Sunshine Coast Falcons lived up to their tag as Dark Horses for the 2017 premiership with a second consecutive impressive win away from home.
Having easily dealt with the 2014 Premiers Northern Pride in Cairns last weekend, the Falcons doubled up against the 2015 Premiers in Ipswich with a good win, that was made slightly more dramatic on paper with two very late tries.
Two tries in three minutes early in the first half gave the momentum to the Falcons early, but they were pegged back by what turned out to be the Jets only try in the 27th minutes to Matthew Gibuma, a player picked up from the Murri carnival and likened to Matt Bowen.
That was the peak for Ipswich as Sunshine Coast crossed just before half time and the half time score was 16-4, and the Jets never troubled the scorers gain.
The second half saw three more tries to the Falcons, and the two tries in the 78th and 79th minute was a good boost for their for and against, and boost of hopes of winning the competition after surprising many to get with a game of the Grand Final in 2016.
For Ipswich, it is now three losses in a row, and their a 1-3 start to the new season needs to be turned around soon or face a second consecutive season outside of finals football.
SUNSHINE COAST 34
Tries: Matthew Grieve (9m), Guy Hamilton (12m), Samuel Wright (37m), Dane Hogan (68m), Matthew Soper-Lawler (78m), Guy Hamilton (79m)
Goals: Guy Hamilton 3 Conv, 2 Pen
IPSWICH JETS 4
Tries: Matthew Gibuma (27m)
Saturday afternoon means rugby league at North Ipswich Reserve, and the game that kicks off Round 4 should be one worth catching.
Ipswich have won many fans over the past few years of the Walker brothers reign with their different style of rugby league, and 2015 brought success with style. But like Burleigh this season, the Jets became a victim of their own success in 2016 with many off season departures. With Carlin Anderson leaving after the 2016 season, the Jets are down a few of their best that took them to a first premiership.
After a big win in Round 1 against the Tweed Heads Seagulls it looked as if there was going to be a turnaround in 2017. But unfortunately for Ipswich they have come across two in form sides in the next two rounds in Townsville and Norths, and they enter Round 4 with a 1-2 record. Another loss will not be the end of the world, but will make finals football that little harder to achieve.
The visit of the Sunshine Coast Falcons will not make life any easier, and the Falcons are coming off a very good win in Cairns last weekend against the Pride.
Many saw the Sunshine Coast as a genuine title contender in 2017, and the win in Cairns in addition to a good draw against a tough Tigers in Round 1 will not have dampened finals expectations. Their only loss has come against the Magpies, but they look a potential finals team too.
They benefit from their feeder arrangement with the Melbourne Storm with many players they would not normally be able to attract, but it also works both ways, with one of their best from last year Ryley Jacks now having an extended stay in the Victorian capital.
WHO TO LOOK FOR
If he plays despite not being named below, the Sunshine Coast’s PNG player Justin Olam is one to watch and has been racking up some big metres so far in the 2017 Intrust Super Cup season. Surely he isn’t far away from a chance at the NRL.
And as ever Michael Purcell is one to watch for the Jets. A natural try scorer with speed to burn.
1. Wesley Conlon 2. Michael Purcell 3. Marion Seve 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Ono So’oialo 6. Luke Capewell 7. Dane Phillips (c) 8. Billy McConnachie 9. Mikaere Beattie 10. Nathaniel Neale 11. Samuel Martin 17. Mitchell Carpenter 22. Tyson Lofipo 15. Sebastian Pandia 16. Fakahoko Teutau 21. Nathan Gaulton 14. Christopher Ash
Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker
Sunshine Coast Falcons
1. Eddie Tautali 2. Matthew Soper-Lawler 3. Jeremy Hawkins 4. Matt Grieve 5. Alexander Copelin 6. Jahrome Hughes 7. Guy Hamilton 18. Tui Kamikamica 9. Alex Bishop 17. Vincent Leuluai 11. Dane Hogan (c) 12. Joe Stimson 13. Jon Grieve 10. Lachlan Timm 14. Brandon Smith 15. Christian Morris 16. Jye Ballinger 19. Harrison Muller
Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen
R8 Sunshine Coast 6 Ipswich 20
|North Ipswich Reserve|
|43 The Terrace, North Ipswich QLD 4305, Australia|