THE Ipswich Jets are into the Queensland Cup semi-finals.
But they can consider themselves extremely lucky after a 30-24 win over Redcliffe that was well below finals’ standards.
The Jets have their flying outside backs Carlin Anderson, Marmin Barba, Kurt Capewell and Wes Conlon to thank for reaching the finals for the fourth straight year.
Four tries in 10 minutes, against the run of play, swung the match dramatically and got the Jets home at the North Ipswich Reserve.
For the first 39 minutes, the Jets were second best by a long way and lucky to trail only 4-0.
Then, with 30 seconds remaining before half-time, Anderson stepped through two tackles near halfway, drew the Dolphins fullback and put Barba over to give the Jets a 6-4 lead at the break.
The Jets couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second half when a Capewell 60m solo effort made it 12-4.
Conlon and Barba then combined for an 80m try before Barba capped his hat-trick with a solo effort from 60m out.
Redcliffe stormed home late but the Jets had done enough to hang on and set up an elimination final against Tweed Heads at Tweed on Sunday.
“Who cares, we’re in the finals,” was one comment to come from the Jets’ dressing room straight after the match.
For Jets prop Rob Worsley, it was just a pleasure to be along for the ride.
Worsley was playing just his second match in the top grade, having been granted leave from the Royal Australian Air Force in March to try and crack the top grade.
It took a season of hard work to get there. “I’m happy to still be here,” Worsley said, acknowledging the performance left plenty to be desired.
“It’s next week that counts.”
One thing that has to be said of this Ipswich team is they don’t lack belief, even when they’re playing poorly.
“We were still pretty positive,” Worsley said of the Jets’ state of mind as they trailed 4-0.
“We didn’t play very well in the first half. But we knew all we had to do was put it together in the second half.
“Trailing four-nil at half-time would have been good after the first half we had.”
Worsley was justifiably grateful his team’s speedsters were able to deliver when the Jets’ forwards couldn’t lay the platform they hoped for.
“That’s how we play,” Worsley said. “They’re our most dangerous players.
Worsley admitted “how we play” has posed some problems for a front rower used to running straight lines.
“The style of play for a straight up and down footballer is quite hard,” he said.
“It took me quite a while.
“I’ve spent the last 10 years hitting the ball straight up and making tackles.”
Worsley has been granted another year’s leave from the RAAF, so is looking forward to a full pre-season to really get accustomed to the Jets’ style for next year.
But he hopes to play in a few more games this season yet.
“I’m really looking forward to finals if (coaches) Ben and Shane (walker) want to keep me there.”
State of Play
- Qld Cup: Ipswich Jets 30 (Marmin Barba 3, Kurt Capewell, Keiron Lander tries; Marmin Barba 4, Wes Conlon goals) def Redcliffe Dolphins 24 (Oliver Regan 2, Zach Strasser 2, Cameron Cullen tries; Adrian Davis, Oliver Regan goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
- Elimination semi-finals Sunday (2pm) – Ipswich Jets v Tweed Heads at Piggabeen Sports Complex; qualifying semi-final: Wynnum Manly v Easts at BMD Kougari Oval.