'No positives' for wasteful Jets
VERY rarely do Ben and Shane Walker feel the need to give the Jets a rev-up at half time.
But such was the team's first half display against the Mackay Cutters on Saturday, the Ipswich co-coaches decided it was necessary.
"We rarely say anything at half-time. I think we both had our own say for the first time in years and years," Ben Walker said post-match.
"We were just frustrated.
" (The team) mentally wasn't there, and mentally not prepared to get into the battle with them."
The Cutters handed the Jets their first home defeat of 2018, with a 28-18 result at North Ipswich Reserve.
Mackay winger Johnny Faletagoa'i crossed twice inside 15 minutes, as the visitors looked to exploit the left side of the Jets' defence.
Denzel Burns, who was stationed on that left side, returned the favour soon-after when he crossed for the Jets' first points.
With the hosts slowly working back into the contest, the Cutters delivered a blow right on the stroke of half time when Jardine Bobongie went through a large gap in the line and fullback Yamba Bowie dutifully added the extras.
Down 16-6 at the break, Walker was understandably frustrated with the Jets' inability to maintain possession.
Too often the hosts gifted field position to the Cutters, by losing the ball early in their sets or giving away cheap penalties.
"It was ill discipline," Walker said.
"When you think you can just roll in and beat a team, with the way we play that is not going to work.
"The ball will go down more often than not, and that's what happened.
"It's ok to have a loss if you perform well and get beaten by a better team, but I don't think that was the case.
"When you lose to teams who you think are inferior to you, that's a pretty bitter pill to swallow. Particularly when you play poorly.
"It happened two weeks ago against he Capras who we thought were inferior to us as well. When you lose to those sorts of teams, it's not about how you play or what you do, it's just a complete mental thing."
As in last week's match against the Northern Pride, the Jets responded in the second half.
Michael Purcell and Rory Humphreys crossed to score before 10 minutes had gone by, and Ipswich found themselves ahead by two points.
But then the ill discipline and wasteful possession crept back into their play.
The Cutters took a four point lead when Bennett Leslie crossed in the 62nd minute, and Bowie put the visitors a converted try ahead after a penalty directly in front of the uprights.
Still with 10 minutes to play, the Jets had all the momentum but were unable to break a stout Cutters defensive line, or force a repeat set.
A try to Mackay winger Kurt Wilshere with four minutes to play iced the game for the visitors.
Walker struggled to take any positives from the 10-point defeat.
"Positives? We are still alive, that's a positive," he said.
"There is nothing to take out of the game. We all performed poorly. Not just the players on the field, but us as well. I thought we'd win too."
The Jets now sit ninth with three wins from six matches.
Mackay Cutters 28 (Faletoagoa'i 2, Bobongie, Leslie, Wilshire tries; Bowie 4 goals) def. Ipswich Jets18 (Burns, Purcell, Humphreys tries; Conlon 3 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.