'We just gave it away'
IPSWICH Jets fullback Michael Purcell was frank in his assessment after Saturday's 26-24 defeat to Easts Tigers.
Purcell said the Jets "weren't switched on as a team” early in the contest, and "gave the game away” through some basic errors close to their own goal line.
"We started off a bit slow, and I think they used that quite well and made us pay,” Purcell said of Easts.
"They got those easy tries through quick taps which was a bit disappointing.”
Entering halftime down 22-12, the Jets managed to hold Easts to two penalty conversions in the second half.
When Purcell crossed to complete his hat-trick with nine minutes to play, the Jets had all the momentum.
Unfortunately, those small errors crept back into their play and the hosts were unable to find the go-ahead score.
"I guess you could say we forced it. It was just those few simple errors; dropped balls in their half, just missing those one-percenters,” Purcell said.
Tigers fullback Scott Drinkwater was named man of the match, but had the Jets managed to scrape a win it would almost certainly have gone to Purcell.
In just his second game back from a broken arm, the 24-year-old showed no hesitation attacking the line.
His brilliant individual performance in a televised game would have likely turned heads of anyone not already familiar with the "Kangaroo Catcher”.
Purcell said he would "still take” the hat-trick, even if it was soured somewhat by the loss.
"It would have been nice to top it off with a win,” he said.
"(The previously broken arm) felt fine. I just put it in the back of my mind and played like it's never been broken before.”
The loss to the Tigers kept Ipswich in 10th on the Intrust Super Cup ladder, ahead of a difficult three-week stretch of away games in North Queensland.
Purcell said 10th was not an ideal position to be in, but he is confident the team can bounce back on Friday night against the Cutters in Mackay.
"It's not great at the back end of the season to be thinking 'we must win this game',” he said.
"But the boys are really looking forward to going away.”