Extra motivation for Jets in northern test
CAPTAIN Cook beached the Endeavour in Cooktown in 1770 and the Ipswich Jets will be hoping that same bad fortune does not befall them this weekend.
The Jets tackle Northern Pride in the far north of Cooktown during the Intrust Super Cup Country Round.
Jets co-coach Ben Walker said the team's preparation would remain the same, despite the added travel.
"It's actually exciting,'' Walker said. "We have a lot of guys from small towns and communities so going to somewhere like Cooktown our guys want to play there and want to put on a show because they know what it's like to be that kid in Cooktown that doesn't see a lot of top quality football."
The Pride are coming off a massive week having been to PNG, where they suffered their seventh loss of the year.
The Pride have won four of nine games away this season while the Jets are three from nine.
The Jets lost to the Blackhawks in Townsville last weekend.
Overall, the Jets and Pride are 11 wins each with one draw.
The Jets played the Pride earlier this season at North Ipswich and came home with a 16-12 win after being down 12-2 at half-time.
"We have been planning ahead and we started our preparation while we were still in PNG,'' Pride coach Ty Williams said.
"It's a contrast going from the physicality of the Hunters to the Jets football so our recovery has to be spot on this week."
When asked who he would be wary of in the Jets line-up, Williams said: "Michael Purcell is the Josh Addo Carr of the ISC. I just love watching him play. His run, when we played you last time, broke us and we have to be on him from the start this week."
It will be the Kangaroo Catcher's 50th game.
"That's great, more motivation for him. We don't need that. Can you not tell him?" Williams said.
The Jets will be missing forward leader Seb Pandia who sustained a possible long-term knee injury against the Blackhawks.
AT halftime against Townsville last weekend, the Jets were sitting pretty up 14-4. The Jets failed to score in the second half, losing 22-14.
The Jets made 24 more tackles than the Blackhawks and missed 60 tackles, which put them under pressure.
The huge penalty count against the Jets cost them ground, points, and a man when Huskie was sent to the sin bin just on half time.
My play of the game was Isimeeli Hafoka taking on Test and Origin centre Justin O'Neill and setting up Marmin Barba's try.
I watched the try with Isimeeli and Marmin and they talked me through it.
"Justin O'Neill was out of the line when I got the offload from Jayden so I ran to where he should have been,'' Isimeeli said.
"I thought if I can attract Carlin Anderson I could get some space for Marmin."
Marmin said he didn't have to do too much. "Just stay out and Isi attracted a few players which gave me space to get to the corner. You just want to stay out as far as possible and give yourself as much space as you can."
For the record
THE Jets are about to play round 19 with six games remaining in the regular season before finals.
Three of the Jets' six matches are at home.
Of the six games, Pride, Dolphins, Falcons and Norths are currently above the Jets on the table.
The Jets are on 18 points with a points differential of negative four. There are six teams gunning for that last finals spot.
Souths and Tigers are on 20 points and Jets, Falcons, Hunters and Tweed all on 18 points.
Of those teams around the Jets on the table, Magpies, Falcons and Tigers all have a superior points differential.
Last season the Blackhawks finished sixth with 30 points and 12 wins.
In 2017, there were two byes so Blackhawks really finished on 28 points.
This year, there's only one bye so the sixth place cut off could be 28 points.
For and against will be vital so the Jets need to win and score some points.
Ex-Jet turns Viking
I WAS watching the Raiders v Cowboys game when the Fox announcers said ex-Raider Marshall Chalk had been picked to blow the huge Viking horn this week.
The horn is blown before Raiders' games by a former Raider so the fans can do the Viking clap ready for the Green Machine to take the the field.
Marshall is Jet number 350, having played from 2000-2002 before leaving for the Raiders. Chalk returned to the Jets for a second stint from 2010-2011.
I caught up with Marshall and asked about his Viking experience.
"It was great to go back and be involved,'' Chalk said.
"The Raiders are really pushing having former players involved with the club. I was happy to support that and catch up with plenty of good people. My children were very excited about the whole thing."
IF you are at a game early enough, you will see the Jets train. Every game, the Jets will train three hours before they play.
If they are away, the Jets find a field to train on and if playing in Brisbane they train at the Broncos before games.
Ben Walker was asked about the logic behind the idea.
"It has several benefits,'' he said.
"We get the players in a routine so they are all following the same pre-game routine we have training and then lunch together three hours before we play. It's also our third session of the week which means guys are at home an extra night which keeps everyone happy.
"Guys are up and moving and getting their body ticking over instead of sitting at home waiting to come to the game."
WITH State of Origin over for this year, I asked Jet number 473 and Queensland second rower Gavin Cooper his thoughts and analysis on the 2018 series.
"We had a way we wanted to play all series,'' Cooper said. "In game one, we didn't do it too well. In game two we started well and in game three we played how we wanted.
"Queensland just did not win enough of those smaller moments and the outcome of the series reflects that.
"We had a good plan, a lot was made in the media of how our forwards weren't racking up big metres but our plan was to skip to the edges which means you're not going to get guys making huge ground in the middle.
"It was a disappointing result to lose the series, but game three gives us plenty of positives for 2019."
APART from Michael Purcell playing his 50th game, Marmin Barba needs four points for 400 points and one try to go past Ricky Bird and have the Jets' second most tries on 65.
Barba needs four more tries to hold the Jets' record.
ROWAN Winterfield has topped the Jets' tackle count for four weeks in a row. He's made 137 tackles and missed a miserly four.