MILESTONE MAN: Ipswich Jets captain Nat Neale.
MILESTONE MAN: Ipswich Jets captain Nat Neale. Rob Williams

Time to turn 'terrific' into top triumph



THE wild Capra is a declared pest animal in Queensland and if the Department of Sustainability cannot sort it out then the Jets will have to on Saturday night in Woorabinda.

The Jets and Capras are coming off losses, which they will be keen to rectify.

The Jets came back but then lost to the Tweed while the Capras lost to Townsville.

The Capras suffered from a severe case of having no football to use. They only had 40% of the ball and had it for nine minutes less than Townsville.

That put massive pressure on their defence, which had to make 100 more tackles and missed 50.

The Jets played well in quarters. In the first 20 minutes of the game they scored two tries and were up 10-0; then the first 20 minutes after halftime they scored two tries again and went from 18-10 down to 22-10 up.

The Jets just lost the game. It certainly was not a bad game.

The Jets had 52% of the ball and only missed 30 tackles. However, the Jets came away without the two points.

"I think we were the better team, we just didn't win,'' Jets co-coach Shane Walker said.


Ipswich Jets V Northern Pride Intrust Super Cup match played at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday. Richard Pandia.
Ipswich Jets back Richard Pandia. Rob Williams

"Josh Cleeland was great for us. Richard Pandia and Peter Gubb were terrific.

"On the other side looking at the Capras, Billy Gilbert is a player we will be talking about this week."

Gilbert was looking forward to the challenge of Jets' captain Nat Neale.

Gilbert has completed the most tackles for the Capras this season with 253, to be third for the entire Intrust Super Cup competition.

"Nat Neale he is so strong, doesn't look it but just strength and an off-load,'' Gilbert said.

"You have to have defensive integrity against Neale and the Jets we have to tie in together.

"We gave away too many penalties against Townsville and have to make sure we aren't making so many errors."

The Jets have an impressive record in Rockhampton against the Capras. They have played there 22 times for 14 wins and eight losses.

This time the Jets are heading to Woorabinda to play the Capras.

Overall, the Jets are leading the Central Queensland boys 29 to 13, with one draw.


Ipswich Jets V Northern Pride Intrust Super Cup played at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday. Peter Gubb.
Peter Gubb. Rob Williams

Cressbrook country

A CHAMPION Jet and the Ipswich side will be reunited on Saturday.

You cannot travel to Woorabinda without talking to the "Wiz" Reggie Cressbrook.

Cressbrook played 31 games for the Jets and scored 20 tries, 22 goals, and one field goal for 125 points.

His Intrust Super Cup career was outstanding: 143 games, 89 tries, 366 goals, one field goal and 1089 points.

Cressbrook played in grand finals in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, winning two premierships. He was selected in the centres for the Intrust Super Cup team of the first 20 years for his outstanding work for the Bears and Jets.

Cressbrook works for the Woorabinda Council and has been pivotal in bringing the first ever Intrust Super Cup game to the area.

"I am so happy it's my old team the Ipswich Jets. It's going to be such a great day of football and entertainment,'' Cressbrook beamed.

"A lot of surrounding areas will come to the game, Dingo, Baralaba and Rockhampton they will come from everywhere.

"It's great that the Jets are doing this, we have the field ready and we would be expecting more than 1000 people.

"Deadly Choices is sponsoring the event so it's an alcohol and sugar free event and we will have plenty of things to do for children and entertainment."


Ipswich Jets V Northern Pride Intrust Super Cup played at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday. Josh Cleeland.
Josh Cleeland. Rob Williams

Tweed big play

JOSH Cleeland was outstanding against Tweed. My big play was the nine minutes after halftime.

Cleeland had two try assists and two line break assists for the game as well as two tackle breaks.

The Jets were down 18-10 and in the space of nine minutes. Cleeland got the Jets back to in front at 22-18.

First Cleeland dummied his way through the line and passed with accuracy to Jayden Connors to score under the posts.

Cleeland sat down with me, talked through why he ran, and passed.

"I looked up hoping to go wide and saw Tweed slide too fast and the gap was there,'' he said. "So I reacted to that they had me by the jersey I heard Jayden calling from inside and gave him the ball."

The Jets got to the fifth and Cleeland bombed away, forcing Tweed to turn over the ball.

Halfback Julian Christian was crumbing along behind to grab the ball.

"Bombs I try and put them high enough so our boys can pressure the receiver and even kick them so the fullback has to run in to the traffic makes it harder to catch,'' Cleeland said.

