Ipswich Jets halfback Julian Christian scored a superb double in his team’s latest Intrust Super Cup match.
Ipswich Jets halfback Julian Christian scored a superb double in his team’s latest Intrust Super Cup match.

‘Exceptional’ trio stand tall as Jets brace for Tigers duel

A SECOND half resurgence, improved defence and another promising debutant.

The Ipswich Jets are maintaining their composure as they chase an elusive first win of the 2021 Intrust Super Cup season.

Ipswich's latest 36-20 defeat to the Sunshine Coast Falcons came after a spirited Jets fightback.

Down 36-2 early in the second half, the Jets rallied with halfback Julian Christian scoring a terrific double and providing renewed hope a win is on the way.

"He scored some really good tries and they were built off some really good football,'' said Jets head coach Keiron Lander.

Ipswich Jet Julian Christian.
Ipswich Jet Julian Christian.

While encouraged by his team's improved attack, Lander said the Jets need to focus more on defence in those key moments "that really hurt us'' against the Blackhawks, Hunters and Falcons.

"It wasn't anyone's individual fault,'' he said.

"All of us need to own those kicks and what we are doing around them.

"Credit to Sunny Coast. They executed and their winger scored a hat-trick. But you take those kicks out of play and it's a different game.''

After their resurgence, Lander said the Jets had another late chance to score, kicking on the last tackle with the numbers.

"That's just maturity and a little bit lack of experience from the younger fellas,'' he said of the missed opportunity.

With Wilson Malaesilia becoming the Jets fifth debut in the first three games, Lander is playing a patience game with his team.

He knows getting the newcomers familiar with the Jets style of play takes time.

"The combination between our hooker, halves and fullback is getting better week by week and that's all I can ask,'' the former captain said.

"We're tapping on a win that's for sure.''

After sitting out Saturday's game, first game debutant Todd White is being monitored with a sternum injury.

Another exciting recruit Jordan Carriera is unlikely to play in the next home game after being concussed in the first half at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

"The youngsters are working hard. With more game time and experience, they will only get better and help those senior fellas,'' Lander said.

Latest debutant Malaesilia came off the bench and played in the middle against the Falcons.

"He done his job,'' Lander said.

"That kid has got a bright future. With a bit more time and experience throughout the year, he'll play lots of first grade.''

Tyson Lofipo.
Tyson Lofipo.

Looking ahead to Saturday's showdown with the Tigers at the North Ipswich Reserve, Lander praised captain Nat Neale, forward Tyson Lofipo and interchange player Ono So'oialo for their recent efforts.

He said Lofipo was leading by example as he approaches his 200th game for the club.

So'oialo came on in the centres for Carriera and was "exceptional''.

"His running game, his defence, he was talking,'' Lander said.

"He came back to us after a few years and he wanted to put his hand up to play first grade and he has played every game so far.''

Like the Jets, the Falcons were chasing their opening win of the season which came after both teams shared in a minute silence honouring the late Tommy Raudonikis.

That was a special moment for the Jets given what former coach Raudonikis achieved in Ipswich from 1985 to a grand final in 1988.

JETS GREAT: Tommy's legacy at Ipswich club

IPSWICH MATE: Why Raudonikis loved the city

Lander said the Jets would continue building knowing improvements are being made.

"You can just see the disappointment in the boys' faces (not being rewarded),'' he said.

"Their effort and they are working hard and they just feel like it's not clicking but we spoke after the game and you take those three tries out - from kicks - we are in front.''

Round 3 Intrust Super Cup

SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 36 (Nat McGavin 3, Matthew Milson, Thomas Rafter, Paul Ulberg tries; Todd Murphy 6 goals) def IPSWICH JETS 20 (Julian Christian 2, Jayden Connors tries; Josh Cleeland 4 goals) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

TWEED SEAGULLS 40 (Sam McIntyre 2, Lee Turner 2, Jai Whitbread, Jayden Campbell, Darius Farmer tries; Lindon McGrady 6 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 26 (Kobe Hetherington, Cory Paix, Jacob Elmore, Isaiah Tass tries; Kevin Locke 3, Isaiah Tass 2 goals) at Tugun RLFC, Boyd Street, Tugun.

NORTHS DEVILS 30 (Brendan Frei 2, Danny Levi, Ethan Bullemor, Jack Ahearn tries; Tyson Gamble 5 goals) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 22 (Esan Marsters 2, Josh Hoffman, Carlin Anderson tries; Shaun Nona 2, Carlin Anderson goals) at Bishop Park.

WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 36 (Jayden Berrell 2, Matiu Love-Henry, Isaac Luke, Junior Pauga, Delouise Hoeter tries; Jack Campagnolo 6 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 6 (Jayden Corrigan try; Jake Clifford goal) at Barlow Park.

PNG HUNTERS 26 (Samuel Yegip, Sylvester Namo, Rau Junior Kobale, Watson Boas, Edwin Ipape tries; Charlie Simon 3 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 14 (Michael Bell, Kane Bradley, Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy tries; Ata Hingano goal) at BB Print Stadium.

REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 24 (Cameron Cullen, Trai Fuller, Lachlan Timm, Preston Riki tries; Hayze Perham 4 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 22 (Jedidiah Simbiken, Lachlan Hubner, Jack Madden, Nathan Bassani tries; Treymaine Brown 3 goals) at Moreton Daily Stadium.

BRISBANE TIGERS 50 (Dean Ieremia 3, William Samuel 2, Marion Seve, Ryley Jacks, Aaron Booth, Isaac Lumelume tries; Aaron Booth 7 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 10 (Cory Denniss 2 tries; Josh Rogers goals) at Totally Workwear Stadium.