Ipswich Jet Jayden Connors plans to use the Easter break wisdely.
Ipswich Jet Jayden Connors plans to use the Easter break wisdely.

Rest, camping, BBQ and Easter hunt for Jets break


Michael Nunn

THE Ipswich Jets won't be playing this weekend with the whole of the Intrust Super Cup having the bye. Ipswich will be trying to stay away from Easter eggs, ready to come back and get the Jets first win against the Falcons in round three on the Sunshine Coast.

I asked some Jets what they would be doing over Easter.

Fullback Jayden Connors: "I will be resting up and heading home to Inverell to go camping.''

Five eighth Josh Cleeland: "I have to head to Rocky for work so nothing too exciting for me.''

Half back Julian Christian: "We will be having a giant Easter Egg hunt at my place. I might take photos of all the locations so we don't find ants in a week.''

Try scoring machine Jordan Carriera: "It will be BBQ time at my place and still doing some running at the park.''

Tyler Coburn: "I am going camping with my family, hopefully no rain.''

Hunters deliver heartache

THE Jets trip to the Coast for the Hunters ended in heartache with a 44-22 loss.

Ipswich started well with two tries - one to Kierran Moseley, who forced his way over from dummy half, and a great try slicing through the defence on the angle to Julian Christian.

The problem was that the Hunters scored two tries as well.

The first half kept going try for try.

The Jets led by two at halftime but it was the period from the 41st minute until the 62nd minute where the Hunters scored four tries that spelled the death of the Jets round two hopes.

Ipswich Jets forward Tyson Lofipo.
Ipswich Jets forward Tyson Lofipo.


Jets forward leader Tyson Lofipo made nine runs for 92 metres with one-line break assist, four tackle breaks and four offloads in a strong performance.

"Halftime was the worst thing to happen to us, I thought the Hunters were out on their feet just before halftime," Lofipo said.

"Then after halftime they come out and score four tries.

"The set just after halftime, they went the whole field and scored, that's hard work.

"Ideally just after halftime should be your best set. You are refreshed and ready to go."

The Jets attack tested the Hunters. PNG looked stretched and ready to pop. It was just that the Jets couldn't put the game to sleep when they needed to.

The Jets again made more tackles than the opposition. This week it was 48 tackles on top of 84 last week. That's nearly an extra half a game of extra tackling in the first two rounds.

"We spoke all week about tightening up our middle third and making sure they didn't come through there," Lofipo said.

"Then the Hunters scored out wide and a few just drop their heads."

A worrying trend for the Jets would be their goal line defence.

In the first two rounds, the Jets have conceded 16 tries and 13 have been from 10 metres or less. Two have been from kicks and one was from further out than 10 metres.

"Teams are not having to run far to score, which could be fatigue. We aren't missing a lot of tackles so teams aren't beating eight guys to score they are only beating one on the line."

The Hunters missed 52 tackles but weren't made to pay in the second half.

The Jets had 53% of the ball and created seven-line breaks and 25 offloads but just couldn't hold out the Hunters long enough to take advantage of their attack.

Tell me about it

IN the 19th minute, Jets half Julian Christian scores his first try for 2021 and his 18th in 39 games for the Jets.

The movements start with Nat Neale who takes it into the Hunters line and offloads to Zac Hetherington.

Hetherington runs to the Hunters left and throws a long pass to Julian Christian.

Christian dummies and comes back to where the ball just came from.

I sat down and watched the try with Christian who took me through the movement.

Julian Christian.
Julian Christian.

"When it comes out to me, I dummy and go back inside," Christian said.

"You're looking for tired players, skip across until you find one.

"What I look for is a player that thinks his job is done and is retreating to get back in the line.

"I spotted their half and second rower who both had stopped moving, so it's just footwork then and get through.

"The key is those tired players, that's what you're after, have they stopped moving up and just their body language."

Christian pierces the Hunters' defence and goes through at 45 degrees to put the ball down.

Mal Meninga Cup review

THE Jets Mal Meninga Cup side had a 50-24 loss to the undefeated Tweed Seagulls.

Ipswich started well with a try to Zachery Alley after just seven minutes but from there the class of the Seagulls was too much.

The Seagulls scored the next three tries and went to half time in a commanding 26-12 position.

Jets coach Michael Armstrong thought the Jets players lacked some zest.

"We were down a bit this week, which losing can do to players," Armstrong said.

"We are going to try and lift them this week by giving them some time off, they are working so hard with Mal Meninga Cup and School programs.

"We have two games left in our season against the Bears and Magpies so we can win both those games we just have to find our enthusiasm again."

Armstrong thought about who had been strong for the Jets and came up with a emphatic answer.

"Our fullback Luke Dixon has got better as the season has progressed,'' he said.

"Josiah Pahulu was great again. I seem to mention him every week."

Cooper's stat

RICHARD Pandia has played 103 games for the Jets and will go past Danny McAllister and Huskie Teatau in his next match.

Pandia will have the 13th most games for the Jets when he reaches 104.