The Ipswich Jets kept their final hopes alive with a 32-22 win over the Northern Pride, and were handed a bonus later on Saturday evening when the Blackhawks lost at Burleigh closing the gap to sixth place to just two points.
The Jets had to weather a late storm from the Pride, as they saw their 26-6 from early in the second half slowly whittled away by the visiting Pride. Only a 79th try to Nemani Valekapa eased the concern of the locals.
The first 45 minutes was mostly all about the Jets, they did concede first as the Pride ran in a try in the 7th minute, but a burst of four tries in ten minutes swung the game firmly in favour of the Jets, and a try just after half time made it look at Jets.
That run of tries saw doubles to Michael Purcell and Jayden Connors. A double is nothing new for Michael Purcell who is a try scoring machine, but the two to Jayden Connors certainly is new as it was the Ipswich player’s debut game. That try scoring form bodes well for that run at the finals.
The Pride did try and make it interesting in the second half as they chipped away at the Jets with regular tries. The first two were to a pair of Bowens – the Cowboys Javid, and recent new addition Shawn. By the time Bradley Stephen scored it was 26-22 with ten minutes to go.
The late try to Ipswich sealed the game and kept them in the race for finals spot.
IPSWICH JETS 32
Tries: Richard Pandia (16m), Jayden Connors (20m), Michael Purcell (23m), Jayden Connors (26m), Michael Purcell (42m), Nemani Valekapa (79m)
Goals: Luke Capewell 3 Conv, Jayden Connors 1 Conv
NORTHERN PRIDE 22
Tries: Marcus Jensen (7m), Javid Bowen (45m), Shawn Bowen (55m), Bradley Stephen (69m)
Goals: Jordan Biondi-Odo 3/4 Conv
The weekend kicks off as it so often does at North Ipswich Reserve as the Jets attempt to build on their surprise win over Townsville and stay in the finals race with a win. They’ll need to as the 6th placed Souths Logan are guaranteed two points from the bye.
They face a Northern Pride side who arrive on the back of their first win in nine games, and they did it reasonably comfortable against the Wynnum Seagulls. The win got them off the bottom but doubling up will be a hard task with the Jets having more to play for than the Pride.
A great side attraction will be the battle of the numbers 2’s. Ipswich’s Michael Purcell has been an excitement and speed machine since his joining the Jets mid season last year, and Gideon Gela-Mosby has just as much to offer, and will want to perform to keep his name in the eyes of the selectors for PNG for the upcoming World Cup. Ipswich will need his tries as they will be missing usual points machine fullback Wes Conlan. The shift from hooker to five eighth is an interesting move for the NRL experienced Luke Capewell.
Ipswich should win and keep their finals hopes alive for another week at least.
Previous 2017 Result – Northern Pride 10 Ipswich Jets 24
1. Wes Conlon 2. Michael Purcell 3. Marion Seve 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Richard Pandia 13. Ben White 7. Dane Phillips (c) 8. Mitch Carpenter 9. Luke Capewell 10. Nat Neale 17. Josh Seage 12. Seb Pandia 22. Tyson Lofipo 6. Chris Ash 15. Lachlan Roe 16. Huskie Teatau 21. Jesse Roberts
Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker
1. Matthew Musumeci 3. Gideon Gela-Mosby 4. Bradley Stephen 2. Shawn Bowen 5. Marcus Jensen 6. Jordan Biondi-Odo 7. Jared Allen 8. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 9. Ryan Ghietti 10. Darryn Schonig 11. Tom Hancock 12. Right Second Row Graham Clark 13. Patrick Mago 14. Connor Jones 15. Colin Wilkie 16. Nathan Wales 17. Jack Brock 18. Keelan White 19. Aidan Day
Coach: Ty Williams
|North Ipswich Reserve|
|43 The Terrace, North Ipswich QLD 4305, Australia|