Cleeland leads Jets to victory
THE Ipswich Jets have returned to winning way thanks to a standout match from five-eighth Josh Cleeland.
Cleeland scored two tries and had a hand in several others as the Jets beat Redcliffe Dolphins 42-28 at Redcliffe.
Ipswich rectified the problems that cost them so dearly the week before against Burleigh, showing better ball control and always looking the likely winner.
Despite that, Redcliffe at times got closer than Jets co-coach Shane Walker would have liked.
"We weren't happy with having 28 points scored against us," Walker said.
"Even if some of their tries were questionable.
"They didn't deserve 28 points.
"It was a funny game.
"We were really dominant.
"There was a five minute period in the first half when we let in a couple of easy tries that kept them in the game."
The Jets went into half time leading 2012 but the Dolphins got within two points of the visitors in the second half.
But Walker was confident the Jets would prevail, largely because they had eradicated the errors that handed Burleigh so much ball the week before.
"We just needed to hang in there once we got the ball," Walker said.
"It's been a long week in terms of players hearing people say we lost because of the way we play.
"Against Burleigh on 10 occasions we didn't get to the first tackle."
Like the opening round loss against Wynnum Manly, Walker said the cause was a lack of awareness in the tackle.
"Because we don't run straight at defenders, we run across the face and step between them, the defender can't get a clean shot and you get hands and arms in and around the ball," he said.
Like the round one loss the problem was rectified and wins followed.
Cleeland made his debut in the top grade for the Jets last year following a stellar 2013 in the Ipswich Rugby League for Swifts.
But Walker said this was one of his best games yet, as Cleeland took it upon himself to make an impact, rather than just act as provider for others.
"The best thing was seeing Josh really take the game by the scruff of the next," Walker said.
"He got his hands on the ball and was dominant.
"He's probably been sitting back a little bit, given his edge is so dangerous with Chris (Walker) and Kurt Capewell.
"But he really took them on (yesterday)."
Cleeland responded to the words of his coaches to get more involved.
"He's a laid-back fella," Walker said.
"He's not only a good ball players, he's dangerous.
"A bit like (Daly) Cherry-Evans.
"He holds the ball out in front and can jink, step and is big enough to break a tackle."
Ipswich Jets 42 (Marmin Barba 2, Josh Cleeland 2, Matt Parcell 2, Carlin Anderson, Chris Walker tries; Marmin Barba 5 goals)
Redcliffe Dolphins 28 (Josh Beehag 2, Shane Pumipi, Jon Green, Anthony Cherrington tries; Luke Capewell 4 goals).