Jets players' player Julian Christian finds room to run against Northern Pride at the North Ipswich Reserve.
Jets players' player Julian Christian finds room to run against Northern Pride at the North Ipswich Reserve. Rob Williams

More of Jets magic formula needed



IT is a crazy football world. The Jets have just overrun the Pride, the Dolphins have one win after four games and to top it off the Jets have beaten the Dolphins the past two times they have played.

Surely not, you say. But it is 2019 and that is where we are now as the Jets head off to Dolphin Oval this week to take on the premiers.

The Jets have beaten Redcliffe twice in a year - in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2018. It would be great to add 2019, starting with a win on Saturday night.

Dolphin Oval has not been a happy drive for the Jets over the years.

The Jets went 13 games losing there until 2007 when they came away 14-12 winners.

The Jets would then struggle to win again until Brendon Lindsay's miracle goal in 2011.

The Jets' win last season was 15-14, Ipswich's first since 2015.

Overall, the Dolphins lead the Jets 28 wins to 17.


Ipswich Jets V Northern Pride Intrust Super Cup played at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday. Michael Purcell and Marmin Barba celebrate a Purcell try.
Ipswich Jets speedsters Michael Purcell (right) and Marmin Barba celebrate one of Purcell's two tries in last weekend's win over Northern Pride. Rob Williams

The Dolphins are coming off a one-point win over Souths on Saturday night. Bryce Donavan kicked the winner with seconds remaining.

The Jets put together a dominant first half but then eased to the line in the second half against the Pride.

The Jets controlled the ball and made seven line breaks to three, with 54% of the ball.

On the back of that possession, Jets player's player was half Julian Christian who made several big runs against the Pride and asked the Pride defence plenty of questions with his Cliff Lyons-like probing in attack.

Christian finished with three of the Jets' seven line breaks.

"Everyone just did their job we spoke about it before the game," Christian said, reflecting on a simple approach.

"We weren't worried about the referee or anyone else.

"We just focused on our job which made it so easy to complete our sets and play Jets' footy."

Against the Dolphins, Christian's attitude will be similar.

"I think we just need to do exactly the same thing (on Saturday) because the Dolphins are coming off their first win as well and will want to back that up in front of their loyal fans at Dolphin Oval,'' he said.

Dolphins coach Adam Mogg was not narrowing his focus and keeping a broad scan for potential Jet threats.

"The Jets test your fitness and they're a bigger team than people think,'' Mogg said.

"Nat Neale can cause havoc on an edge or he can come in-field.

"(The Jets have) speed out wide with Barba and Purcell.

"The key to the Jets is that they are very good at what they do and how they do it."

Tough family decision

MY sister is getting married on Saturday so I feel obligated to not go to the football Saturday night and attend her wedding.

However, that does not mean I have not tried to get to the football.

I tried to plead my case to Kimberley.

"Michael, I don't really care. You're not even my favourite brother. Go to the Jets v Dolphins," Kimberley erroneously claimed.

"Don't the Dolphins always win anyway. Maybe take the chance to stay away from the Jets? Luke Walker is going to be at the wedding,

"I am sure Ben and Shane will appreciate you leaving them alone."

I turned to some Dolphins and Jets legends to help me make a decision.

Mark Murray (Dolphins, Queensland and Australian halfback): "It is a win, win situation.

"You save yourself the pain of another convincing Dolphins victory and you keep your sister happy. Simple, go to the wedding!"

Jets great Danny Coburn: "Why didn't Kimberley get married at the Jets v Dolphins? Everyone would win then."

Lovely story

IT is a beautiful love story. Dolphin turns to Jet.

Dave Shillington is the Community Program Deliver for the NRL focusing on State of Mind and Voice against Violence.

Long before Shillington was a voice in his community, he was an undersized Dolphin playing Colts and eight Intrust Super Cup games for the Dolphins.

"I was placed at the Dolphins by Arthur Beetson for the Roosters when Redcliffe was aligned with the Roosters, which was a big thrill,'' Shillington recalled.

"He would come watch you play for Redcliffe and his status at the Dolphins is just unmatched.

"I used to hate the Dolphins when I was growing up. They won everything and then I played with them and ended up loving the place.

"Redcliffe is a lot like Ipswich. It's out on its own and a really proud group of people.

"We played the Colts grand final that year against Norths and the Devils had Billy Slater, Cam Smith and Cooper Cronk.

"Then I played Intrust Super Cup games and it was against men. I was struggling."

