TRY TIME: The Jets will be eager to improve their Country Week record on Thursday Island in Saturday's latest Intrust Super Cup match.
TRY TIME: The Jets will be eager to improve their Country Week record on Thursday Island in Saturday's latest Intrust Super Cup match. Cordell Richardson

Jets island-hopping adventure serious as well as fun



CAPTAIN William Bligh will not be at the Jets v Pride game on Saturday but he would most likely be happy after 230 years.

He could have declared: "It is Thursday, might name it Thursday Island".

Given the Jets are playing on the island he named, it is safe to say that Bligh would have been a fan of hot chips and a Julian Christian step.

The Jets and Pride have already clashed this year with the Jets coming home from North Ipswich with a 28-16 win in round four.

The Jets win lifted them to 13 wins to 12 against the Pride with one draw.

Ipswich and the Pride clashed last year in the Country round with the Pride winning 34-24 in Cooktown.

The Pride will be looking to improve their defence having had 112 points scored against them the past two weeks and only getting back 14.

The Pride only had 38% of the ball against the Blackhawks in their 60-6 loss and had the ball 11 minutes less. That makes beating anyone hard.

Peter Hola, the big Cowboys and Pride forward, will be a concern for the Jets on Saturday.

Hola has been a shining light for the Pride and surely cannot be too far away from breaking in to the Cowboys.

Hola is a damaging runner who has made 1989 metres for the Pride, the 12th most in the Intrust Super Cup.

The Jets two and three in defenders will know him by the end of this game.

Hola punched some holes in the Jets' defence in round four and got quick play the balls. With five tackle breaks against the Jets Hola caused some problems.

"I need to get back to that aggression, that's when I play my best football,'' Hola said.

"The last two weeks we have had too many players not doing that at all.

"The Jets all seem to push up on plays so you need to keep moving.

"I am looking forward to getting to Thursday Island. We have some boys from there so good to see where they are from."

The Jets were outstanding in the first half against the Tigers with three first-half tries and more importantly, keeping the Tigers on zero at the break.


Ipswich Jets V Norths Devils Intrust Super Cup match played at North Ipswich Reserve on April 14, 2019. Ben and Shane Walker.
COUNTRY REFLECTIONS: Ipswich Jets co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker always enjoy sharing Country Week at different locations with their team. Rob Williams

Co-coach Ben Walker was pleased with the Jets' resilience.

"Holding them to zero was pleasing we haven't done that this season, we then came back when we had to and the Tigers were in front,'' Walker said.

"We have worked on closing out games the last few weeks so that again showed some resilience.

"This week we will freshen up. It's been a big month.

"We love these trips and being part of the community so it's a good week and we think we can use this as springboard and play our best football at the end of the season."

Favourite time

THE QRL Get in the Country Round has been held since 2012.

The Jets started it with a game against the Central Queensland in Blackwater.

The Jets have covered some ground over the course of the games - Kokopo, Blackwater, Charters Towers, Winton, Cooktown, Toowoomba and Charleville. Now Thursday Island.

The Jets do not have the best Country Round record having only won three times in 2012, 2013 and 2017.

ISC competitions manager Dave Maiden spoke on the role of the Jets and the Get in the Country Round.

"The Intrust Super Cup Get in the Game Country Week is my favourite of the year and I am sure the clubs always enjoy themselves as well," Maiden said.

"The Jets embrace the concept wholeheartedly and go out of their way to make sure every venue they visit receives as much exposure as possible to their systems and character.

"It really isn't much more than they always do but I applaud the Jets in the way they open their doors to every host venue they attend and make sure they are made to feel part of the Jets family.

"One of the points of difference between professional and semi-professional rugby league such as the Intrust Super Cup is the openness, accessibility and transparency of our organisations and one of the leaders in that regards is the Jets."

"The Torres Shire Council has undertaken a considerable amount of works to bring Ken Brown Oval, which is one of the most picturesque locations in the world, up to the required standards.

"We thank them for their efforts which has allowed the game to go ahead and will ensure that the local community has access to a fantastic facility into the future."

Crucial six weeks

PREPARING for their trip north, Jets have six games to play - against Pride, Devils, Tweed, Souths, Mackay and Falcons.

Three of those games are at home - Tweed, Souths and Cutters. Pride is away for both teams and Falcons and Devils are away.

