Jets positive despite gloom
COLD, dark, wet and dreary.
The bleak conditions at BMD Kougari Oval on Saturday night aptly reflected the way the Ipswich Jets were feeling by the end of 80 minutes.
Despite fighting hard until the bitter end, the Intrust Super Cup game slipped away early in the face of an irresistible first-half onslaught.
From the opening whistle the Jets were under-the-pump.
Within eight minutes, the Seagulls had their first through Alex Barr after a penalty piggy-backed them into attacking position.
Just 11 minutes in, they had their second.
When they crossed for a third moments later, the Jets were reeling at 16-0 only 18 minutes into the contest.
The latter stages of the opening stanza would herald a Jets revival. However, they were unable to dismantle the stoic Wynnum defence.
As the seconds counted down, Ipswich was forced to settle for a penalty. Five-eighth Josh Cleeland stepped up to bang over the shot at goal and get his team on the scoreboard.
Having stemmed the flow, the Jets entered the sheds encouraged, believing they had an opportunity to launch a stirring second half comeback.
"They got away early but we re-established ourselves late in the first half,” Ipswich co-coach Shane Walker said.
"Despite the way we played and how much ball they had, we were confident we would get back into the fight.”
But costly errors meant the weight of possession and momentum reverted to the Seagulls, and they cracked the visitors within five minutes to extend their advantage to 22-2.
Over the course of the next 23 minutes, the match reached its highest point.
A fierce arm wrestle ensued as the Jets again sought to re-establish themselves.
Wynnum's Pat Templeman interrupted the grind, crossing in the 69th minute to extinguish any faint hopes of a miraculous Ipswich comeback.
Another try in the 73rd minute sent fans in the 'chook pen' into raptures. The deafening Seagulls chant that rang around the ground signalled the final nail for the Jets and compounded their misery.
Refusing to bend the knee, the Jets grabbed a consolation try, with Peter Gubb jagging one against his old club following a slick backline movement.
In an indication of the spirit and competitiveness shown by both units, tensions boiled over in the dying seconds and a melee broke out.
Two players from each side were sent to the sin bin, including Gubb and halfback Julian Christian.
The result means eighth-placed Ipswich are yet to beat any of the opponents that sit above them on the table so far this season.
Rather than being concerned, Walker is excited because the team's progress mirrors that of the stellar 2015 season. In that year Ipswich rose to claim the Intrust Super Cup and interstate title despite not beating a top eight rival until the semi-finals.
"We're tracking on that trajectory again,” he said.
"There is no reason why we can't repeat it.”