THE Ipswich Jets will be looking to improve their game when they begin their three-week away road trip in Mackay on Friday night.

The Cutters came to Ipswich earlier this season and produced a great 28-18 win.

The Jets have won four out of the past seven games between the sides. The Jets have it over the Cutters in the overall wins 12-8.

After last week's loss to the Tigers, the Jets need to boost their energy at the start of games.

"We just owe it to ourselves to be better than last week,'' coach Ben Walker said.

"Two tries from quick taps really cost us and that's just about awareness."

 

Ipswich's Michael Purcell in the Intrust Super Cup between Jets and East Tigers at the North Ipswich Reserve.
KANGAROO DANCE: Ipswich's triple tryscorer Michael Purcell celebrates his super effort against Easts last weekend with a tribal dance. Cordell Richardson

The last time the Jets travelled to Mackay, it was not a happy trip with the Jets losing 38-36. That gave Mackay the first win of their season in 2016.

The Jets were up 24-10 just before halftime.

Ipswich's last victory in Mackay was in 2015 when they won 36-20. The Jets have won six of nine games in Mackay.

For some reason the Cutters have won the last three games against the Jets.

One Cutters player that will feature in the Jets planning this week is ground-making machine Johnny Faletagoa'i.

In round six, the big winger scored two tries and made a massive 153 metres.

Faletagoa'i has since been moved into the middle and playing in the ruck.

"I am really enjoying it,'' Faletagoa'i said of his role in the middle of the ruck.

"Getting in the middle it's a lot more involved than on the wing. I get less game time coming off the bench but when I am on I am more involved."

He said Jets front rowers Nat Neale and Tyson Lofipo were two guys the Cutters will be watching closely.

"Tyson has great footwork and it can be hard to read,'' Faletagoa'i said.

Purcell in hot form

JET Michael Purcell was at his best last Saturday against the Tigers.

He made three line breaks and scored three tries with seven tackle breaks.

The Kangaroo catcher and I watched his three tries.

Try number one came 20 minutes and 47 seconds into the game with the Jets down 10-0.

"I was running sideways, I spotted two forwards together and noticed they were a bit lazy so I thought if I step and get between them there will be space'' Purcell said.

"I scan the defence a lot, for someone I can exploit."

Try number two came 36 minutes and 44 seconds with the Jets down 22-10.

"I was watching who was running and Rowan Winterfield has those massive hands,'' Purcell said. "So watching for an offload and just pinned the ears back hoped for the best and dive my way over again to get between two players."

Try number three came 70 minutes and 45 seconds with the Jets down 26-22.

"They were a little short and I knew they would scramble too hard across to cover it so I called an inside ball and got through back on the inside,'' Purcell said.

"Before the game, I thought of some post try celebrations. First was always the kangaroo because I have not done it this year and was saving it and if I was to get a third it was count with my fingers and do a tribal man stance."

Purcell has eight tries this year from nine games. His overall Jets career is 47 games and 44 tries.

His best effort is against the Cutters in 2016 when he scored four tries. He became the fourth Jet to score four tries in a game behind Graham Mackay in 2003, Adam Connolly (2004) and Jarrod McInally (2012).

That was only the Kangaroo Catcher's 10th Intrust Super Cup game.

Magic milestones

WES Conlon needs eight points to be the Jets second highest points scorer. Conlon is currently on 467 points.

Nat Neale is set to equal Ricky Bird on 118 games.

Cooper's stat

MICHAEL Purcell has scored one try in a game 17 times, two tries seven times, three tries three times and four once.

A cold beer with . . .

Ipswich's Hugh O'Doherty was hooking and scheming when Valleys played in five grand finals in a row from 1970-1974. Hugh played for Queensland for the first time in 1970 as a young hooker. I packed down in a contested scrum with Hugh and we enjoyed a beer talking Ipswich football.

Would you have stayed in Ipswich if you could? Yeah, it would have been an option, but it just could not be done. I wanted to play for Queensland and going to Valleys was the only way that was going to happen. I played for Queensland the first year I went to Valleys in 1970 so it all worked out.

Have you forgiven Jeff Fyfe for his field goal in the 1972 grand final where Valleys lost by a point? No, never. I touched that field goal. I told the ref I touched it but he did not believe me.

What made Henry Hollaway such a good coach? Five grand finals for four wins is handy. He knew the game and understood it. Nothing complicated about him he just let you play football. Great coach.

John Lang your great rival - what are your memories of hooking against Lang? Great man, great footballer. We greatly respected each other. It was either him or me for the Queensland team. We never punched each other, which was rare for the 1970's.

So no head-butting stories? Not with Lang no, plenty of others though.

Lang's reply

Easts' John Lang and Hughie O'Doherty packed down in scrums competing for the ball and the Queensland spot.

"I have great memories of playing against Hughie and in fact all of that great Valleys team of the early 1970's,'' Lang said.

"I rate them as my most respected rivals and Hughie alongside Max Krilich as the best dummy halves I played against. He would have been a sensation in today's game all though they wouldn't let him steal the ball like he use to in those days."