DECEPTIVE: Halfback Julian Christian was a handful for Redcliffe defenders throughout yesterday's clash.
DECEPTIVE: Halfback Julian Christian was a handful for Redcliffe defenders throughout yesterday's clash. Cordell Richardson

Long way to travel for agonising last second loss

RUGBY LEAGUE: Ipswich Jet Rogan Dean reflected how his teammates felt after his team's agonising last gasp 24-22 loss to the Redcliffe Dolphins this afternoon.

With his mum and sister travelling all of the way from Mackay to watch him play, Dean said he would have loved to have secured the win for them.

"It is tough to go down like that," he said. "We should have won.

"We had the points to close that one out but it didn't happen."

Despite the cruel defeat, Dean said it was great to have his family support at the game for just the third time this season.

The hulking winger said it was particularly disheartening to lose because a win would have kept the Jets in the top eight.

He said the Jets now had no choice but to win their remaining matches if they were to feature in the finals.

"It keeps the pressure on us," he said.

 

Ipswich Jets v Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Intrust Super Cup. Ipswich's Rogan Dean.
Ipswich's Rogan Dean takes a run against Sunshine Coast earlier this season. Cordell Richardson

Dean said evergreen forwards Nat Neale and Ben Shea were Ipswich's best.

"They just turn up and do their job every time," he said.

Ipswich hit the lead 16 minutes into the contest and were still in front deep into the second half before it all unravelled.

The Jets were flying high 22-6 with just eight minutes to play before three Redcliffe tries in rapid succession sent them crashing and burning.

Redcliffe winger Justice Utatoa inflicted the damage.

The elusive speedster crossed for a hat-trick to sink Ipswich and delight the vocal contingent of Dolphin supporters at North Ipswich Reserve.

Ipswich's 16-point advantage had been built on the back of defensive resolve and moments of brilliance.

The Jets crossed twice in the opening stanza through Isimeeli Hafoka and Shar Walden.

Walden's four-pointer was absolutely spectacular. Utility Jayden Connors put through a well-placed kick from dummy half. When the Redcliffe player missed his chance to gather the ball, Connors put boot to it again.

Scintillating winger Shar Walden streaked through to ground the ball and hand the Jets a 12-0 lead after 31 minutes.

For the majority, the Jets were impregnable.

In one first half sequence, Redcliffe fired shot after shot for three consecutive sets but were unable to breach the goal line.

Kept scoreless for most of the half, the Dolphins only moment of joy came in the 37th minute as Ipswich tired.

Returning from the break at 12-6, being first to score was going to be critical.

Dean obliged following some more Jets magic.

This time it was the kangaroo catcher Michael Purcell launching skywards and collecting a bomb before passing it off to a teammate who spread it to the left into Dean's trusted hands.

It was a special moment when the Jets picked up their fourth, with Jacob Teevan crossing in just his third game in the grade.

Dean, whose size allows him to act as an extra forward, was a tower of strength throughout.

His carries out of the Ipswich redzone were effective.

In the final 10 minutes, he nearly sealed the result when he took an intercept and raced 80 metres only to be mowed down short.

State of Play

Intrust Super Cup Rd 16: Redcliffe Dolphins 24 (Nick Brown, Justice Utatoa 3 tries; Tyson Gamble 4 conversions) def Ipswich Jets 22 (Isimeeli Hafoka, Shar Walden, Rogan Dean, Jacob Teevan; Michael Purcell 3 conversions).