POWERING RUN: Ipswich Jets strongman Tyson Lofipo will need to have a big impact for his team to beat Easts this weekend.
POWERING RUN: Ipswich Jets strongman Tyson Lofipo will need to have a big impact for his team to beat Easts this weekend. Rob Williams

Great rivalry fires up in Ipswich

Jets Buzz

 

I LOVE the colour of my hair normally but this week when I see orange, I just get angry.

The Tigers are coming to town on Saturday and one of the Intrust Super Cup's biggest rivalries is on show.

The Tigers are the big brother your mum loves more. The Jets just want mum to come watch us play but she always goes to watch the glamour Tigers with all their stars.

Ipswich Jets did not overcome their Bear troubles last week. Now it is time to tame the Tigers.

The Tigers have won the past three games in Ipswich - 52-20 in 2016, 22-20 in 2017 and 26-24 in 2018.

The Jets have not beaten the Tigers at Ipswich since the 2015 finals.

It gets worse. The Tigers have won 11 or their past 17 against the Jets with one draw.

It is still a tight contest over all with the Tigers leading 25-21 with one draw.

The Tigers are coming off a convincing 30-12 win over Norths to have two wins from two games.

With a massive 57% of the ball and twice as many tackle breaks, the Tigers were too much to handle.

A big part of that with a try, 15 runs and 110 metres was Tigers organiser and half Billy Walters who had this to say about Saturday's game.

"Hopefully the Jets don't find form until round four,'' Walters said.

"It's a challenge going to Ipswich. They will be keen to get some confidence back and against the Tigers who traditionally are rivals.

"It will be Nat Neale, Tyson Lofipo and Michael Purcell that will be the three to get them moving."

Although the Jets have lost two games, Tyson Lofipo is not too worried just yet.

"Just have to trust the process, we seem a little flat at the moment but I know it will turn around,'' Lofipo said.

"From my position it just seems like we are starting well but not scoring points and for some reason they go down the other end and score."

Time to reflect

I AM all about self-reflection and it was time to explore my Tiger dislike so I sat down with one of the Tigers' and Ipswich's best Larry Brigginshaw to talk Tigers v Ipswich and Rivalry Round.

Brigginshaw played 106 games for the Tigers, all while living in Ipswich and travelling to Langlands Park.

He played for Queensland in 1979, toured the UK in 1983 and won a premiership with the Tigers in 1983.

"I think it is just geography,'' Brigginshaw said. "The two clubs are so close to each other and Easts have had so many Ipswich players over the years.''

Larry recalled his Jets v Tigers days.

"I'll always be a Tigers' man,'' he said. "They were good to me even though I am from Ipswich. I cannot remember extra venom in those Tigers v Jets games but there might have been towards me. I was a cheeky half so I probably caused a bit."

Minister for defence

THE Jets defence has faltered the past two weeks: 98 missed tackles means they are putting themselves under all sorts of pressure.

The frustration is then building when they cannot score and the Bears and Blackhawks do score.

The penalty count is 16-11 against the Jets and the Jets have failed to score in the first half yet. The Jets have lost 32-0 over the course of the two first halves so far.

The Jets have had 14 tries scored against them but if you look at the breakdown of those tries, 12 have been scored from 26 minutes to 63 minutes. There is large chunks of the game where the opposition are not scoring but then scoring in a big clump.

I turned to former Jets coach and defensive guru Trevor Gillmeister to talk me through defence and what could be happening.

"Sometimes when you have a few changes to your side it creates hesitation,'' Gillmeister said.

"It is probably harder at the start of the season too when you are trying to find rhythm and timing. It is 50% of the game if not more if you are turning the ball over. If you have different players in your team especially on your edges, it takes time to get used to each other."

Jet on Jet

EACH week I sit down with a former Jet and talk current Jets.

Jet number 474 Ian Lacey played 100 games for the Jets making him the 14th most capped Jet of all time. He scored 47 tries, the seventh most ever for the Jets. We sat down and spoke about half Josh Cleeland.

"Josh is an instinctive player that has the unique ability to react to what he sees in front of him," Lacey said. "This skill is very difficult to coach and is an extremely valuable asset for a half to have.

"Too many halves in today's game are coached to be very structured and only attempt high percentage plays to execute a game plan.

"The problem with that is that when the structure is not going to plan these halves become flustered and do not have the ability to change the momentum of the game."

Lacey was confident in Cleeland's ability to change games.

"Josh has this ability and confidence to see an opportunity and take it to change the momentum back in favour of his team," Lacey observed.

"In the State Final last year, 6-6 against the Dolphins just before half time, he pushes up twice and runs away to score and then it's 16-6 at halftime."

Cooper's stat

MARMIN Barba scored his 100th goal against the Bears. He now has 478 points for the Jets in the Intrust Super Cup and 482 for the Jets with his try against Newcastle in 2015.

A cold beer with . . .

To have a beer with Mark Graham you would have to find the pub of the century because that is where he should be drinking. Graham was named in the Norths' Devils and North Sydney Team of the Century and the New Zealand Player of the Century. We sat down to talk league and Wally.

You arrive in Brisbane at the end of 1979 for the start of the 1980 season. How would that come about? Graham Lowe was over here coaching and he asked me to come over. The New Zealand League didn't want me to come so they put a transfer fee on me so I couldn't play until that was paid and the QRL paid it in time for me to start with Norths in 1980.

What was the offer from Norths? It worked out to $2 a minute so $160 a game, and $40 a training session. We trained three times a week so a chance to earn $280 a week. Norths also charged you $7 a stitch. I had a lot of money deducted there too.

How did you adapt to Brisbane weather and football? My clearance came in time for the last pre-season game against Valleys in 1980 so with no training I played Valleys at Neumann Oval. It was so hot and I was lacking match fitness so I just started fights to have a break. It was on and I noticed the guy I was fighting looking over my shoulder so I spun around the clocked someone else. It was Wally, his jaw ended up broken and he was out for six weeks.

That wasn't your last run in with Wally was it? No. In the preliminary final in 1980, Lewis made a ball and all tackle and I raised my elbow and caught him on the throat. I thought he was faking to get a penalty but he went blue so I got the attention of the touch judge and said you had better get him help. Years later, he accused me of nearly killing him and I said I saved your life.

How do you find football now? Every team is the same, you have big people that run 20 times and play the ball 20 times and make 200 metres. In my time if you ran 20 times and played the ball 20 times you would be lucky to play Reserve grade. Pass it on, if you draw in two you have done your job. It is about space.