Round 2 – Our First Home Game preview by Michael Nunn

Ipswich Jets v Townsville Blackhawks at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, March 17 -1.10pm* (Channel 9 TV game)

Ipswich Jets

1. Michael Purcell 2. Wes Conlon 3. Pio Seci 17. Rory Humphreys 5. Richard Pandia 6. Julian Christian 7. Dane Phillips 8. Tyson Lofipo 16. Rowan Winterfield 10. Nathaniel Neale (c) 11. Ben White 12. Sebastian Pandia 13. Benjamin Shea 4. Samuel Caslick 9. Jayden Connors 14. Denzel King 15. Kierran Moseley

Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker

Townsville Blackhawks

1. Carlin Anderson 2. Jonathon Reuben 3. Shaun Hudson 4. Kalifa Faifai-Loa 5. Michael Carroll 6. Jaelen Feeney 7. Zach Dockar-Clay 8. Francis Molo 9. Krys Freeman 10. Brenden Santi 11. Jacob Marketo 12. Andrew Niemoeller 13. Joe Boyce 15. Rodney Griffin 16. Ross Bella 17. Temone Power 22. Sione Lousi

Coach: Kristian Woolf

Last time they played:

Round 20, 2017

Ipswich Jets 22 (Tyson LOFIPO, Marion SEVE, Nat NEALE, Luke CAPEWELL tries; Wes CONLON 3 goals) def Townsville Blackhawks 20 (Jordan DREW, Blake LEARY, Sione LOUSI, Jonathon REUBEN tries; Carlin ANDERSON 2 goals)

Head to Head: Ipswich 4 Blackhawks 3


The Jets and Blackhawks clash in Defence Force Appreciation day; ironically defence hasn’t been a strength of these games.

The Jets and Blackhawks have clashed three times at the North Ipswich Reserve. The Blackhawks have the slight advantage 2-1. The Jets beat Townsville 36-24 in 2015 and in 2016 Townsville beat Ipswich 30-18. The Blackhawks backed it up with another win 39-26.

All the games between these two sides have been high scoring with the Jets scoring 186 points in the seven games at an average of 26 while the Blackhawks have scored 181 at an average of 25.

The other trait of these games is one team missing the gate opening when they play at Ipswich. In the first two games the Jets have got off to a great start, leading 16-6 at half time in 2016 and 24-0 after 40 minutes in 2015. Last season it was the Blackhawks turn to get away to 22-12 at half time.

The Jets and the Hunters are the only two teams with more wins than losses against the Blackhawks.

Blackhawks are coming off a huge win over Mackay while the Jets are coming off a loss in PNG, with plenty of big names the Jets will be written off but we’ve all heard this before.


The Blackhawks eased into the season with a 56-12 win against Mackay in Round one. Carlin Anderson kicked off the year with a casual 24 points from eight goals and two tries.

Carlin was the ISC leading try scorer last year with 220 so he’s well on his way to bettering that haul.

The other major contributor to the Blackhawks was Jonathan Reuben who finished last year the leading try scorer with 28 and then got started with two in round one when 2018 rolls around.

Reuben gets the Blackhawks sets off to a great start with his huge runs. Last year he ran for 3571m and against the Cutters tipped in 158m, two line breaks, two tries and two tackle breaks.

Rod Griffin and Carlin Anderson will be back to terrorise the Jets.

Carlin played 60 games for the Jets and scored 360 points. “After having one full training sessions together and putting together the performance we did on the weekend I’m very keen for the year. I will always have a soft spot for the Jets as we won a competition there together I’m keen to get back down there and catch up with old mates and family.”

Former Jet Rod Griffin played 73 games for the Jets and will be back to terrorise the Jets’ forwards this week. “It was good to get the first hit out with new team out of the way and it is going to be hard playing against the Jets, after going through what we went through the last time I played in Queensland Cup and I’ll always have a soft spot for the Jets.”

The Townsville backs are as big as some teams’ forwards. The Blackhawks backs averaged 119m each against Mackay. The Blackhawks get great penetration from their backs.

The Blackhawks missed 37 tackles, which was the fifth most for the round. Townsville also gave Mackay 50% ball which means they had chances. The Jets have to take those chances.

The Blackhawks had nine line breaks and 20 offloads in a very dominate performance amongst their 10 tries.


The Jets didn’t come away with the win in PNG but they put up a big fight. The Hunters didn’t score between the 39th minute and the 79 minute. Two tries right on breaks didn’t help the Jets. The Jets had plenty of chances and just couldn’t take advantage. The Jets had 51% of the ball and 37 more runs than the Hunters.

The Jets offloaded 27 times in round one. Creating plenty of second phase attacking play. The Hunters missed 48 tackles which gave the Jets plenty of chances but they just couldn’t land the try they needed to crack the game. The Jets missed 46 tackles which is the second most for the ISC in round one.

Ben White was outstanding and won player’s player for round one. From Ben Shea and Seb Pandia. White and Shea made 30 tackles while Pandia contributed 208m. The Jets had three hookers on the field on Sunday. Not too many teams carry that dynamic element to their side. The Jets could catch Townsville not moving across or laying on the ground around the ruck and take advantage of big men. Against the Hunters the Jets made 104m compared to the Hunters’ 34m out of dummy half.

Could this game mean the return of Marmin Barba? Marmin missed round one but the North Ipswich Reserve faithful will be hoping that Barba is back to add to his 59 tries and 344 points for the Jets.