Jets on target in Mackay win

The Ipswich Jets made amends for their only loss in more than two months when they blitzed Mackay yesterday.

The Jets beat the defending premiers 32-12 in Mackay to remove the bitter taste from last weekend’s loss to Easts.

Ipswich came out of the blocks with ominous intent, throwing the ball around with pace and precision.

It provided early tries to centres Brendon Marshall and Nemani Valekapa that had the Mackay defence grasping at air.

It was 26-0 at half-time with the Cutters seemingly at a loss to stop the onslaught.

Mackay lifted in the second half and played some attractive and opportunistic footy of their own, scoring a long-range try in the 54th minute.

They also tightened their defence significantly, ensuring the Jets found the going much tougher after the break.

“They came out pretty well,” Jets halfback Dane Phillips said.

“We didn’t complete early on.

“But once we clicked into gear, we fell back on to how we play.”

The Jets were motivated to bounce back after last week’s loss to Easts, their first in seven matches.

“Last week we were not as good as we should have been,” Phillips said.

“This week we seemed to take it in our stride.

“The way we play, some weeks you’re going to be up and down but most weeks it will pay off.

“The boys were pretty filthy last week, so we’ve worked hard at training.”

The work the Jets have done at training belied the comments Phillips made in his post-match TV interview.

“We get to training, have a bit of fun and that’s where these blokes start to shine,” he said as he accepted his man-of-the-match award.

“I just follow the quick fellas up the middle and try to get a few meat pies (tries).”

Phillips makes it sound like the easiest and most natural thing in the world.

But the difference between practice and theory, in one of the toughest rugby league competitions in the world, is huge.

It all makes the Jets’ performances this season the more impressive.

The Jets have set the Queensland Cup alight with their brand of footy but Easts showed it was not infallible.

It is why a win achieved playing the Jets’ brand of high-tempo, high risk-reward football was so important.

“The loss to Easts put us back on the ground,” Phillips said.

“All the boys were pretty switched on.

“The Mackay crowd are pretty one-sided so we knew we were in for a game of footy.

“How we play is hard to defend against.

“Even if teams know what’s coming, it is hard to stop.”

State of play

Ipswich Jets 36 (Marmin Barba 2, Kurt Capewell, Nemani Valekapa, Brendon Marshall, Dane Phillips, Matt Parcell tries; Wes Conlon 4 goals) def Mackay Cutters 12 (Zac Santo, Chris Ulugia tries; Liam Taylor 2 goals) at Stadium Mackay.

The win moves the Jets to top spot on the Queensland Cup ladder.