SOUTHS Logan come to North Ipswich for the Queensland Cup Indigenous Appreciation round today, with the Ipswich Jets appreciating the return of indigenous halfback Ian Lacey.
Lacey has been out for a month after damaging the AC joint on his right shoulder and the SC joint, where the collar bone meets the sternum, on his left-side against Burleigh on June 24.
"I'm definitely pleased to be back into it," Lacey said.
"Last week was touch and go.
"It's frustrating not playing footy."
The doughty half is confident he won't be affected by the injury and has been training with the Jets while injured to ensure he is fit for battle.
"I wouldn't be playing if it wasn't right," he said.
"It looks like we're going to be playing finals and I don't want to miss out. You'd always love a little bit of game fitness.
"But you can't buy that."
The Jets' vice-captain laughed when asked about the job his captain Keiron Lander did filling in at half during Lacey's absence.
"He's not your typical halfback," Lacey said of the Jets' enforcer, who normally plays lock.
"But we don't need a halfback to be flairy.
"We've got players like Javarn (White) and Monkey (Brendon Marshall) who can create something out of nothing.
"We just needed a half to defend and help get the ball wide quickly."
Lacey's stint on the sidelines gave him a different perspective of how the Jets are travelling and the thing that impressed him most was their defence.
"We've really come a long way in our defensive structure since last season," he said.
"We're defending teams out of games. We might not be putting the big scores on but we're not giving away anything.
"It is showing at the back end of games when we're putting two or three tries on."
It is standing the Jets in good stead with finals looming.
"Finals are all about defence," Lacey said. "We've got enough attacking power to beat any side.
"Sticking to a simple game plan is still going to win you finals."
Lacey is conscious of not looking too far ahead, knowing Souths Logan are capable of spoiling Ipswich's plans.
He is confident the Jets won't be caught off guard by a Magpies team playing for pride and fun, rather than semi-final prospects.
"Ben and Shane (Walker) are pretty smart," he said of the Jets co-coaches.
"They're good at analysing other teams and preparing us."
Players and officials from both clubs got together for an indigenous presentation at North Ipswich on Monday.
"It was a really good turn-up," Lacey said. "It was good to see so many people from different levels of the organisation."
The initiative was timed to coincide with this weekend's Indigenous Appreciation round.
The Jets will have jerseys presented to them today by Jets Indigenous Old Boys.
There will be an auction of the Ipswich Jets special print indigenous jerseys, activities for kids and an indigenous dance performance at the North Ipswich Reserve today.
It should make for a festive atmosphere but the Jets won't be lulled into any generosity towards the Magpies once play starts.
"I think they're going to be a bit unpredictable because they're not playing for a lot," Lacey said.
"They'll throw everything at us.
"It's dangerous because anything can happen any time."
The Jets are without second-rower Lorenzo Maafu, suspended for one-match for striking.
Today at North Ipswich Reserve: free family event for the annual Indigenous Appreciation Game between the Ipswich Jets and Souths Logan Magpies.
11.15am: Colts match - Ipswich Jets v Souths Logan. 11.30am: Rock climbing and jumping castle for children.
12.45pm: FOGS match - Ipswich Jets v Souths Logan.
2.10pm: Indigenous Old Boys to present Ipswich Jets jerseys.
2.20pm: Welcome to country by Billy Bonner. 2.30pm: Nunukul Yuggera Dance Troupe.
2.45pm: Presentation to Mayor Paul Pisasale.
2.50pm: Introduction of Ipswich Jets Indigenous Old Boys.
3pm: Intrust Super Cup match - Ipswich Jets v Souths Logan.
5.30pm: Auction three signed Ipswich Indigenous jerseys.