Ipswich speedster Michael Purcell lines up against another major scoring threat in Saturday's game at the North Ipswich Reserve.
Ipswich speedster Michael Purcell lines up against another major scoring threat in Saturday's game at the North Ipswich Reserve. Rob Williams

Battle of tryscoring magicians in Ipswich

THE Northern Pride travel to the North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday having won in Ipswich last season for the first time since 2009.

The Jets and Pride are both coming off wins. The Jets accounted for Townsville while the Pride beat Wynnum.

The Pride are in 12th and can't play finals football which makes them a more dangerous proposition. They'd love to end the Jets' season too.

The Jets are in seventh and still four points away from the Magpies after their win over Tweed.

The Jets have scored a massive 136 more points than the Pride and the Pride have the slight advantage in defence having allowed 24 less points than the Jets.

From eight games at the North Ipswich Reserve, Ipswich has six wins and a 12 all draw in 2012.

My Pride player to watch is speedster Gideon Gela-Mosby.

He is in the Cowboys' NRL squad and plays for the Pride while waiting for the call-up.

He was an NYC super star scoring 39 tries for the Cowboys in the 20's in 2015.

He ended up finishing his time in the 20's with 55 tries from 43 games.

Jets try-scoring machine Michael Purcell versus Gela- Mosby will be a terrific encounter.

Epic clashes

THE Jets and Pride deal in the remarkable.

The Jets couldn't win in Cairns from 2008 until 2016 and the Pride couldn't win in Ipswich from 2009 until 2016.

That's resulted in a win loss record of Pride 11 and Jets' nine with one draw since 2008.

The Jets and Pride have played some epic battles in their short history.

The Jets beat the Pride 34-16 in the finals in 2008.

In 2011, the Pride knocked the Jets out of the finals by winning 30-6.

In 2010, the Ipswich Jets completed one of its greatest comebacks. Down 16-0 at half time, the Jets came back to win 22-16.

Round 8 in 2014 produced another grand chapter of comebacks when the Jets trailed 18-0 after 30 minutes.

Wes Conlon, Brendan Marshall and Marmin Barba set about righting the wrongs of the first half. They guided the Jets home 24-18 in another stunning Jets' comeback.

The Jets knocked the Pride out in 2015, racking up 50. Who can forget Carl Webb smashing through the whole Jets' team to score?

Something is always happening when these two meet.

Positive win

THE Jets have a positive win-loss rate against last weekend's opponents Townsville Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks have dominated the regular season for three years and haven't missed the finals yet but they can't seem to get a handle on the Jets.

Tyson Lofipo was outstanding, winning the player's player award.

Luke Capewell ran the ball like a champion and exposed the Blackhawks' defence to score the winner.

Marion Seve did his best pinball impression running back into the middle past defenders.

Tough Nat's milestone

NAT Neale will be the 14th Jet to play 100 games on Saturday against the Pride.

Neale made his debut in 2011 in a 16 all draw against the Tigers in round one.

If you want to know how tough Neale is, watch at half- time when he has to keep walking around the whole time so his back doesn't cool down.

Neale is not just a metre gainer for the Jets. He's a skilful player who has scored 19 tries in 99 games.

On top of his amazing ability to play through pain in the toughest position on the field, Neale is also a great team man, always happy to have a chat and talk footy.

Farewell John

IT'S with great sadness that the Jets learned of the passing of John Bishop, the father of BRL coach Mark.

Everyone at the Jets passes on their condolences and thoughts to the Bishop family.

Cooper's stat

THE Jets have 14 players to have reached 100 games.

Five have been since 2010, the year Ben and Shane Walker started coaching. They are Sam Martin, Dane Phillips, Nemani Valekapa, Nat Neale and Keiron Lander.

A cold beer with . . .

FOR 164 games and 28 tries, two premierships and one State Championship game if you cut open the chest of the Pride you would have found Jason Roos. The tough durable hooker was there from the start in 2008 until 2015. We sat down to talk Jets v Pride.

Who was the Jet that you knew you had to stop? Keiron Lander was the captain and he always led from the front. He was always the go-to man playing big minutes and having a high workrate for the Jets. So if we could restrict him it would go a long way to beating them. Not that winning in Ipswich happened much for us. Ian Lacey was always a headache, always a threat in attack and he could put shots on in defence and guided the team around well.

What were your experiences like at the North Ipswich Reserve? They have never been real flash. There were games we had a big lead and always got run down. One memory was when we had a side with around 700 NRL games experience in it but that counted for nothing as the Jets beat us again in Ipswich. So there are not too many good memories. That's where I played my last ISC game in a final and got belted.

Plenty of finals games between the Pride and Jets, we couldn't win in Cairns and you couldn't win down here, huge comebacks. Why do you think there was always something happening in these games? We always had some great battles playing the Jets. It was always interesting because the Jets can score points very quickly and they are a frustrating team to play against. I can't explain why both teams struggle when we play each other at home other than the boys thinking of the nightclub Gilligan's when they come to Cairns.

Who was the best Cowboy the Pride had in your time? This is a very tough question as there has been so many. As a forward I don't like voting for outside backs but Javid Bowen was an absolute freak. His speed footwork and his ability to find the try line was ridiculous. He would turn so many games for us turning nothing into something, he still hasn't reached his full potential yet a lot more exciting stuff to come from him in my opinion. The forward would have to be Ben Spina his tireless workrate and his commitment to the boys. He has been a big part of the success of the Northern Pride.

What do you think of the Jets current style? It's very high risk footy they play but it works for them. If they are hot they a very hot and everything would come off for them and the score line would reflect. When coming off the field you would find your legs were gone for the amount of running they would make you do.

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