I had heard a rumour that the former Dolphin and NRL hard man who played 215 games, 14 Tests and eight Origins was now a paid up member of the Switch City Committee the Jets' supporter club.

"I have a mate who is a member so yes I bought a shirt and will be coming to a Jets game soon."

Secret step

MY Pride game big play was 14 minutes in to the second half, in the wet, when the Jets are attacking.

Fullback Michael Purcell has found a loose ball and taken off. I sat down with Purcell and we re-watched him finding his try-scoring form again in 2019.

"The ball went to no-one on the ground and I had a look and saw the inside defenders were lazy so I had one defender in front of me so I ran hard to the left to snap a left-foot step on him,'' Purcell said.

"I knew that there was another defender by himself. He pushed too hard trying to cover so I did the same move, making him think I was running left again.

"I snapped a left-foot step again and I knew it was just me and the fullback at that point I knew it was a try.

"It's one of my favourite moves and 9/10 times it comes off especially in the rain because it's too slippery."

Purcell let me in on the secret.

"I don't ever look at the player that I'm about to step because I'm trying to make them think I'm not going that way. I'm always using my peripheral vision during the game,'' he said.

Purcell will never be welcomed in the north. He now has seven tries in four games against the Pride.


Ipswich Jets V Northern Pride Intrust Super Cup played at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday. Marmin Barba kicking for goal.
Ipswich Jets back Marmin Barba kicking for goal. Rob Williams

Marmin points watch

MARMIN Barba has 22 points this year from 11 goals. He needs two points for his 500th point for the Jets.

Barba would be the third Jet to score 500 points behind Steve West on 594 and Wes Conlon on 505.

Barba is already the Jets' leading try scorer with 70. I asked Barba what it would mean to be the Jets' leading point scorer and try scorer.

"It's a great personal achievement and would mean a lot to me but any points scoring records is reliant on the other guys,'' he said.

"I can't kick goals if they don't score tries."

Barba has played 77 games for the Jets, scoring 70 tries and 109 goals for his 498 points.

Planet Gubb

EVEN when Peter Gubb was at Wynnum, he was one of my favourite players.

Now he's seen the light and come to the Jets I like him even more, something about Gubby that makes me laugh.

Last week he labelled himself the new Marmin after his try on Jets' debut. Gubb played his first run-on game for the Jets on Saturday and ran the ball back with his standard amount of aggression and venom. I called on Gubby again to offer his insight.

"I really enjoyed the weather. It slows everyone down and you don't get grass burn either when you dive on balls," Gubb said.

Gubb contributed 13 runs in the wet and 122 valued metres.

Gubb does two things better than many other backs. He always wins the tackle and gets a quick play the ball after his first run of the set. It gets the Jets set off to a great start and had the Pride struggling from the initial tackle of Jets sets.

Cooper's stat

MICHAEL Purcell scored try number 60 for the Jets last weekend.

This places him in fourth place for most tries for the Jets and 10 behind Marmin Barba.

A cold beer with . . .

PETER Nolan has spent a lifetime finding, coaching and helping rugby league talent. He is the head of recruitment for the Brisbane Broncos NRL squad and football operations. I sat down with Peter to talk over his role and a lifetime in league.

What does the day of a head recruiter look like? I handle the NRL squad of 36, so I regularly meet with our retention committee who consists of our head coach, a board member in Darren Lockyer, our salary cap administrator and Paul White, our CEO. I start to deal with players as they enter our senior program and they are ready to enter that squad.

Do you have a favourite Ipswich recruit? I do not think the Broncos will ever be able to surpass the contribution of the Walters' boys and Allan Langer. Three players from the one city who had played such a significant part in the Broncos.

What is something Cyril Connell taught you that is still relevant today? You are asking families to give you their son, at a very young age. Cyril won over families. He cared about your son being a better man and many boys have jobs, or studied because of him. Parents trusted him and knew he cared not just about their son being a good footballer but coming back a better man.

You were involved with Toowoomba when they were in the ISC. What can you remember about games against Ipswich? My first job at the Broncos was assistant coach at Toowoomba. We never had to coach against the Walker boys back then as they were all playing at the Broncos at the time. I am glad in a way as their teams are certainly difficult to play against. I am always grateful for my job at Toowoomba. Ipswich is such a rugby league area. I remember Cyril always talking about Dud Beattie and Noel Kelly and the area has produced so many wonderful players. I love the league history of Ipswich and Toowoomba.