Ipswich Jets try-scoring machine Marmin Barba.
Ipswich Jets try-scoring machine Marmin Barba. Rob Williams

Ipswich's winning success to sing about



THE Easybeats had Friday on their mind and the Cure sang about Friday I am in love.

This week the Jets will be singing about Friday night football in Mackay but there will not be any easybeats or love.

The Jets travel to Mackay tomorrow to take on the Cutters.

Ipswich have a good recent record playing on Friday night.

Last season they beat the Hunters 8-6 and Mackay 54-0.

The Jets collected a shopping list of achievements that night. It was the biggest win ever in Mackay, biggest ever Jets winning margin, first time the Jets had kept a team to zero since 2009 and first time the Jets had cracked 50 since 2015.

The Jets have won five out of the past eight games between these two sides. The Jets have it over the Cutters in the overall wins 13-8.

The last time the Jets lost in Mackay, it was not a happy trip.

That 38-36 loss gave Mackay the first win of their season in 2016. The Jets were up 24-10 just before halftime.

The Jets have won seven of 10 games in Mackay.

The Jets are coming off a frightful hiding by the Falcons while the Cutters defended their way to a win over the Dolphins.

Mackay hooker Rueben Cotter is from Sarina and contracted to the Cowboys.

After three horror years of injury, Cotter has been making an impact for the Cutters and will be on the Jets radar on Friday night.

Cotter is topping the Cutters tries and tackles so he is working both sides of the ball. Cotter leads the entire competition with 390 tackles.

"We will be making sure Julian Christian and Marmin Barba don't get any space they're two guys that can cause problems," Cotter said.

"We are starting to play well and it will be a good battle with you guys tonight.

"I have never played Ipswich before but I watched a lot and you have to stay alive in defence."

Jets coach Ben Walker talked about the bounce back factor after a big loss to the Falcons.

"If your season was one game long you would be shattered about it but we get another chance this week," Ben said.

"You're judged by September not late May. Friday night means it's earlier in the week too.

"We won't be down on confidence we will get back this week and go again."

The trip to Mackay will feature the return of Jets backline master Josh Cleeland who was missing against the Falcons.


Brittany Breayley QLD Women's State of Origin 2018.
Brittany Breayley Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Brittany's Origin mission

THE Women's Origin has been launched for the big game at North Sydney Oval on June 21.

Ipswich Brothers hooker Brittany Breayley is coming off a massive 2018. She was Broncos premiership winner, Dally M player of the year and Broncos NRLW player of the year.

Breayley cannot let go of the 16-10 loss to the Blues.

"It's the one thing to fix from last year,'' Breayley said.

"It has burnt a bit for the last 12 months and we have met up for training sessions and we have the state carnival coming up plus your club form so the girls have plenty of chances to make the team.

"It was such a fast game and I think we just missed the jump last year. That's something we will be fixing. You can't ease in to Origin."

Breayley was adamant that another former Jet coach would play a part again in 2019.

"I loved having Trevor Gillmeister in camp, personal or football wise he is such a help,'' she said.

Jet Jason Hetherington will be coaching Queensland and plotting the demise of the Blues in 2019.

"We will change a few little things this year but not too much," Hetherington said.

"Our camp last year was terrific.

"I am a loyal person and the team won't change too much. We have to find seven points though so I have a few tricks and people up my sleeve to help with our preparation.''

Rising Jets stars

THE Ashes may not have started but Jets Mal Meninga players' player for 2019 Sam Walker has done his best Boycott impression to anything I asked about his future.

Walker was away making the Queensland Schoolboys team when we spoke.

"I will have to make a decision but at the moment it isn't a priority,'' he said. "It will just take care of itself."

Walker became a big name when NRL 360 exposed a meeting between Sam, Ben Walker, Clinton Schifcofske and Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

"Mum rang just before it was on and said you're going to feature on NRL 360 and I thought that's cool but I was on my way to training,'' he said.

Walker has this week named in both Queensland teams for 2019. He will play for Queensland in Canberra for the schoolboys and Origin night for Queensland's Under 18s.

"This is my first Queensland jumper since under 15 and I am so excited," he said. "I missed under 16 last year with injury.

"I have never played at Lang Park and to play on Origin night is just unbelievable.''

Another Jet Jack Martin will be joining Walker in the Queensland under-18 team on Origin night.

If pride had a voice, it would be the voice of Jack Martin.

"It's my first ever Queensland jumper, you watch Origin and you see those guys and their name on the back I can't wait," Martin beamed.

"At Lang Park on Origin night and my name on the back of a Queensland jumper.

"Mum and and dad were so emotional. I can't wait to get two tickets and take them to watch.''

Keeping watch over the two young Jets will be Queensland coach and Broncos' assistant coach Kurt Richards.

"Sam, I want to see his confidence and playing what he sees; and Jack just has to do what he's been doing, quick play the balls and run hard," Richards said.

"It's a credit to the Jets that two guys have come all the way through their system to play Queensland.

"It's well-earned and now they get a chance to play for Queensland."

Origin of Jets

THE Ipswich Jets will have a huge representation on Wednesday for Origin 1.

Apart from under-18 talents Sam Walker and Jack Martin, the club will be represented by Joe Ofahengaue (Jet number 559), Ben Hunt (Jet number 582), Kurt Capewell (Jet 524), Kevin Walters (Jet number 93 and Jets coach 2007 and 2008), Allan Langer (Jet 68), Matthew Barradeen (Queensland trainer) and Michael Hillier (Queensland media manager).

Cooper's stat

THE pattern of Mackay v Ipswich games has been score many points to win. Since 2015, five of the six winners have scored 30 or more points.

The average winning margin in that time has been 27.


Noel Kelly in his Australian gear. Photo: Contributed
Former Ipswich hardman Noel Kelly in his Australian gear. Contributed

A cold beer with . . .

They do not come any tougher than Noel Kelly. I would have to show the same qualities to have a beer with the Ipswich, Queensland and Australian hard man. I went to the bar and sat down to chat.

Growing up in Ipswich what, can you remember? Nothing tougher in life than a Saturday afternoon playing football in Ipswich. The old Gasworks Oval. I do not get back to Ipswich but I am a Goodna boy and always will be. I married a Brisbane girl and we moved to Sydney. We have been married 57 years.

You went to Wests, and played in three grand finals but couldn't beat the Dragons run? The less said about that the better. The Dragons were the best thing you have ever seen but we were not supposed to beat them in 1963. We beat them three times that year but not in the grand final.

Were your 17 send-offs all warranted? Probably should have been more. I went to Wests and my first game, someone bit me and I thought what is going on here. I went home and said to my wife I am going to be killed out there if I do not fight back so I started retaliating first. That was just the way it was. If you wanted to be a hooker you had to win the ball and not all the ways to win the ball are legal.

Queensland, Australia and Wests' Team of the Century, who plays a bit, like you now? No one really, I was not that good. If you were not any good, they put you at hooker. My job was just to win the ball. The good players were in the second row. I watch Cam Smith now and I could not do what he does. He does not have a mark on him and plays with such skill.

What was your playing weight? I was about 80 kg at my biggest.

Did you make more being a butcher in Goodna or footballer in Sydney? The person selling the QT on the corner made more money than I did playing football. I had offers to leave Wests but I liked them. Not much money but just my club. Souths rang once, asked to have a conversation, and sent a car to get me but Wests were smart and got the driver to drive through the worst suburbs of Sydney so I said take me home.