KICKING ON: Ipswich Jets back Marmin Barba and his teammates are looking to compile a convincing win on Saturday night after some recent near misses.
KICKING ON: Ipswich Jets back Marmin Barba and his teammates are looking to compile a convincing win on Saturday night after some recent near misses. Cordell Richardson

Ipswich on alert for Magpies set to swoop at North Ipswich



LIKE jelly and ice cream after tea, having the Magpies in Ipswich is a rare treat.

Souths Magpies haven't ventured too far from Davies Park to take on the Jets in the past four years.

The Jets v Magpies past five games back to round 17 in 2015 have all been at Davies Park.

The Jets have won four of those games and the last time they clashed in Ipswich town the Jets won a high scoring game 53-34.

Overall, the Jets lead the Magpies 26 to 18 with one draw.

The Jets v Magpies are always entertainment packages.

When they clashed earlier this year the Jets won 36-20.

The Jets have scored a massive 148 points over the past five games against Souths while the Magpies have totalled 126 points.

In Ipswich, the Magpies have the advantage over the Jets with 11 wins to Ipswich's nine and one draw.

The Jets and Magpies had problems with Seagulls last week.

Souths lost 34-18 to Wynnum while the Jets went down 22-18 to Tweed.

For 110 Intrust Super Cup games, Mitch Frei has patrolled the edge like a demon, waiting for a kick through or a short ball that gives defenders nightmares and allows him to be the premier ISC hole runner.

When the Jets and Magpies last clashed he scored two tries doing exactly what he has always done but is very hard to stop.

Frei spoke about the desperation he expected from the Jets this weekend.

"I can't see how the Jets could do anything else to be different. I remember a few years ago you had a front row chip kicking at the start of the game," Frei said.

"The Jets will be as hard as ever. Shea and Neale will produce and it will be hard in the forwards.

"Outside backs that create and finish chances, where the Jets are on the table isn't a problem it's the style that worries me."

Jets co-coach Ben Walker reflected on a close loss against Tweed.

"We were very good but so were Tweed,'' Walker said. "They defended very well and did a few little things very well.

"We didn't have the ball for the first 12 minutes. We got tackled twice in that time.

"The last eight weeks we have played well enough to win seven of them but the other team has played well too and that happens.

"I can't fault our guys at all and we will be doing the exact same thing for the next three weeks.

"Souths will be playing some football and Mitch Frei is always a danger when you play the Magpies but we will just be going about our business."

Seeking closure

GAMES between the Jets and Souths raise some negative memories.

I have never watched the 2008 Grand Final between the Jets and Magpies at North Ipswich. I refuse to.

I tried to purify my mind and work through a few demons by watching the grand final but couldn't find anyone keen to help.

I remember it was a hot day and perfect for football. The Jets had had such a good year it was impossible not to feel like this is it; today is the day.

No injuries, Souths had no Raiders because the Raiders were injury depleted, Jets were paying $1.10 and playing at home, minor premiers with a week off. If you could write a grand final plan that would be all of it.

I started working for the Jets in November of 2008 with Ben and Shane Walker for the 2009 season so I had no connection to the club I was just there to watch the Jets win their first premiership.

That Jets side gave me so much enjoyment and was so much fun to watch. They scored 708 points in 22 games at 32 points a game during the regular season.

Jets played the Pride and won the qualifying final earning the week off and waiting.

I went to Langlands Park to watch Souths play the Pride and see who the Jets would play the next week.

Souths won 16-12 in extra time and would be at the Reserve in a week to take on the waiting Jets.

Souths scored the first three tries and my little heart sunk and then the Jets started to come back through tries to hooker Mick Ryan and front row Aaron Sweeney. I remember thinking things will be right now.

The ending, with seconds to go, provided a different story.

I sat down and work-shopped through the pain with some players what happened that day.

I hit my first road block to cleanse my soul with Jets coach Kevin Walters who was not warming to my plan.

"I only want to talk about the good times Nunny and that is not one,'' Walters said.

Jets winger Scott Ireland reflected on a different part of the day "I liked the after party I've chosen to forget the rest."

