42 reasons why Ipswich can tame the Tigers
FORTY-TWO is the magic number for the Ipswich Jets and Easts Tigers.
It's the number of times Ipswich and the Tigers have faced off since the inception of the Intrust Super Cup competition.
Easts currently hold a one-game lead in the head-to-head record, with 20 wins to the Jets and one draw.
Despite Ipswich remaining winless from their past four games, former captain Keiron Lander said tomorrow's clash would be the perfect time for Ipswich to kick into gear.
"The last few years would show that these games are always tight and competitive," he said.
"As long as everyone trusts the game plan and executes their roles, come the 80-minute mark the Jets will be there or thereabouts.
"We've seen good glimpses. The guys just need a win to kickstart some momentum and the hard work will start to pay off.
"It's not time to panic. You can easily turn one win into five very quickly."
As well as total games played, 42 is the number of players who have appeared for both Easts and Ipswich over the years.
Fittingly, this weekend's XXXX Rivalry Round will give Ipswich another chance to upset their "big brothers'' from Brisbane.
"There's a competitive friendship there," Lander admitted. "We don't like losing to mates who have come from Ipswich to play for Easts.
"Over the years there's been countless players who have trekked across and back. It's always good to rub it in and let them know that they shouldn't have left."
Another Ipswich player who wants to see the third-placed Tigers sent packing is Jets' playmaker Chris Ash.
Despite making the step up to Queensland Cup last year, Ash said he still remembers playing Easts in his junior days.
"I lost a grand final to Easts when I was in Colts," Ash said.
"They were always the team we struggled to win against and I always enjoyed beating them.
"They are big in the middle and if you don't match their intensity it's hard to play the way we do."
Playing off the bench last weekend, Ash had a big impact in the Jets' loss to Redcliffe.
A late fightback allowed Ipswich to threaten the Dolphins at home, despite handing Redcliffe a 24-12 lead at halftime.
Taking confidence from the Jets' second half performance, Ash said he wanted to make a bigger impact tomorrow at North Ipswich Reserve.
"We weren't far off last week," he said. "At stages we just didn't compete hard enough and we've worked hard this week at getting those little things right.
"We're still getting punished for simple errors that aren't even us pushing passes or doing anything super tricky.
"That second half will give us confidence because against any other team Redcliffe would probably have put the game away. Instead we had them worried."
A Brothers junior, Ash has relished his time in the Jets First Grade outfit.
After making a few appearances at hooker and in the halves, the 24-year-old said he was happy to play wherever co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker needed him.
"When I started the season I was still thinking I was going to be lucky to get a spot on the bench," he admitted.
"I've played a few positions as Ben and Shane decided how best to play everyone at once.
"When I first start I was just happy to be here but now I feel more settled and I want to have more of an impact on the game again."
Ipswich Jets v Easts Tigers from 4pm, tomorrow at North Ipswich Reserve:
1. Wes Conlon 2. Michael Purcell 3. Marion Seve 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Richard Pandia 6. Luke Capewell 7. Dane Phillips (c) 8. Billy McConnachie 9. Mikaere Beattie 10. Nat Neale 11. Sam Martin 22. Tyson Lofipo 17. Mitch Carpenter 14. Chris Ash 15. Lachlan Roe 16. Huskie Teatau 21. Nathan Gaulton 12. Seb Pandia
Co-coaches: Ben Walker and Shane Walker
1. Gerard McCullum 2. Jarrod McInally 3. Shane Neumann 4. Curtis Scott 5. Linc Port 6. Billy Walters 7. Brodie Croft 8. Steven Thorpe 9. Tommy Butterfield 10. Matt Zgrajewski 11. Adam Crear 12. Dean Britt 13. Jack Svendsen 14. David Murphy 15. Charlie Galo 16. Anton Iaria 17. Chris Ostwald 18. Kevin Bell 19. Liufau Hala
Coach: Scott Sipple