Jets face toughest opponents in battle for survival
THE Ipswich Jets are fighting for survival in Saturday afternoon's televised match against the competition-leading Redcliffe Dolphins.
When you cross that bridge heading to Redcliffe, you know you are in unfriendly territory.
Nothing comes easy at Dolphin Oval.
The sun will be setting, it will be cold and it can be a miserable drive home.
The Jets beat the Dolphins 22-16 in round eight.
The Jets defeated Redcliffe twice in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2014. It would be terrific to add 2018 to that record.
This weekend is a massive clash and the Jets will be huge underdogs after losing two games in a row.
The Jets are coming off a loss to the Pride while the top of the table Dolphins are swimming with the tide and jumping waves.
Jets hooker Jayden Connors has been sensational for the Jets. He gave an insight into what the Jets would need to do to dominate the Dolphins.
"We need to play for the whole 80 minutes and not just one half of footy,'' he said. "And stick to playing our style of football because teams hate it and Redcliffe defend the way we want them to."
The Dolphins have only lost two games at home this year.
Away from home, the Jets have won three from 10.
The Dolphins accounted for the Tigers last week 16-14.
The Jets will discuss two Dolphins' names this week - Jonus Pearson, who has scored 13 tries this year, and his left side mate Tom Opacic.
When they're not on duty for the Broncos, Pearson and Opacic are having a massive impact for the Dolphins.
Qld Cup graveyard
THE women on the gate at Redcliffe that sell you raffle tickets are as pleasant as people at Dolphin Oval get.
Redcliffe's overall record at home must keep teams up at night.
From 257 games, the Dolphins have won 181, drawn eight and lost 68 at a frightening 70% winning percentage.
The Jets have only contributed six of those wins from 23 games at Dolphin Oval.
Dolphin Oval has been a graveyard for plenty of teams.
The Jets went 13 games losing there until 2007 when they came away 14-12 winners. The Jets would then struggle to win again until Brendon Lindsay's miracle goal in 2011.
The Jets have not won at Dolphin Oval since 2015 when Josh Cleeland, Marmin Barba and Matt Parcell all scored a double in a 42-28 win.
The Jets even lost a grand final to Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval in 2002.
Legendary Jet Brendon Lindsay played 135 games for the club. He was asked why this place has skeletons buried all over it.
"Redcliffe are always a tough team to beat at home,'' Lindsay said. "I had one win and it took a kick after the hooter to win that.''
Lindsay recalled his epic win. "The game we won we were winning up until the last five minutes then they scored to level and slotted a field goal with about 30 seconds to go.
"Keiron Lander grabbed the ball and kicked off short. One of their players jumped on the ball from an off-side position and I slotted the goal after the siren."
Ipswich's most capped player Dan Coburn (258 games) recalls two things about trips to Dolphin Oval.
"I remember the support in 2002 for the grand final, the bridge was covered with green and white as the bus went to the game and I remember playing Redcliffe when dad was really sick and I knew he was going to pass soon.
"I left him to play. People were surprised but dad wanted me to go."
THE Jets travelled to Cooktown and looked dominant at halftime.
Michael Purcell scored the first set after halftime to be up 18-4 but then the Pride scored 30 points in the second half. From the 45th minute until the 64th minutes, Pride dominated.
My play of the game was the Jets' last try scored by Purcell.
The game was over so it was great to see that the Jets had not given up and were still looking to score points.
Mitch Carpenter offered his thoughts. "I got on the centre's outside he ended up just getting a hold of me just when I thought I was through. That's when I got a pass away to Ben White on the inside, who drew the fullback and then went over the top for Purcell to score,'' he said.
Ben White talked through his big play.
"I came from the outside to the inside in case Mitch got his arm free which he did and gave me a nice ball,'' White said.
"I then looked up and saw the fullback coming across and Purcell behind him. I went to pass the ball to Purcell but the fullback would have intercepted so I let him come closer and flicked it over the top.''
WES Conlon needs six points to go past Brendon Lindsay's tally of 474.
Michael Purcell needs one try for 50 ISC tries for the Jets.
Purcell would be the seventh Jet to achieve the 50 mark.
Marmin Barba needs three points to have 409 and have the fourth most points for the Jets.
Barba is on 406, trailing Donald Malone on 408.
MICHAEL Purcell's double against the Pride was his ninth try double in 50 games.
A cold beer with . . .
Brian Canavan has worked in rugby league since 1980. He's been a trainer at Valleys, the Broncos and Origin, to CEO at the Roosters, and now Head of Football at the NRL. We sat down to talk Ipswich and league.
You have filled a variety of positions? Do you have a favourite role? All roles have involved developing people in the organisations I have worked in, and as such, no one role stands out as a favourite. My current role enables me to lead a team advancing our game at participation and performance levels.
In 1980, Mark Graham elbows Wally Lewis in the throat in the finals. You get to him first and give CPR. Is it fair to say you saved State of Origin for the whole of Queensland? There have been some embellishments in describing the situation. However, Wally was distressed and required some assistance. Injuries of this type cause players to panic, which actually worsens the player's acute response.
Do you have a favourite Ipswich footballer? Ipswich has produced some of the greatest players our game has seen since 1908. However, the most impactful player on and off the field I have seen is Alfie Langer. Alf's creativity and ability to read play is the best and his small frame exacerbated this.
There always seems to be so many teachers involved with rugby league - Anthony Seibold references his teaching career in regards to coaching. How do you think it has helped you in your league roles? I was a secondary school teacher for 10 years prior to me taking on a full-time role at the Broncos in its inaugural year. Many coaches have been teachers by profession or by approach and delivery to their role. Teaching was vital to shaping my approach to my following roles as it prepared me for the education and development aspects.