Latest debutant

JACK Martin was rewarded against the Tweed with his Intrust Super Cup debut. Martin played 14 minutes off the bench for the Jets in the loss to the Seagulls.

Martin has played Cyril Connell, Mal Meninga and Colts for the Jets.

"It took me a couple of minutes to get used to the pace but it was really good. I enjoyed it a lot,'' Martin said.

"Ben Walker just said it will be the easiest game you play because everyone will do their job. You won't have to worry about anyone else like in lower grades.

"Tyson Lofipo, Nat Neale, Ben Shea and Billy McConnachie were great with me all week."

Nat leads the way

NAT Neale will play game 136 on Saturday making him the sixth most capped Jets' player.

Neale will overtake Brendon Lindsay in playing against Central Queensland.

Neale has scored 31 tries in his 135 games for the Jets.

Neale can go on a run in the next few weeks and move up the ladder after Brendon Lindsay on 135 there is Dane Phillips on 138, Sam Martin 139.

When game 140 comes around, which would be Wynnum at Wynnum in round 13, Nat will be on the fourth most games for the Jets.

Nat reflected on the records in front of him.

"It's a big honour to be going past Brendon Lindsay, and those other guys are all guys I played a lot of football with at the Jets,'' he said.

"I would have to play until I am 40 to get near Danny Coburn or Tyson Lofipo so I might aim for Brendon Marshall at number three."

Residents line-up

QUEENSLAND Residents will be selected on Sunday to play NSW on May 12.

This will be the 29th Residents game and Queensland are looking to take the lead in the annual clash it is currently 13 to 13 with two draws.

Last season Jets captain Nat Neale was the solitary Ipswich player in the 36-20 loss to the Blues before the Origin in Sydney.

Queensland coach Jon Buchanan sat down with me and I tried to push the case for several Jets that should be playing for Queensland.

I picked my best Jets so far in 2019 and asked Buchanan how they were tracking for selection. Kierran Moseley, Nat Neale, Josh Cleeland and Tyson Lofipo have been exceptional for the Jets this year.

"You have seven out of 17 right,'' Buchanan said. "A few Ipswich players and the four you named definitely have been mentioned.''

The team was finalised this week and will be announced on Sunday.

My Queensland Residents team for 2019: Edene Gibbie (Wynnum), Troy Leo (Burleigh), Jesse Arthars (Burleigh), Gehamat Shibasaki (Norths), Herbie Farnworth (Norths), Josh Cleeland (Ipswich), Todd Murphy (Sunshine Coast), Nat Neale (Ipswich), Harry Grant (Sunshine Coast), Tyson Lofipo (Ipswich), Patrick Carrigan (Wynnum), Patrick Kaufusi (Easts), Tom Gilbert (Townsville), Kierran Moseley (Ipswich), Peter Hola (Northern Pride), Tino Faasuamaleaui (Sunshine Coast), William Bugden (Northern Pride).

Cooper's stat

THE Jets are the best at off-loading in the Intrust Super Cup, with 128 in eight games at an average of 16 per game.

Tyson Lofipo leads the competition with 19 in eight games.

A cold beer with . . .

A police officer for 17 years as well as a player and coach, Paul White has filled many roles in rugby league. He is now the Brisbane Broncos' CEO. We pulled the big leather chair away from the desk and talked Jets v Capras.

You have been a player, coach and now administer, which role do you enjoy the most? You fall in love with the game as a player when you get that first pair of boots and that stayed with you forever and that is your first role so I would say playing. However, age catches up with us and you have to find some other way to stay involved so I have done coaching and now administration.

Do you have a part of your role that you enjoy the most? At the Broncos we are engaged a lot in the community, so any time I get to get out there and be amongst people. We have our indigenous programs that we run in schools and I am very proud of that.

You played 32 games for the Capras in the Intrust Super Cup and scored eight tries. Any memories of coming to Ipswich? I have a permanent reminder of a trip to Ipswich. I was playing for Central Queensland in the State League and the Ipswich centre came out of the line and put a shot on me. He knocked me out and blackened my tooth. So I think of Ipswich every morning. Before the ISC, I played State League for Mackay and Central Queensland won a State League final at the North Ipswich Reserve in 1994 against Wests. I was captain coach of the Capras and the area has such a rich history. My family is from Rocky and mum is still there. I know that Peter White the Capras CEO is working so hard to make sure the Capras are in the competition for a long time and are developing and keeping their players.

Do you have a favourite Ipswich footballer from your time watching or playing the game? Two players I respected and enjoyed playing against were Pat O'Doherty and Pat Shepherdson. Both were tough players.