End in sight for Jet setters
IPSWICH'S search for silverware will rest on the shoulders of their Brisbane Rugby League outfit after the defending premiers finished the 2016 season in third place.
Needing a win over Tweed Heads and favourable results to continue their Intrust Super Cup finals hopes, the Ipswich Jets discovered the worst on Saturday.
Lifting for their final home game of the season, the Jets outscored the Seagulls 34-28 to give themselves a chance at still making the top six teams.
However, those hopes were quickly dashed as word came through of a Souths Logan win over Mackay, effectively ending any chance of a late season charge by the Jets.
With any trophy hopes resting on his team's shoulders, Ipswich BRL coach Mark Bishop denied there was extra pressure.
"The plan was always to get us both there come finals," he said. "We've probably been lucky in a few of those close games where for the Intrust boys it hasn't gone their way.
"I know Ben and Shane (Walker) would love to be there but there's no extra pressure put on us now. We'll just keep on going and doing our best each week."
While only the top two teams have a second chance in the finals, Bishop said there was an added bonus to the Jets finishing in third.
"It would have been good to finish in second to get a second bite at the cherry," Bishop said. "But we get a home final for being third and if we can win that we get the next one at home as well.
"It's always good to play at home but it isn't a huge advantage. You still have to turn up on the day and get the job done."
Key playmakers Chris Ash and Mikaere Beattie will be available for the finals series despite featuring in the Intrust Super Cup this year. Winger Josh Damen added his services to the top grade on Saturday, scoring a try in the dying minutes of the Jets win.
With Easts Tigers confirmed as their first finals opponent, Bishop said he will have to wait to see who is available this weekend.
"It's really up to Ben and Shane to decide the final team," he said. "This week we were down to the bare bones but the boys knuckled down and got through it. There should be a few more available this week but we'll have to wait and see."
Wynnum secured the BRL minor premiership, with Redcliffe finishing second.
State of play
Intrust Super Cup: Ipswich Jets 34 (Richard Pandia 2, Nemani Valekapa 2, Billy McConnachie, Liam Capewell, Josh Damen tries; Haydan Lipp 3 goals) def Tweed Heads Seagulls 28 (Leivaha Pulu, Nathanael Barnes, Josh Coyle, Timothy Cassidy, Jacob Garland tries; Michael Burgess 3, Doug Hewitt goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
BRL: Ipswich Jets 36 (Landon Hayes 2, Dan O'Reilly, Ben Sullivan, Mitch Koina, Max Fesolai tries; Francis Leger 4, Tu'u Maori 2 goals) def Valleys Diehards 22 (Tom Collins 2, Stacey Everitt, Josh Essex, Ryley Kajewski tries; Andy Lancaster goal) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Colts: Ipswich Jets 36 (Carter Auld, Bronson Tahiti, Darius Farmer 2, Tristan Davis, Adrian Elder, Billy Jackwitz tries; Adrian Elder 4 goals) def Tweed Heads 18 (Blake Midson, Brayden McGrady 2, Shaun Hinton tries; Nicholas Burns goal) at North Ipswich Reserve.