Jets shoot down Tigers to stay in hunt for title

Courtesy of Ben Wilmott at the QT

THE Reserve Grade Ipswich Jets have progressed to the second week of the Brisbane Rugby League finals with a 32-14 victory over Easts Tigers.

The defending premiers led the way as Josh Damen and Rowan Winterfield crossed for two tries each, with Finecallum Faingaa and Lachlan Roe adding one apiece.

Having secured a second home final, Jets coach Mark Bishop said Winterfield would have one less concern for the rest of the season.

“Big Ray finally got off the nudie run list,” Bishop laughed. “He hadn’t scored all year and then gets two to escape so he’s happy now.

“Rowan has been great for us all year. He plays 80 minutes pretty much every week and between him and Peter Whittaker we never have to worry about our middle.”

With an unusually early kick-off at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, Bishop said the 11.45am start had worked in their favour.

“It’s in the heat of the day which is the best part,” Bishop said. “You just get up, have a bit of breakfast and away you go.

“It definitely helps having the home game so you don’t have to travel either.”

The early starts continue this weekend as the Jets prepare to take on Wests Panthers from 10.45am on Saturday.

The winner of this weekend’s qualifying final will play the loser of Redcliffe and minor premiers Wynnum for a spot in the BRL grand final.

Despite finishing the regular season in third, Bishop was confident the Jets would be there to defend their title on grand final day.

“We played well which was pleasing,” he said. “We probably let a few opportunities go but at the end of the day the win is the most important thing.

“We’ll get back into training and get ready for next weekend.”

While the Jets continue their BRL charge, the Intrust Super Cup and Colts outfits finished their respective seasons yesterday against Wynnum Manly.

State of play

BRL: Ipswich Jets 32 (Josh Damen 2, Rowan Winterfield 2, Finecallum Faingaa, Lachlan Roe tries; Josh Damen 2, Mikaere Beattie 2 goals) def Easts Tigers 14 (Adrian Henley, Jack Schaffer, Leone Cama tries; Guy Hamilton goal) at North Ipswich Reserve.

Intrust Super Cup: Ipswich Jets 28 (Nat Neale, David Fa’alogo, Wes Conlon, Landon Hayes, Richard Pandia tries; Wes Conlon 4 goals) def Wynnum Manly Seagulls 16 (Mitchell Buckett, Peter Gubb, Daniel Ogden tries; Matthew Seamark 2 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.

Colts: Wynnum Manly Seagulls 18 (Joseph Burchell, Luke Modini, Aaron Booth, Jordan Clamp tries; Aaron Booth goal) def Ipswich Jets 15 (Shar Walden, Tristan Davis, Carter Auld tries; Adrian Elder 2 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.