The Jets are currently on 14 points in ninth spot with Redcliffe in eighth on 16 points.

The Dolphins for and against (-13) is much better than the Jets (-95). So the Jets can't finish equal with Dolphins. They have to win more than them in the next six weeks.

Farewell Peter

IT was sad to hear that Brisbane Rugby League icon and Redcliffe Dolphins superstar Peter Leis had passed away.

Leis played 261 games for the Dolphins scoring a club record 129 tries and playing in four grand finals across 15 seasons at Redcliffe from 1966-81.

He recorded one of the rare perfect 10 in Rugby League Week for his four tries against Souths at Lang Park marking up on Mal Meninga after the Dolphins were reduced to 12 men after Arthur Beetson's send-off.

Dolphins tragic Rupert McCall shared his thoughts about the effect Leis had on a young Dolphins fan.

"Peter Leis was the complete footballer,'' McCall recalled. "Alongside Bunny Pearce and Tony Obst, a member of that esteemed Redcliffe Dolphins 'holy trinity' he was one of the greatest ever to pull on the red and white.

"Some say the best. As a centre, he was fast, strong and elusive, missed tackles were as rare as UFO sightings. Mr Reliable, my father liked to describe him as 'poetry in motion.'

"The boy from Dayboro went on to play for Brisbane and won games for Queensland in pre Origin days that tends to get forgotten.

"That he did not play for Australia is a travesty. Above all else, though, he was a group 1 human being. He was also my hero."

Jets chairman Steven Johnson thinks that part of rugby league has gone too.

"The game lost a little of itself with the passing of Peter Leis," Johnson lamented.

"Peter had a magnificent career for the Redcliffe Dolphins and Queensland and never left his farm at Dayboro.

"Our game was built on men like Peter the like of who we won't see again in the modern game of full-time players who just didn't represent a community but lived and worked in that community every day."

Cooper's stat

MICHAEL Purcell is the Pride killer. He has scored a double in three of the Jets' past four games against this weekend's opponents.

Round 21, 2017: a double.

Round 5, 2018: one try.

Round 19 2018: a double.

Round 4, 2019: a double.

A cold beer with . . .

FOG 77 Mark Hohn was a fearless front row warrior, charging in to bigger bodies for the Valleys, Broncos, Crushers, Australia and Queensland. I put the red tape around my ears and went hard at a beer with Mark Hohn.

How did you end up at Valleys from Pittsworth? I made Queensland Country and a few representative sides and then found my way down to Valleys. Then went to England and played for Hunslet. I came back and played for the Broncos.

How did you fare against the Jets? I loved playing at the North Ipswich Reserve. Tough days when you played Ipswich.

You had two broken legs in the 12 months before the Broncos even kicked off one against Wests and then in England in your second game were you worried you might not be there day one? They were not too bad, sports science was not what it is now and I rushed back. I got the plaster off and went for a run that day. I spoke to Wayne Bennett and he understood but I would defiantly do things a bit differently now with my rehab.

It's the finals series in 1993. The Broncos in sudden death beat Manly but in the process Glenn Lazarus and Terry Matterson are hurt. In the next game against the Raiders, Matterson does not play and Lazarus lasts six minutes so you step up and play the game of your life. Not too sure if it was my best ever game but that whole series I was determined to be there and play well. I was on the bench in 1992 and was disappointed to miss out. I played every game but the last round. I missed that with a bad cut on my leg and then did not get my starting spot back. The 1993 season was my chance to be part of a premiership run side. I had a shoulder injury and just kept going I did not want to stop.

That Broncos backrow of Cann, Gillmeister, yourself and Matterson copped plenty of stick, even called Lilliputian but you loved them didn't you? I still suspect Steve Ricketts was put up to that, calling us Lilliputian but it didn't go unnoticed I know that. We may have been smaller than many other forwards but we were mobile and skilful. We had Lazo too, you can carry some smaller players when you have him charging it back and getting quick play the balls.

It's 1995 and possibly the greatest Queensland series win of all time and you are there for all three games. Probably with 1993 finals series, it was the highlight of my career. I vividly remember Chris Close and Paul Vautin meeting and telling us about Queensland. We believed that if the more experienced players like Gavin Allen, myself, Dale Shearer and Gilly played well the younger players would come along.