Jets courageous victory
DISPLAYING all the trademarks of a champion boxer, courageous Ipswich lifted itself from the canvas to punch out a memorable 31-24 Queensland Cup victory over the Burleigh Bears yesterday.
Seemingly dead and buried after falling behind by 10 points with 15 minutes remaining, the gritty Jets produced a scorching finish to grab their seventh win of the season.
"They showed really good character ... that was the most pleasing thing," proud Jets coach Kevin Walters said from Carrara Stadium.
The Jets have now soared into outright fourth spot position. On that form, there is no reason why the Jets can't reach the finals for the first time since 2003.
Walters was thrilled with the way his charges rallied after the Bears skipped away to 24-14 lead.
"You never give up on anything," he said.
"But we just had to change our mindset on what we were doing. I don't know what happened or who said what but they just clicked into it and away they went."
After slugging it out in the lower grades for a number of years, it was fitting that Jets five-eighth Todd Riggs enjoyed a slice of good luck yesterday.
Riggs scored a crucial first-half try in Jets' 31-24 Queensland Cup win over the Burleigh Bears after regathering the ball from his own grubber kick.
The ball deflected off the boot of an opposition player and into the arms of the alert St Peter Claver College teacher, who just might share the story with his students today.
"It's something a bit different when you get close to the line," Riggs said of the grubber kick.
"It came off. It was a bit lucky but you take the luck when it comes."
Riggs, a Northern Suburbs junior, has been a revelation for the Jets since coach Kevin Walters plucked him from the reserves.
The Jets' top grade side was languishing near the bottom of the table at that stage with just one win from four matches.
Yesterday's win took the season tally to seven. Riggs has played an integral part in the success.
His clever kicking and passing game has taken the pressure off halfback Ricky Bird.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for Riggs and Bird in yesterday's enthralling clash.
Burleigh had the Jets on the back foot after scoring four converted tries to lead 24-14.
The Jets had led 14-0 after 30 minutes with tries from Luke Walker, Ben McFadgean and Riggs.
"Kevvie had a blast at us at half-time for getting down when things go wrong," Riggs revealed.
"So every time something bad happened in the second half, we more or less kept saying 'head up, keep positive and we'll get back into this."
Isaak Ah Mau, Aaron Sweeney and Michael Ryan led the second half fight back.
Walters said the trio was simply "magnificent". Young utility Josh Costello also won praise from Walters, who injected the Queensland under 19 star into the game at fullback in the second half.
Costello kicked the field goal that put the Jets in front 25-24 with eight minutes remaining. His clever chip kick set up Rickie Dodd's match-sealing try.