THE Ipswich Jets’ lack of success in Cairns will extend to at least an eighth season after the Jets were upset by the Northern Pride.
Rarely since the Jets last beat the Pride in Cairns, in 2008, had they appeared to have a better chance than on Saturday night.
The Pride are a shadow of the usual powerhouses that Ipswich teams have faced up there in the past seven years.
But the Jets suffered an off day to go down 20-14 to a side five places below them on the Queensland Cup ladder.
“We were just well off the pace,” Jets centre Chris Walker said.
“The Pride weren’t exceptional.
“We were just below Jets standards.”
Having played a decade in the NRL and State of Origin, Walker has been around long enough to know when things are going wrong and when things are going right at a footy club.
He is certain there is no cause for concern after the Jets loss, which sees them slip to third on the Queensland Cup ladder, behind Townsville and PNG.
“You can be excused one or two game a year,” Walker said of he Jets’ drop in standards.
“I think this was our second (the other being against Burleigh).
“They certainly didn’t beat us.
“We beat ourselves.
“We’re not blaming anything.
“We’re certainly not blaming the travel. We’ve done that before and won. But my four-year-old boy could have put a team together and beaten us on Saturday.”
Walker said the Jets’ handling and completion rates were below par.
But the fact Ipswich only went down by six points, despite playing so poorly, was proof there was nothing broken.
“Some key players were down,” he said.
“But there’s no reason to be pushing any panic buttons.
“It’s just the mid-season blues.
“I’d rather have it at this time of year than in the run-in to the semis.
“We were only beaten by six points.
“If we were beaten by 60 we would have had to have a hard look at ourselves.”
Walker is confident the slip in standards will be rectified when the Jets turn out in front of a home crowd on Sunday against Souths Logan.