Silver lining as Jets shot down by Mackay

THE inclusion of Ipswich flyer Nemani Valekapa in the Queensland Residents side has helped eased the pain of the Jets’ latest loss. Valekapa has been named in the Residents team which on Tuesday heads into camp at the Gold Coast to prepare for the May 8 clash with NSW Residents. Queensland is chasing a third consecutive win in the annual representative encounter after last year’s 36-32 success. Former Ipswich Jet Matt Parcell is among the current NRL contracted players who performed well in last year’s match. Dashing back Valekapa has a chance to do the same in next Sunday’s match at Langlands Park in Brisbane. Valekapa’s call-up follows the Jets’ disappointing 38-36 Intrust Super Cup defeat to the previously winless Mackay Cutters on Friday night. He was the lone Jets’ selection in coach Aaron Zimmerle’s team, reflecting Ipswich’s recent form. Heading into a bye, the Jets title hopes have crashed following another narrow loss on the road. After leading 24-10 just before half time, the Jets struggled to close out the game as the Cutters put pressure on the defending premiers. Jets co-coach Shane Walker was disappointed to go into the bye round with another loss to contemplate. “I wouldn’t say it was exciting (to watch),” Walker said. “It was disappointing to give away so many points when our defence had been strong last week (against the Sunshine Coast). “Now we have the week off before three tough games in a row.” Ipswich can start rebuilding their season against Burleigh, Easts and the PNG Hunters. Walker said the selection of his Fijian flyer Valekapa in the Residents line-up was a reward for his strong form. “He’s been playing really well and it’s good to see him get the recognition,” he said. IPSWICH are alone at the top of the Brisbane Rugby League ladder as the unbeaten run of the defending premiers continues. Three Jets scored a double each in a high-scoring win over Logan Brothers on Saturday afternoon. Dan O’Reilly, Mikaere Beattie and Francis Leger all scored two tries apiece. Ono So’Oialo, Mitch Koina, Ben Sullivan chimed in to bring up the 46-8 win for the Jets. It was the fourth straight victory for the season. A loss for ladder rivals, the Gators, means the defending premiers are two points clear at the top of the BRL ladder. Prior to the game, the Jets Colts were brought down by the Wynnum Manly Seagulls 24-10. The loss leaves the junior Jets in second last place with a week off before they host Burleigh at North Ipswich Reserve on May 14.