Ipswich Jets captain Nat Neale is ready to lead his side into another Intrust Super Cup season. Picture: Rob Williams
Ipswich Jets captain Nat Neale is ready to lead his side into another Intrust Super Cup season. Picture: Rob Williams

Important night to launch Jets season of high hopes


Michael Nunn

THE Jets season launch for 2021 will take place on Thursday night night at the North Ipswich Reserve Corporate Centre.

The launch is a chance for the club to publicly affirm its goals and aspirations for the season.

Chairman Steven Johnson enjoys a speech and delights in professing his love of all things green and white.

"Once a season starts everyone is busy and doing their role," Johnson said.

"The season launch is a chance for everyone to come together and be together.

"I love the night and I love being with other Jets to talk about what we will and won't do this year."

Nat Neale will suit up as 2021 captain for the Jets again this season.

"It's a chance to talk to sponsors and represent the club at the start of the year," Neale said.

"Its important you have these nights so everyone is on the same page and it's our last chance to come together before the season."

Coach Keiron Lander will be in charge for his second season as the Jets coach this season.

"We have a lot of sponsors and they want to meet you and talk football," Lander said.

"That's why they've invested their money in the club and as staff and players we come all together before the season."

Valuable lessons

THE two youngest Jets sides, the Cyril Connell Challenge and Mal Meninga teams, made the long trip to Piggabeen on Saturday for their round one skirmish with the Tweed Seagulls.

The Cyril Connell Jets started slowly with Tweed scoring twice in the first 12 minutes.

The Jets recovered and pulled the Seagulls back into line with their own two well-constructed tries by centre Too Junior Too and Jaidyn Cody. Kohen Briggs knocked over the two points and 10-10 at half time. That was a great outcome for coach Jye Tuaiamau-Gadsdon to be able to regroup his young Jets.

"When we go set for set, we were doing really well," Tuaiamau-Gadsdon said.

"Then we gave away a penalty of cheap possession and we cost ourselves."

The Jets started the second half exactly how Tuaiamau-Gadsdon would have wanted with a try by winger Talon Briddle.

Then in the second half, the Jets allowed Tweed to score again in clumps. The Seagulls scored twice early after the break to lead 22-14 after 44 minutes.

Too then got his second try and half and captain Orlando Metuariki converted.

The Seagulls pulled away again to win 28-20.

"Orlando was very good for us,'' the coach said.

"When we are in that set for set mentality he gets us to spots on the field.

"Our fullback Mutua Brown was excellent. He made 30 metres every set return.

"Overall I am very happy. We got to the edges really well. Our attack was silky and I thought we defended really well."

In the Mal Meninga game, a pattern of slow starts and coming back was well and truly established. It took the Jets 30 minutes to warm up but when they did they were flying.

Coach Michael Armstrong found a positive among a less than ideal first half.

"We were poor the first half and honestly two points down probably flattered us a little bit," Armstrong said.

"It was really positive that we didn't control the ball but we are only two points down."

Tweed led 8-0 after 16 minutes before the Jets got moving. It was Tyrese Weatherby calming the Seagulls storm. Weatherby came off the bench six minutes earlier and scored the Jets first try.

Cyron Tull converted and at 8-6 the Jets were back in the challenge.

The Jets and Seagulls then traded tries until the Jets enjoyed a run of tries with three in a row leading up to the 47th minute. After a healthy lead of 20-12, the Jets were looking comfortable after a sensational individual try by Malique Douthat.

The Seagulls finished with two late tries to snatch the win 22-20.

"We were good in patches and we had some really good performers, but we need to just switch on to those little things in a game of football that can mean you win by two points not lose by two points,'' Armstrong said.

"Kulikefu Fineuiaki and Josiah Pahulu were terrific and will be better against the Bears this week for the run against Tweed.

"That's what we have to do. Learn and apply our learning next week."

FITNESS EDGE: Jets Colts happy with latest trial

Paul 'Scobie' Malone widow Sharon and son Thomas, 15, MP Jonty Bush, Jimmy Tucker, John McCoy and Ross Lawson, and Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, Suncorp Stadium Media Hall of Fame Induction, Milton. Picture: Liam Kidston
Paul 'Scobie' Malone widow Sharon and son Thomas, 15, MP Jonty Bush, Jimmy Tucker, John McCoy and Ross Lawson, and Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, Suncorp Stadium Media Hall of Fame Induction, Milton. Picture: Liam Kidston

Lawson's great call

THE radio voice of Brisbane league in the 1960s and 1970s for 4BH and 4IP was Ross Lawson.

From roof tops and grandstands Lawson would bring Bulimba Cup and Brisbane Rugby League games to your home.

Lawson's voice would ring out from sheds and kitchens for everyone to hear.

"I am an Ipswich boy. I wasn't born there but I loved it there,'' Lawson said.

"I got into owning pubs and owned the Prince Alfred at Booval and the Weroona at Goodna.

"It was a great life, not a lot of making money in pubs but plenty of good times and I ended up owning race horses too. Every drinker wants you to invest with them in a horse and somehow I always said yes.

"Calling the games on the radio was good for business too. People wanted to come in have a beer and talk league with me."

Lawson got the gig at the retirement of the voice of league George Lovejoy who was retiring and a young Lawson saw an opening.

"I went into 4BH and said I would like to do it please and they gave me some trials and I got the job,'' he said.

"I got to call Bulimba Cup games, I always wanted Ipswich to win.

"Didn't like Brisbane too much.

"Ipswich had fantastic players - Kelly, Parcell, Beattie, Barrett, Scully and Flannery. What great Ipswich names."

It would be from Lang Park every week that Lawson would etch his name and voice in folklore.

"I loved calling games from Lang Park. Geoff Richardson was terrific. I think he's the best number 6 I have seen,'' Lawson said.

"I know Wally was great but I always thought he was a lock.

"Des Morris, he's one of ours. I remember calling him at Langlands Park. He was special."

Lawson would take his voice on the road to England for Kangaroo tours.

"I would sit in the stand with Frank Hyde and Ray Warren who was very young then and call Test matches,'' he said.

"It was a great experience."

"I loved league. I still do. It's given me so much.

"Great stories and memories. I once had to stop Henry Holloway from throwing Wally O'Connell off a balcony.

"Henry wasn't too happy with O'Connell's coaching of Queensland.

"I always wondered why Henry didn't coach Queensland but then Senator Ron McAullife said that's why."

Lawson was there to when the Jets needed him.

"I would run the bar at the ground, try and make the Jets some money off games,'' he said.

"Les Stokes got me involved because I was running pubs he thought I could run the bar."

When pressed on the greatest Ipswich product, Lawson was sure he saw the best in Allan Langer.

"Alf was a tremendous player but the best sporting family is the Walters. I remember them coming into the PA as children tagging along with Swifts."

Lawson was inducted into the Lang Park Media Wall of Fame recently for his contribution to rugby league and Lang Park.

Along with John McCoy, Paul Malone and Jim Tucker; the foursome was honoured for their media work.

"What a great surprise, it was a great day and really well organised and I am very appreciative,'' Lawson said.

"I just love league. It is a great game."

Lawson may not be on the radio anymore but that's the perfect sign off.

Cooper's stat

ROUND one will be the Jets 258th home game in the Intrust Super Cup.

The Jets have won 123 with a 47% record at home.