSWICH Jets taught Easts Tigers the true meaning of the word “touch” at North Ipswich Reserve yesterday.
In a scintillating 44-18 win, Ipswich booked a spot in next Sunday’s Intrust Super Cup preliminary final with the PNG Hunters at Wynnum.
The last time the Tigers ventured to Ipswich they sledged the Jets and called them nothing but “touch footy players”, in reference to the Ipswich razzle dazzle style.
But it was the Jets who were in sublime touch yesterday both in attack and defence.
Sea Eagles-bound hooker Matt Parcell scored the Jets first five tries in a display that will have Manly’s new coach Trent Barrett licking his lips in anticipation.
Jets chairman Steve Johnson agreed the Tigers found out what the word touch “truly means” yesterday.
“For us it is an exciting brand of rugby league that has brought well over 4500 people here to North Ipswich Reserve, and plenty of kids to see how you should play rugby league,” he said.
“The Jets play with excitement and a bit of flair and it’s a joyous thing to watch.
“Everyone told us that our style wouldn’t stand up to semi-final football but we new if we tweaked our defence we could score 40 points. It was a case of how many can they score?”
Johnson was in awe of Parcell’s five consecutive tries and grinned when he said that it could have been six.
“He is probably filthy with Carlin Anderson. Matt was backing up on the outside and it could have been six but Carlin scored himself,” he joked.
The battle with PNG Hunters will pit two teams that share a lot in common against one another for the ultimate prize of meeting the Townsville Blackhawks in the grand final at Suncorp Stadium.
“We are very passionate about Papua New Guinea,” Johnson said.
“We had them here in 2010 before the Four Nations to prepare for a few weeks when Ben and Shane Walker were their assistant coaches and Ipswich City Council generously sponsored them because they weren’t flush with funds.
“We have stayed close to PNG Rugby League ever since.
“Richard Pandia and Rod Griffin are from PNG and are here playing with us.
“It is going to be an exciting game because we both play very similar styles of rugby league.
“It won’t be for the faint-hearted because there is plenty of whack in the PNG boys.
“It is going to be one of the best games of rugby league you will have seen.
“They have beaten us twice this year but both times our side wasn’t at full strength.
“I just can’t wait for Sunday.”