Midweek surgery setback for Jets
JUST as the Ipswich Jets started to get a roll-on, they have lost one of their powerful big men preparing for a "desperate'' battle with Redcliffe.
Hard-working forward Ben Shea could be out for up to six weeks after having surgery on a dislocated finger through the week.
"They got it back in but it just kept falling out,'' Jets co-coach Shane Walker said of the need for Shea to have an operation on Wednesday.
However, while acknowledging Shea's importance, Walker backed his team's depth to get the job done against Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval on Saturday night.
"When someone goes out, it just gives an opportunity to another potential young fella to come in and show his wares,'' Walker said.
Reliable interchange player Mitch Carpenter was also ruled out with a groin strain.
Despite losing Shea and Carpenter, the Jets head to Dolphin Oval keen to build on last week's 28-16 Intrust Super Cup victory over Northern Pride.
"We're looking reasonably settled,'' Walker said, pleased with his team's opening win of the state league season.
"It was just good to see our guys back playing our sort of footy and the way we want to play.
"We got plenty of ball movement and pace.''
Walker said his players were getting more match fit and going from strength to strength after the pre-season.
While halves combination Julian Christian and Josh Cleeland have been getting better each week, so too have Kierran Moseley and Jayden Connors.
"Kierran has been doing a really good job at hooker for us,'' Walker said.
"And last week, it was great to see Jayden Connors start to find some form too.
"Late last year he was probably one of the form players of the competition at the back end of the year.''
Walker said Connors was "starting to get back into the shape that he needs to be in and play better footy as well'' after a pre-season injury.
"Once we start to click then we become a very difficult proposition to play against,'' the co-coach said.
However, after already playing the Blackhawks, Burleigh, Easts and Northern Pride, the Jets have another testing assignment on Saturday night.
Like the Jets, the Dolphins have one win and three losses.
"They are going to be desperate playing at home,'' Walker said.
"Like us, it's backs to the wall for them.''
Watching the video to pinpoint Redcliffe's key threats, Walker said the Jets would maintain their usual approach.
"Each week, it's more to do with keeping our skills sharp and the confidence high,'' he said.
All Intrust Super Cup teams and referees will wear red socks this weekend to support a little Queenslander with a rare condition that requires bone marrow transplants and blood transfusions.
Grayson Little, who has just turned two, is one of only a few children in Australia who has Dyskeratosis congenita.
Grayson has endured two bone marrow transplants and multiple blood transfusions.
He requires a blood product every three weeks.
After hearing of the family's plight through former Maroon Mitch Brennan, the Queensland Rugby League introduced the Red Socks Round to help raise awareness of the ongoing need for blood and bone marrow donors.
QRL competitions manager Dave Maiden said all 14 clubs and the game's match officials would unite for the great cause.
Additional information from QRL.
Intrust Super Cup Rd 5: Saturday (6pm) - Ipswich Jets v Redcliffe Dolphins at Dolphin Oval.
Ipswich Jets: 1. Michael Purcell, 2. Marmin Barba, 3. Rory Humphreys, 4. Richard Pandia, 5. Peter Gubb, 6. Josh Cleeland, 7. Julian Christian, 8. Tyson Lofipo, 15. Kierran Moseley, 10. Nat Neale (c), 17. Billy McConnachie, 12. Ben White, 13. Rowan Winterfield, 9. Jayden Connors, 11. Timote Paseka, 14. Denzel Burns, 16. Huskie Teutau. Co-coaches: Ben Walker and Shane Walker.
Redcliffe Dolphins: 1. Trai Fuller, 2. Josh Beehag, 3. Izaia Perese, 4. Samual Leech, 5. Jeremy Hawkins, 6. Bryce Donovan, 7. Jayden Nikorima, 8. Jordan Grant, 9. Jake Turpin, 10. Nick Brown, 11. Scott Schulte, 12. Brayden Lee, 13. Nathan Watts, 14. James Taylor, 15. Taylor Brown, 16. Tom Geraghty, 17. Hugh Pratt. Coach: Adam Mogg.