Why Ipswich's Jet-powered try fest was so satisfying
PRODUCING the biggest win of their season was just what the Ipswich Jets needed to keep pace with the Intrust Super Cup finals contenders.
But as he praised his team for their crushing 54-0 win over the Mackay Cutters, Jets co-coach Shane Walker had another reason to be proud.
It was the first time the Jets had held an opponent scoreless during the eight years Shane and his brother Ben have coached in Ipswich.
"That's the most satisfying part,'' Shane said of Ipswich's latest road trip to Mackay.
"It was really good attacking football and sustained pressure in defence.''
The Jets led 30-0 at halftime.
Jets fullback Michael Purcell scored another hat-trick, although only getting credit for two tries on the official scoresheet.
He completed the demolition job after five-eight Chris Ash, centres Sam Caslick and Ben White, hooker Jayden Connors and wingers Marmin Barba and Richie Pandia also scored four-pointers.
Barbin kicked eight conversions on Friday night.
"I'm really pleased and it's fitting too that Marmin Barba was back to his best,'' Walker said of the former Mackay product on the comeback trail from a broken leg injury.
"It's only been a confidence thing for him, not his ability in question . . . and he really found it last night.''
Walker said Barba even threatened not to cook his favourite dish if he didn't play well.
The Jets co-coach also praised Connors for his best game this season, starting the match at rake.
The much-needed win keeps the Jets in touch with the top four featuring Burleigh, this weekend's opponents Townsville Blackhawks, Redcliffe and Northern Pride.
However, Walker said he sensed the dominant performance was coming after the Jets only lost by two points in another strong finish against Easts the previous weekend.
"I guess the frustrating part of the year is that we've actually been playing really well all season,'' Walker said. "It's just we've lost some really winnable games.''
Although the Cutters are anchored at the bottom of the Intrust Super Cup table, Walker said they were the only side really out of finals contention.
"A month ago, Souths Logan led the comp and they are now teetering on the edge,'' he said.
"It's such a tight comp this year.''
With the next in a series of road trip games to Townsville looming, Walker said the Jets were ready to meet the challenge of chasing a finals spot.
"This group really enjoys getting away and enjoying each other's company,'' he said.
"We always play well on the road so it was good to start this month-long campaign well.''
Intrust Super Cup Rd 17: Ipswich Jets 54 (Michael Purcell 3, Chris Ash, Sam Caslick, Marmin Barba, Jayden Connors, Ben White, Richie Pandia tries; Marmin Barba 8 conversions) def Mackay Cutters 0 in Mackay.
Next match: Saturday - v Blackhawks in Townsville.