Jets back in the hunt
THE Ipswich Jets bounced back to their premiership form with a stunning 30-12 victory over the PNG Hunters.
Despite slipping to second last on the Intrust Super Cup ladder going into the round 12 clash, Jets co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker had claimed the Jets could defeat any opposition when in form.
That confidence was rewarded as the Jets produced a dominant display to knock the Hunters out of the top four.
Under the eyes of the Channel 9 television crew, and a packed house at North Ipswich Reserve, the Jets rose to the occasion with crisp line speed in defence and their trademark flair in attack.
The Jets backline caused plenty of headaches for the Hunters with Wes Conlon and Carlin Anderson combining with darting runs out of their own half.
Anderson opened the floodgates for the Jets with a try in the 12th minute before winger Richard Pandia scored twice.
A former Kumuls representative playing against his own countrymen, Pandia said it would be two tries he won't forget any time soon.
"It was pretty good to get the double," he said.
"My mum flew over for PNG and surprised me.
"She actually arrived on Friday but didn't tell me and it was her birthday as well so it was extra special.
"It was great to see her down here. I wanted to play hard and get a win for her.
"That was my motivation."
Known for their hard straight running, the Hunters couldn't break the Ipswich goal line defence as the green and white army gave their fans plenty to cheer about.
The Jets led for the entire game as second-half tries to Pandia, Nat Neale and Nemani Suguturaga kept the home team firmly in control of the scoreboard.
After a 52-20 loss to Easts Tigers last week, it was the Jets defence which showed the most improvement.
"It has been improving every game and we've been training hard on our defence," Pandia said.
"When we made a mistake we were working hard to get the ball back and stayed in front.
"It has been hard not getting a win since round three but definitely very happy to get the win today."
Two late inclusions from the Jets BRL side in halfback Chris Ash and winger Mikaere Beattie carried on the Reserve grade's winning streak.
In just his third appearance for the Intrust Super Cup side, Ash combined with captain Dane Phillips to steer the Jets attack with bullet passes and clever kicking.
A former BRL player himself, Pandia wasn't surprised to see the duo perform so well.
"They really stepped up to the plate," he said. "It was great to have them in the side and it clearly helped."
Back in his preferred position at fullback, Carlin Anderson shone from the Jets backline as he brought up his 100th point-scoring milestone in the Intrust Super Cup.
With five faultless conversions on top of his early try, Anderson embodied the Jets resurgence.
"I think he's back to his form now," Pandia warned.
"He's back playing at fullback and that's where he should be so it's pretty important for him. Those two points from his kicks helped us along the way."
Ipswich's big men provided the foundation for the Jets attack with strong performances from Neale, Sam Martin, Tyson Lifop and Billy McConnachie.
Neale was awarded the Intrust Super Cup man-of- the-match honour as the former South Sydney Rabbitoh continued to bend the Hunters' defence with his trademark barnstorming runs.
EVEN without their usual combination of captain Chris Ash and goal-kicking ace Mikaere Beattie, the Ipswich Jets were too good for Carina in the Brisbane Rugby League competition.
The Jets Reserve grade produced a 46-28 win with speedster Michael Purcell scoring five tries and adding an extra two points with the boot.
The Jets Colts rounded out a perfect outing for Ipswich with a 32-18 win over the Toowoomba Clydesdales.
State of play
Intrust Super Cup round 12: Ipswich Jets 30 (Carlin Anderson, Richard Pandia 2, Nat Neale and Nemani Suguturaga tries; Carlin Anderson 5 goals) def PNG Hunters 12 (Thompson Teteh, Watson Boas tries; Noel Zeming goal) at North Ipswich Reserve.