Jets still chance for finals: coach
THE Ipswich Jets refuse to hit the panic button despite dropping out of the Intrust Super Cup top eight.
Ipswich fell to the Burleigh Bears 22-16 at home last night.
In search of their first win over a higher-ranked opponent, the Jets led for much of the contest before the resurgent Bears overran them in the second half.
Burleigh fullback Kurtis Rowe was the destroyer.
His four-try feast was enough to help the Bears to their second win over Ipswich this season, following the 42-8 hiding in round two.
Ipswich Jets co-coach Shane Walker said the clash was played with the intensity and skill level expected against a second-placed side.
He said his players were the better team and it was disappointing to relinquish the competition points and eighth spot.
"We played well enough to win the game but just didn't get the win," he said.
With the Redcliffe Dolphins inflicting the Sunshine Coast Falcons' first loss of the season in a monumental upset, they unseat Ipswich from eighth on the ladder.
Rather than showing concern that his squad has faltered when tested this season, Walker remains optimistic.
"If we had played the same way we did in round two we would be concerned," he said.
"Come playoffs we'll be going better.
"We've had a good look at them now and like many of the top eight sides, I don't think they have got much improvement left in them."
Walker said the Jets were missing several key players, including indispensable playmaker Josh Cleeland and experienced forwards Josh Seage and Billy McConnachie.
Cleeland is expected to be out for up to four more weeks.
Seizing his opportunity, young half Jacob Teevan has stepped into the Queensland Residents five-eighth's boots with distinction.
Teevan crossed for his maiden Intrust Super Cup try in just his second game, an appropriate reward for a committed entrance to the grade.
"Jacob has done a great job," Walker said. "He is an outstanding young fella.
"Ben (Jets co-coach) also played with his dad Craig at the Broncos. Craig also a former CEO of the club, so it is extra special."
Ipswich opened the scoring through a Michael Purcell penalty before Teevan grounded a Jayden Connors' kick to take an 8-0 advantage.
A run of four penalties culminated in Jet Huskie Teutau being sin binned. This sequence turned the match, with Burleigh exploiting the overlap to break through and get themselves on the board.
Ipswich responded swiftly, hitting back before half-time with Purcell grabbing his 61st try for the club.
Walker said heading into the sheds at 14-6 the Jets knew they were in control and confident despite being reduced to 12 men.
However, it was Burleigh who took the initiative through hero Rowe. He would cross twice more before the final whistle to sink the Jets, who could manage only a penalty goal.
Nat Neale, Richard Pandia, Peter Gubb and Julian Christian were among Ipswich's best performers.
State of Play
Intrust Super Cup Rd 15: Burleigh Bears 22 (Kurtis Rowe 4 tries; Jamal Fogarty 2 conversions; Jamal Fogarty 1 goal) def Ipswich Jets 16 (Jacob Teevan, Michael Purcell tries; Michael Purcell 2 conversions; Michael Purcell 2 goals).