THE Ipswich Jets' Queensland Cup title hopes suffered a blow in the final round at Nundah yesterday.
The Jets went down to Norths 30-16, slipping from third to fourth on the ladder.
The result means the two sides will face off again on Saturday when the Jets host the elimination final.
There were excuses for the Jets yesterday but co-coach Shane Walker refused to use them.
Jets were without captain Keiron Lander and the suspended duo Sam Martin and Rowan Winterfield.
Just 40 minutes before kick-off, fill-in captain Ian Lacey injured his back and was forced to withdraw.
"It was a big loss," Walker said of Lacey's late withdrawal.
"We had to get Riggsy (Todd Riggs) out of Golf World, Woolloongabba at 1.30pm.
"But like we've done all year, other blokes come up and do a job."
The reality was the Jets were without their two form forwards, captain and vice-captain.
So it was no surprise Norths, who were fighting for their own spot in the finals, took advantage.
They will face a different Ipswich side on Saturday and Walker has little doubt Norths won't get things handed to them as they did yesterday.
"They scored three tries from first-half errors," Walker said.
"If you do that you're going to get beaten."
The Jets were down 4-0 in the fifth minute after a staggered defensive line gave Norths fullback David Ogden the space to slip through and race the length of the field.
Midway through the half it was a misdirected pass, toed ahead that gave Norths their second try, before Jets centre Luke Walker got his team on the board.
The Jets seemed to be working their way back into the contest but on 32 minutes Ogden swooped on a loose ball for his second and a 16-4 half-time lead to Norths.
The hope was the heat would tire out the bigger Norths forwards in the second half.
But while the Jets were wasting overlaps and throwing flick passes to the opposition, Ogden was taking his chances.
He scored a third try six minutes into the second half and a fourth with eight minutes to go for a 32-4 lead.
The Jets finished the stronger from there, scoring late tries to Ramon Filipine and Tyson Lofipo, but it was too little too late.
Filipine's try meant he equalled Donald Malone's 2008 season record of 22.
"They're a good side," Walker said of Norths. "They basically had a Broncos forward pack and something to play for.
"But at the end of the game, despite us doing so much hard work, we were finishing over the top of them."
Walker rated second-rower Lorenzo Maafu, hooker Michael Fisher and winger Filipine his team's best.
The Jets received some good news yesterday, with their FOGS Cup Reserve-grade side qualifying for semi-finals.
It means a likely home double header for Ipswich on Saturday.
STATE OF PLAY
The Ipswich Jets will contest the QCup elimination final on Saturday after being ambushed by Norths yesterday.
QCup scores - page 26.