THE Ipswich Jets have started their 2014 campaign with a loss at home to Norths.
But the closeness of the score and the manner of defeat have provided cause for optimism of a strong season.
The Jets went down 22-16 at the North Ipswich Reserve, but were made to work harder than they would have liked against a big Norths forward pack, thanks to a lopsided first-half penalty count in the visiting team’s favour.
For Ipswich to restrict Norths to just four tries was a solid effort that should hold them in good stead, if they can manage to cut out the penalties.
“Our defence was pretty good,” Jets fullback Javarn White said.
“There were some little errors we need to clean up but it was a pretty good hit-out actually.
“Some of those penalties were for things I’d never even heard of but we’ve got to work on our discipline I guess.”
The Jets trailed 18-12 at half-time and even though they only conceded a solitary try after the break, the wind had been taken from their sails in the first half.
“It had taken a lot out of us,” White said. “Defending for back-to-back sets hurts you, even though they only scored one try in the second half, off our mistake.”
With some new faces in the line-up, it was understandable the Jets were not firing on all cylinders in attack, though Norths were in a similar boat.
However, White saw enough from new Jets backs Haydan Lipp and Wes Conlon, as well as veteran centre Brendon Marshall, to believe they can overcome the loss of Ian Lacey and Donald Malone.
Marshall did a wonderful Malone impression in the first half, fending off a defender to score.
A second half 40/20 kick by Lipp gave the Jets an attacking opportunity in the second half before a sublime pass from the Toowoomba product put Kurt Capewell over in the right corner to leave the Jets trailing 18-16.
Late in the game it looked like Conlon might get the Jets in front as he lunged for the line but the visitors’ defence held, before they sealed it with a late four-pointer.
“Hayden went really well for his first hit-out,” White said of the Jets’ new halfback.
“Once he provides some more talk and is more dominant in our plays, he’ll be sweet.
“Wes was really good on the wing. There’s a few things we’re working on hopefully we get right for the next game.”
White pulled of a number of try-saving tackles in the match.
The 25-year-old apprentice boiler maker admitted his defence was something he had focused on coming into the 2014 season.
“Last night I was pretty good,” said the 2011 Queensland Cup player of the year, for Norths.
State of play
- Queensland Cup: Norths Devils 22 (Shaun Carney, Rogan Dean, Dylan Galloway, Byron Creighton tries; Shaun Carney 3 goals) def Ipswich Jets 16 (Kurt Capewell, Brendon Marshall, Sam Martin tries; Haydan Lipp 2 goals).
- Colts: Norths 26 (Justin Sleep, Dan Russell, Michael Egan, Tom Sparks tries; Harry Pondekas 5 goals) def Ipswich Jets 14 (Peter Whittaker 2, Sam Lavea tries; Mitchell Tuite goal) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Thank you to the QT, jay Buchan and Claudia Baxter for the Article and Photo