Preview Ipswich Jets v Northern Pride at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, 4 April at 5pm
Ipswich Jets: 1. Carlin Anderson 2. Marmin Barba 3. Chris Walker 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Brandon McGrady 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Josh Seage 9. Matt Parcell 10. Rod Griffin 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Troy O’Sullivan 15. Kurtis Lingwoodock 16. Billy McConnachie 17. Liam Capewell 18. Gerico Cecil
Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker
Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Luke George 5. Javid Bowen 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 8. Ben Spina 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11. Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 12. Graham Clark 13. Tom Hancock 14. Cameron King 15. Jack Svendsen 16. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 17. David Murphy
Coach: Joe O’Callaghan
Head to Head: Pride 9 Ipswich 6 Drawn 1.
Last time they met:
Round 25- 2014.
NORTHERN PRIDE 30 (Hezron Murgha, Jason Roos, Blake Leary, Davin Crampton, Javid Bowen tries; Shaun Nona 5 goals) def IPSWICH JETS 6 (Nemani Valekapa try; Wes Conlon goal) at Barlow Park.
Round 5- 2015.
Both these Intrust Super Cup clubs have developed a habit of not being able to beat each other away from home. The Pride hasn’t won in Ipswich since 2009 when they won both regular season games at the Briggs Road Complex. From five games at the North Ipswich Reserve four wins have gone to Ipswich and a 12 all draw in 2012, while the Ipswich Jets haven’t won in Cairns since 2008.
The Pride have started the season with three losses. The last time this happened was 2010 and they went onto win the premiership that year beating Norths in the Grand Final.
The Pride has won the last two minor premierships and the Grand Final in 2014 on a defence that would intimidate teams with its aggression. So far this year the Pride have let in 17 tries and only pegged back 6.
The Pride has had a disrupted start to the season with their round two game at home being cancelled so they’re one game behind the rest of the competition.
The Pride have also had four players debut in the first four rounds, highlighting the change from last year.
If the Pride are to get moving this week it will be through their experienced players in key positions. Captain Jason Roos is pivotal to everything the Pride do. Against the Jets last year in Ipswich he got them away to a great start and again he scored when the Jets went to Cairns. He’s a smart hooker that engages markers well and can still take off and take advantage of lazy defenders.
Roos is an experienced campaigner and his battle with the Ipswich 9 Matt Parcell has an old bull young bull vibe. Parcell has been a defensive wall for the Jets this season racking up 144 tackles and only missing 3 in the four games played so far.
Roos is one element in a very impressive forward pack that boasts two very strong forwards in Patrick Kaufusi and Ben Spina who are both contracted to the Cowboys.
The Pride will have Sam Obst controlling the game for them from half and while their defence has struggled this year their attack is also spluttering and struggling for points. Obst will be looking for Brett Anderson and Semi Tadulala to take advantage of the chances he can create as the Pride’s backline is still their strength.
The Pride is missing dynamic half Shaun Nona and his combination with Blake Leary and Davin Crampton on the edges which created a lot of points last year for the Pride.
The Jets last week found a more consistent performance and only allowed the Sunshine Coast two tries. The Jets defence was great all game and they missed a season low 20 tackles.
The Jets backrow of Kurt Capewell, who has made the transition to the back row, and Sam Martin have defensively really aimed up this season. Capewell has made 66 tackles for only five misses this year at 93% effective, while Martin has made 76 tackles missing 11 at 86% effectiveness.
This weekend the Jets will welcome back Chris Walker, who missed last week due to concussion. Walker has added pace, experience and a finishing touch on the right hand side and scored two tries in three games this year.
However the attacking juggernaut for the Jets had been Nemani Valekapa who leads the Jets in every attacking statistic like, line breaks (6), metres gained (650), off-loads (9), and total runs (60). Valekapa has been in great form down the Jets’ left hand side scoring 4 tries from 4 games.
The Jets have Marmin Barba and Nemani Valekapa both averaging a try a game from four games. With the Jets fast moving style and ball movement they represent a considerable risk to the Pride defence this week.
It should be a great game with kickoff at 5pm on Saturday afternoon.
· Dane Phillips needs 2 points for 50 for Ipswich Jets.
If you require further information please contact Wayne Wendt on 0411 517 495.