Jets title defence gets early kick-off

Courtesy of Ben Wilmott at the QT

SEMI-finals don’t get much earlier than tomorrow’s BRL clash between the Ipswich Jets and Easts Tigers.

After finishing the competition in third place, the Jets will be out to defend their BRL premiership against the sixth-placed Tigers from 11.45am at North Ipswich Reserve.

Having played much of the season at Intrust Super Cup level, Jets captain Chris Ash will return to the halves for tomorrow’s crucial game.

“I don’t think I’ve played that early since I was playing Colts,” Ash laughed. “It does mean getting up a bit early but it’s good that we have the home ground. We can just turn up at 10am for strapping and be ready to go by 11am, while Easts have to travel out.

“It won’t make too much difference though, you’re used to flying out before matches so you learn t be relaxed and not think about it too much the night before.”

The Jets boast plenty of experience with Landon Hayes, Pete Whittaker, Josh Damen, Ono So’Oialo, Mikaere Beattie and Ash all having spent time in the top grade.

Despite knowing what to expect from a semi-final, Ash said the whole team needed to be in the right mindset.

“If we don’t turn up and think that we can just walk into it and win we will get done,” he said. “You’ve got to play like it is an elimination final and do your best.

“Eats are a big outfit and they will try and beat us through the middle. We know what we need to do it’s just getting out there and putting it on the field.”

While the BRL boys look to defend their title, on Sunday the Jets first grade outfit will take on Wynnum Manly in their final game of the season.

Tied on points, both sides will be playing for pride as the Seagulls celebrate their Old Boys day at Kougari Oval.

Game day

BRL: Ipswich Jets v Easts Tigers from 11.45am tomorrow at North Ipswich Reserve.

Intrust Super Cup: Ipswich Jets v Wynnum Manly Seagulls from 1.40pm on Sunday at BMD Kougari Oval, Manly.