Ipswich to get ‘more brutal’ like idols on hallowed turf
HAVING been a vital cog in the Ipswich State High Rugby League Academy, Shane Harris knows it's crunch time in Wednesday afternoon's Langer Cup match.
Without a win from their first two matches, Ipswich State High face another major hurdle in the 4pm battle with Keebra Park at the North Ipswich Reserve.
However, the Ipswich State High assistant coach is confident that playing on hallowed turf will inject a new lease of life into his open side.
"I think it's definitely a boost,'' Harris said.
"For these boys, they get to play on the Oval three or four times a year and that's where the Jets play.
"For a lot of these boys, Jets are like their idols.''
Harris has also understands what it means to play on the North Ipswich Reserve having been heavily involved with the Ipswich Jets Mal Meninga and Ipswich Diggers teams in recent seasons.
"Whether it be the A-Grade players for their local club or whether it be the Jets players, it's a really cool experience just to be on the pitch, just to be able to play on that field,'' he said.
"We always see a little bit of a boost in their energy, just when they go on the field.
"The boys should be up for it and hopefully give it the performance it really deserves.''
Wednesday afternoon's Langer Cup (Open) and Walters Cup (Year 10) matches will be livestreamed on this QT website.
The Ipswich State High Year 10 side tackles Keebra Park at 3pm before the Opens battle it out at 4pm.
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Working closely with head coach Josh Bretherton, Harris has been involved in the Ipswich State High rugby league program and as a teacher since 2014.
He offered an honest assessment of where Ipswich State High has fallen short in its opening losses to Palm Beach Currumbin (22-10) and St Mary's College (24-16) - both away matches.
"We definitely need to be better in certain areas, especially defensively,'' Harris said.
"We've just been way too passive in our contacts the first two rounds and really letting ourselves down there.
"If we can fix up the defensive efforts, hopefully it will give us the opportunity with the ball to do what we're trying to do, which is score points and win games.''
While work is be done to restore Ipswich's attack, Harris offered a positive.
"We're actually pretty happy with our position and our efforts,'' he said.
"They are actually quite good. But our first contact is too passive and we're just being a little bit too nice to the opposition.
"So we just need to build a more brutal (approach) . . . and if we can do that, hopefully it sets the tone for the attack or the defensive set and then moving forward change the momentum of the game.''
Super sub Tommy Luhrman returns after missing last week's game.
"For us, that's a massive in,'' Harris said.
"The boys really appreciate playing with him because what he is off the bench is a fantastic ball of energy and his first contact is excellent as well.
"People look at his size and underestimate how strong and physical he is.''
That's exactly what Ipswich State High need to get their 2020 season up and running.
The Ipswich State High Open team tackling Keebra Park in Wednesday's 4pm match: Deijion Leugaimafa, Damien Burrows, Sam Madden, Evander Tere-Rongotaua, Aiden Severns, Mason Pintegne, Lachlan Williamson, Ilai Tuia, Riley Morris, Fred Fangupo, Amazaiya Laulu, Waylon Fiaii, Josiah Pahulu, Tommy Luhrman, Fonofili Logoileu, Kulikefu Finefeuiaki, Elijuwhon Suavai. Coach: Josh Bretherton.
The Ipswich State High Year 10 squad contesting this year's Walters Cup competition: Shannon Stewart, Tyquele Ripi, Junior To'o, Andrew Sufia, Anton Naiyep, Jack Laing, Jasper Strong, Seth Tanielu, Moroka Lapana, Malachi Faletolu, Darius Mafoe, Azariah Puleaga, Brock Shearman, Elijah Masame, Jakob Srpak, Faafetai Logoileu, Henry Segi, Faits Jnr Tupai, Ethan Cleeland, Dylan Howgego. Coach: Shane Harris.