10-try blitz sends Comets into orbit
By Lee Gaskin
THE Queensland Cup juggernaut that is the Ipswich Jets continues to roll on, with the Central Comets the latest to be crushed under a second-half onslaught.
Leading 16-10 at half-time, the Jets went into overdrive, running in seven more tries as they handed the Rockhampton-based club a 54-16 thumping on Saturday night.
Jets assistant coach Glenn Lazarus, who was in charge of the team during the week while Kevin Walters was in Sydney with the Kangaroos, was happy to rack up his first win in charge.
"Ha ha, I won't take all the credit, Kevvie played a hand in it today," Lazarus said, with Walters having flown back to attend the match.
"We knew they were a good side, but we knew if we played really well then we'd always make it hard for them."
Resilient Jets supporters who braved a chilly evening at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex only had to wait two minutes for Isaak Ah Mau to open the home team's account, before Titan Kris Kahler doubled the lead soon after.
The Comets hit back twice to reduce the lead to two, but an opportunist try from Donald Malone swung the momentum back to the ladder leaders.
"We started off extremely well. For the first time this year we completed our first five sets," Lazarus said.
"Things were going okay, but then the Comets came back at us, as we thought they may do and made a real game of it."
It was all one-way traffic from then on. Ipswich's only blemish was a dropped bomb that gifted the Comets an easy four-pointer.
Hard-running centre Donald Malone ended the match in style, picking up a loose ball to sprint 70m on the way to his hat-trick and the Jets' half century.
Even the former NSW and Test enforcer was stunned at his team's improvement after the break.
"We're becoming a bit of a second-half team. I just can't believe how we play once we came out after half time," he said.
"We got a lead then we kicked into another gear."
Softly-spoken fullback Troy O'Sullivan was again a standout, while Lazarus commended his forwards for "working really hard as a pack".
Veteran centre Jason Bulgarelli (eye) and scheming hooker Michael Ryan (head knock) are both expected to be right for this Sunday's trip to Kingscliff to face Tweed Heads.
Skipper Danny Coburn, who has missed the past two games with an ankle injury, should also make the trip south.