Spluttering Jets open Queensland Cup account

(Thanks to Jay Buchan and the QT)

IT WAS far from perfect but the Ipswich Jets have posted their first win of the 2013 Queensland Cup season.

Ipswich beat Sunshine Coast 32-26 at Kawana Waters yesterday.

The scoreline was closer than it should have been, given the Jets’ strong start to both halves.

Yet the visitors found themselves down 16-14 at the halftime break.

Everything had looked rosy when debutant winger Nemani Valekapa scored with his first touch of the ball and added a second later in the match.

Fellow first gamer, centre Tu’u Maori, then grabbed himself a try on debut to put the Jets out 10-0 midway through the first half.

“We were very good in patches,” Jets co-coach Shane Walker said.

“But they scored some fluky-type tries, off rebounds and second and third kicks and that sort of thing.”

So it was the Jets who found themselves having to start from scratch in the second half.

“We identified some areas we felt we could get them,” Walker said of the half-time message to the players. It was just about believing in that.”

Again, Ipswich was dominant to start the half, getting out to a 32-16 lead, before a late Eagles comeback.

“We looked like we were about to go on with it (when we led 32-16),” Walker said.

“We were dominant and doing a really good job.

“But then a handling error slowed our momentum a bit.

“It was just one of those games you look back on and are dirty they scored so many points.”

Most importantly, it was a win and Walker was pleased with the improvement from the opening round loss against Norths.

“They’re a good team,” he said.

“They get through their sets and are very structured.

“It’s a tough place to come and win.”

In the forwards, Walker was pleased to see big men Rowan Winterfield and Nat Neale make their presence felt.

He is also confident the team’s attack is getting better.

“We looked a lot better with the ball,” Walker said.

“Last week the players had played only 30 minutes of footy together.

“We looked a whole lot sharper.”

In round three, the Jets host Easts at the North Ipswich Reserve on Sunday.

The Jets Colts lost to the Eagles 40-20 while the Jets Reserves had the bye.