Chairman Steven Johnson is living in the past "I saw it as double movement, live and that's what I want to remember. Some journeys you take on your own Nunny and this is one."

I started to ask Danny Coburn but that big vein on his head started to pop out so I stopped and walked away.

Maybe some things are best left in the past. I still couldn't watch it.

Celebrating women

THIS week is the QRL women in league round celebrating their vital role in rugby league.

If your house is anything like mine it's filled with boys and a loving woman that keeps it all running smoothly. Football clubs can be a lot like that.

Lots of boys who need some gentle guidance and direction. A teacher, mum, budgeter and organiser whom without them, the whole thing would come crashing down.

Two of the best at the Jets are Nicole McPhee and Justine Parisi.

"I am sponsorship manager building strong sponsorship relationships and networking as well as head of netball operations which means I run all operation for the club with Troye Pollock as my operations manager, players and support staff all reporting directly to me," Nicole said.

"My role includes, game day organisation, creating new revenue streams, relationship building with associations, building a recognisable brand and looking after both new and existing sponsor."

Justine was more league focused in her role.

"My job has a lot of tasks mainly working with the QRL and meeting all our requirements to them," Justine said.

"I liaise and support all the Jets coaches, players and support staff from an administrative perspective as well as oversee player contracts, registrations, judiciary items, HIA follow ups, match reports and injury concerns.

"The other part of my job is producing Jets content and updating all the Jets social media channels. I also design and create and distribute Jets news and press releases and our newsletter.

"Every day is different, exciting and always enjoyable."

Jets CEO Richard Hughes was fully supportive for the women in league and their role at the Jets.

"We are extremely blessed to have a wonderfully talented and skilled group of women that play a major part in getting the team on the field,'' Hughes said. "Our events are delivered to a high standard and establishing long and successful relationships with our partners.

"Gender however, plays no part in our decision process as the ladies we have, in the positions they hold, are there on merit and being the right person for the role. This is extremely important to recognise.

"It is also important to thank all of the women that play pivotal roles in our support staff and in our group of volunteers, making coming to a game, the best experience it can be.

"Not forgetting the partners of our players, who give up very precious family time, to allow their boyfriends and husbands to represent our club.

"We are forever grateful to them for that and that sacrifice at a personal level does not go unnoticed.''

Cooper's stat

JOSH Cleeland brought up his 100th point for the Jets with his 15th try last week. In 65 games Cleeland has scored 15 tries and 21 goals.

A cold beer with . . .

Mick Veivers was a Sea Eagle and a Magpie so we'd need a pub called Nest to talk league and life. He was a member of the Souths team of the century, a member of parliament and achieved an Order of Australia in 2016 for service to league. We pulled up to the bar and talked about all of it.

You're convinced to play for Souths by your uncle Jack Veivers and commute from the farm in Beechmont to training? He was my favourite uncle. I didn't have a car and lived on my parents' farm at Beechmont in the Gold Coast hinterland so I would borrow dad's car and drive the dirt roads all the way to Souths at night and back.

You played for Brisbane in the Bulimba Cup. Any battles with Ipswich stand out? They all stand out when you go to Ipswich. Plenty of forwards that wouldn't think twice about sorting you out. Some tough battles. I remember Gary Parcell and Dud Beattie being in the front row for Ipswich.

You played Tests with Noel Kelly and Dud Beattie. Who is your favourite Ipswich player? Definitely Dud Beattie. I played in the Test where he did his shoulder and because there was no reserves then he knew he had to go off but we would be a man down so he said give me until the next scrum. Next scrum he breaks free and walks around the scrum and belts Turner. Turner belts him back and Dud goes down. Ref sent Turner off and then says when you get up Beattie you're off too. Turner realised he had been had and was not happy with Dud.

Arthur Beetson made his Test debut in your last Test in 1966. What was your impression of Arthur? We knew he was special but that first Test he came on and set up two tries and the English had no idea how to handle him. He was so fast and standing out there they had never seen anything like him.

Your commentating is legendary along with your humour. What role have you enjoyed the most? I loved the commentating. It was a lot of fun. I never once swore on television. Got in trouble a few times for other things.