The USQ Jets are keen for another shot at the Cougars in the Sapphire Series grand final after losing their semi-final. Picture: Ipswich Jets Media
The USQ Jets are keen for another shot at the Cougars in the Sapphire Series grand final after losing their semi-final. Picture: Ipswich Jets Media

Jets learn from costly errors to refocus on grand final bid

UNFLAPPABLE USQ Jets coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser knew her team would face a fired-up Cougars in the Sapphire Series semi-final.

After the Jets dethroned the former competition leaders to win the minor premiership, the Cougars were always going to hit back hard.

Thankfully for the Jets, they have a second chance to meet the Cougars in the grand final after going down by five goals to their major rivals on Saturday night.

Knowing the quality in her side, Jeanes-Fraser was far from devastated about missing a direct passage to the championship decider in two weeks.

"Sometimes it's not bad to have a loss because we learn from what the other side turned on,'' she said.

"We probably didn't play the game that we needed to but that's okay.

"We just lost a little bit of momentum. It was a very physical game.

"We just probably went away from our game plan a little bit . . . little moments that were very crucial, we didn't capitalise on.''

Jets head coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser. Picture: Ipswich Jets Media
Jets head coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser. Picture: Ipswich Jets Media

The match was locked up 34-34 at halftime the Cougars only led by two at three-quarter time in the game at Morayfield.

The Ipswich team can secure a grand final spot by beating Thunder in the preliminary final at the Queensland State Netball Centre on Saturday night.

"Our girls are very comfortable at Nissan (Arena),'' she said.

"We like our little localities. It's all very secure.''

Despite losing to the Cougars, Jeanes-Fraser said her team was gallant.

"You could see that they (Cougars) were extremely hungry and determined to get across the line before us,'' she said.

"Coming off that great win last week, we expected a very physical game but probably they took it to another level and I think we were a little bit taken aback initially.

"Our girls kept stepping up and facing what was coming at them.

"It was just those errors at crucial moments that we didn't capitalise on that was costly to us in the end.''

With another week of training and extra match to reach the grand final, Jeanes-Fraser was upbeat.

"I'm already looking at who we play next week and where we fell apart last night,'' she said.

"We'll address that at our trainings and ensure we don't have that happen this week.

"Hopefully go back to them two weeks down the track and hopefully take them to another world.''

Jets defender Bridey Condren
Jets defender Bridey Condren

The Jets head coach praised defenders Bridey Condren and Siobhan Shirlaw for outstanding games against the Cougars.

"They kept us really in the game,'' Jeanes-Fraser said.

"We got more turnovers from the opposition. We just didn't capitalise.''

She was pleased to see former Rubies captain Monique French provide a calmness when she came on court.

The Rubies also have a crucial final against the Cougars on Saturday night.

After leading the competition and dropping to fourth, the Jets Rubies fought back strongly to secure second place for the playoffs.

The Jets Rubies made last year's grand final in their debut season.