Ipswich Jets and Queensland Residents playmaker Josh Cleeland.
Ipswich Jets and Queensland Residents playmaker Josh Cleeland. Rob Williams

Happy days as Jets brace for battle with Souths



THE Souths Logan Magpies are the Richie Cunningham of the Intrust Super Cup. You just cannot help but like them.

Steeped in history and pride since 1909, Souths are close to everyone's second favourite team.

The Jets are the Fonz they will ride to Davies Park on their motor bike ready to cause trouble for Richie.

It is two proud league areas going up against each other. When league kicked off in Queensland in 1909, it was Souths winning the first comp and Ipswich coming back and winning in 1910.

The Jets' record at Davies Park is an impressive one having won 13 of 16 games there with their losses in 1997, 2010 and last season when David Fifita ran riot down the Magpies right hand side. He was swotting away Jets as if he was Godzilla.

Overall, the Jets lead the Magpies 25 to 18 with one draw.

Games between the Jets and Magpies have recently been high scoring so I do not see this being any different. The past six results have been five Jets wins and one Magpies positive result.

The six games have totalled 374 points. The Jets have averaged 35 and the Magpies 26.

Although the Magpies are on two wins in 2019 compared to the Jets' four, that will not mean too much when these traditional rivals attack each other.

Souths have scored 154 points this year, which is only 22 less than the Jets who are in eighth place. It is defence that is causing the Magpies problems with 301 points against compared to the Jets' 217.

Both teams are coming off a week off but in round nine, the Jets had a win over the Capras while the Magpies found it hard going against a rampant Falcon losing 72-4.

Jets co-coach Shane Walker spoke about how you prepare for a team that has been beaten by 68.

"Put it in the bin. That sort of result can happen to anyone and they will be embarrassed and determine to turn it around this week. Which is bad for us," Shane said.

"They will have a number of Broncos players who all want to play NRL and this competition is so close that you just prepare like you normally would and the Magpies will be ready to go.''

The Jets will be keen to see the return of forward Ben Shea and Rory Humphreys.


Ipswich Jets V Norths Devils Intrust Super Cup match played at North Ipswich Reserve on April 14, 2019. Ben and Shane Walker.
Jets co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker. Rob Williams

Time off benefits

THE Jets have enjoyed a week-end off away from football.

Jets' co-coach Ben Walker shared his thoughts about time off and the advantage a third of the way through the year.

"There are only benefits from here,'' Ben said. "Our guys have the whole week off so we trained Tuesday last week then say see you Tuesday week.

"We don't give instructions. We just say do what you want to do.

"If they still want to go to the football then that is great but if you want to mow and do the things that are hard during the season then do that.''

Ben was asked if we would see a slow start against the Magpies due to the week off.

"I wouldn't think so a spike in form is more likely because they will come back ready to go,'' he said.

Veivers insights

GREG Veivers is as magpie as that one that pecks you walking to the shops in September.

The Veivers family had three members in the Souths team of the century Greg's father Jack played for Souths in the 1950 and his cousin Mick Veivers played in the 1960 and Greg in the 1970's.

Greg played in the front row for Souths all through the 1970's. He held up the scrum for Queensland in 19 games and captained Australia in 1977.

I spoke to Veivers to find out about this Magpie and Ipswich rivalry, that no one ever wants to end and will be on again on Sunday.

"Ipswich is a proud area,'' Veivers recalled. "When you went to Ipswich you knew the crowd was going to be giving it to you and then the Ipswich guys would be too.

"You had to be careful getting on the bus because someone would put the shoulder in if the game hadn't gone well for Ipswich.

"I was from Beaudesert so not too far from Ipswich and we had a lot of guys go to Souths from the area. So many tough footballers from Ipswich but Des and Rod Morris come straight to my mind.

"My second game for Queensland I was in the front row and Des Morris in the second row.

"I remember Bulimba Cup games against Ipswich were tough encounters. Ipswich and Souths aren't too dissimilar working class areas and we both probably carry a bit of a chip on our shoulder."

Qld report card

THE Queensland Residents were terrific in winning 42-22.

It was great to see so much involvement from Ipswich Jet Josh Cleeland who scored 18 points and scored a great try running back at players inside shoulder to expose a staggered line.

Cleeland's kicking game kept testing the Blues and turning them around.

Nat Neale played the first half and was tremendous for Queensland as the Maroons forwards dominated the Blues. Neale off-load for Scarlett's try was just classic Nat.

I caught up with Nat Neale, Josh Cleeland and Queensland coach Jon Buchanan after the Residents game to get a Jets' report card.

"I really enjoyed the captaincy I have never been a captain and to captain Queensland was a great surprise," Josh said.

"I was happy with my game, we spoke about stopping their offloads and we nullified that aspect of their game."

Nat Neale thinks there might be something in not travelling.

"Every time I have travelled for these games to Sydney we lose but play here and we win," Nat said.

"Might be too many distractions away from home.

"It was a positive experience and it was a great week in camp."

Buchanan was glowing his praise of the Jets' duo.

"Nat, you just know what you're going to get,'' Buchanan said. "He just seems to love that camp environment and he's experienced now at Residents.

"Cleeland is a player I have always liked and I enjoy watching him play."

Cooper's stat

JOSH Cleeland was the first Jet since Matt Parcell in 2015 to score a try for the Queensland Residents.

He was also the first captain since Keiron Lander in 2014.

A meeting with

IF you were going to have a board meeting with Souths chairman Mohammed Allouche you'd have to pick somewhere in South Brisbane so he could sit and see Davies Park and any magpies that flew past. "Mo" and I sat down and talked Magpies v Jets.

You played 82 games for Souths in the Intrust Super Cup, was a captain and now chairman at Souths. Which role do you prefer? Playing. You can never replicate that feeling of playing and lining up for Souths was all I ever wanted to do. I had to get an off-field role because I was too loud and passionate on the sideline.

Gary Belcher recently spoke about Souths and how it was the only team for him. Why Souths for you? I lived my whole life in West End, my family is in West End and going to Davies Park has been part of my life since I was four. All I wanted to do was watch Mal Meninga and dad knew Mal was not playing but he could not tell me. He knew I would be heartbroken. Souths had a winger called Ken Gittens who was nearly a Mal lookalike and played for Souths and the Broncos and dad told me that was Mal. I watched the game thinking I had seen Mal that day.

What are your Souths v Jets memories? I made my debut against Ipswich in 1993 in a final at Lang Park. Great memories. Then I remember playing against Ipswich and my good mate Danny McAllister was told by Jets coach Trevor Gillmeister to belt me or Trevor would belt him. I am watching Danny at the next scrum and he wouldn't make eye contact. I thought what is going on here then I have copped a whack and I said 'Danny what was that'? He said I would rather you mad at me than Trevor. Sorry mate.

Souths and the Jets are very similar aren't we? Yeah I think we are both demographically the same. Battlers people that maybe are not wanted by too many other people or communities but if you are willing to work hard then you can have success at Souths or Ipswich. I want success for the Jets. I have a great respect for Ipswich, the city and the Jets.