Cutters next Jets' mission
AFTER another failed attempt to crack the Queensland Cup's top four teams, the Ipswich Jets face an easier assignment at home tonight.
The Jets welcome the Mackay Cutters to the North Ipswich Reserve for their round 14 clash from 7.30pm.
Last time the two teams met, in Mackay, Ipswich won 32-10.
Ipswich has been forced into one backline change from last week's team. Fullback Javarn White is the latest to fall to the rib injury plague that forward Nat Neale is due to return from this weekend.
White's absence means Brendon Marshall switches from centre to fullback with Luke Walker drafted into the centres.
The change should have little impact on the way the Jets focus their attack.
"Definitely not," Ipswich five-eighth Brendon Lindsay said.
"Luke played centre for the majority of the game up in Mackay and had a good game.
Likewise, nothing much has changed in the Jets' approach or outlook despite last weekend's 28-20 loss to Easts.
The loss meant the Jets slipped out of the Queensland Cup top five, a view they had just the one week to enjoy. The Jets continued their winless run against the competition's top four teams (Wynnum Manly, Redcliffe, Tweed Heads and Easts) this season.
"Last week was a game that sort of got away from us a little bit," Lindsay said. "A couple of rough calls not so much affected us in terms of the game, but perhaps in terms of our mentality."
The Jets' inability to overcome the mental hurdle of dodgy refereeing decisions begs the same question about the best sides in the competition.
Is it a mental barrier holding them back?
Ipswich should have beaten Wynnum Manly four weeks ago but couldn't after giving them an 18-point half-time lead.
They have lost to Easts twice and were comfortably beaten by Tweed Heads and Redcliffe early in the season. Yet Lindsay doesn't think there is any mental glass ceiling preventing the Jets claiming the major scalps.
He rates the Jets' mental strength in tight tussles one of their greatest attributes this season.
"Just the fact we can get into an arm wrestle and we believe in ourselves (is the most pleasing thing)," he said.
"We've got the team and the players, like Duck (Donald Malone), Javarn, Monkey (Marshall) and Macca (Jarrod McInally) who can score tries from anywhere.
"There's not too much we need to change. We just need to be a bit more clinical at times.
"We always seem to have really close games (against the top teams) but don't get away with it.
"Obviously it is disappointing not winning those games.
"A lot of it is down to us, not the fact the opposition is a lot better.
"We let ourselves down. What we're looking for is consistency.
"If we get that, the ladder positions look after themselves."
The Jets have been consistent enough against teams they are expected to beat and have three games against teams below them on the ladder before meeting Tweed Heads on July 7.
It should be good for their ladder points, though Lindsay knows there are dangers taking any opponent lightly.
"We probably had our best game of the year last time we played Mackay," Lindsay said.
"But no doubt they'll come down with a plan to beat us."