Ipswich’s finals hopes up in the air after Cup loss
IPSWICH State High responded to the call to get more physical but were left walking the Langer Cup finals tightrope after this afternoon's clash in Toowoomba.
With both sides desperate to secure their first win of the 2020 schoolboy competition, St Mary's made the most of their attacking opportunities to inflict a second defeat on Ipswich.
The 24-16 loss left last year's runners-up Ipswich State High needing to find something special to revive their Langer Cup hopes in such a cut-throat series.
"Basically it's put us on wood now,'' Ipswich State High head coach Josh Bretherton said.
"We have just got to make sure that we get the next three (games) right.
"It's not a situation you'd like to be in but the opportunity is still there.''
That starts with Ipswich State High's next match at the North Ipswich Reserve against Keebra Park next Wednesday.
Bretherton said his promising side had yet to produce what it was capable of, having also lost to Palm Beach Currumbin 22-10 a week earlier.
"It's just a few little bits of polish still missing there that we are going to have to work on,'' he said.
"We did a couple of things better but still a bit of polish missing and they probably got a little bit unlucky on some things at times.''
Early powerful performances from forwards Ilai Tuia, Josiah Pahulu and debutant Samson Sauaso had Ipswich on the front foot.
"I thought Ilai Tuia and Josiah Pahulu were both really excellent in their first stint to get us going forward really well,'' he said.
Ipswich High was pressing ahead after Bretherton wanted stronger contact after some valuable lessons going down to Palm Beach Currumbin a week earlier.
Bretherton was also pleased how his side wrestled early momentum from St Mary's.
However, St Mary's inflicted a telling blow by equalising 12-12 on the stroke of halftime through a Tyson Stevens try.
That came after Ipswich had come from 6-0 down to establish a 12-6 lead.
Ipswich High's opening try was scored by winger Damien Burrows before Sydney Roosters contracted centre Evander Tere-Rongotaua put Ipswich High ahead for a short time.
Ipswich High were looking sharp after that great try in the corner was converted by co-captain Lachlan Williamson.
However, St Mary's speed out wide proved decisive in the second half after the home side punched hard up the middle and spread the ball well.
Speedster Sam Madden scored a consolation try for Ipswich State High.
Williamson was again dangerous with his high kicks and half teammate Mason Pintegne was a handful with his zig-zagging darting runs.
Centre Madden was also hard to stop when he found space to display his exciting burst of pace.
Co-captain Deijion Leugaimafa showed glimpses of what he can do, with a fine cover tackle and a powerful sideline run.
Bretherton said Kulikefu Finefeuiaki was also strong off the bench.
But as in their opening game against Palm Beach Currumbin, Ipswich High lacked some finishing sets to turn opportunity into valuable points.
Langer Cup Rd 2: St Mary's College 24 (Mitch Lorenz, Tyson Stevens, penalty try, Cooper Tate-Roche tries; Brayden Paix 4 goals) def Ipswich State High 16 (Damien Burrows, Evander Tere-Rongotaua, Sam Madden tries; Lachlan Williamson 2 goals) in Toowoomba.