Ipswich Jets pocket rocket Ian Lacey faces a long stint on the sideline, which is the last thing his injury-riddled team needed.
Ipswich Jets pocket rocket Ian Lacey faces a long stint on the sideline, which is the last thing his injury-riddled team needed. Rob Williams

Injury adds to Ipswich woes

IPSWICH Jets interchange weapon Ian Lacey faces six to eight weeks on the sideline after suffering a knee injury during his team's loss to the Easts Tigers on Saturday.

North Ipswich Reserve hosted the enthralling game of football with the Jets' caution-to-the-wind approach contrasting to the Tigers' robotic set completion- focused game plan.

The Tigers came from 10 points behind to win 24-22 over an injury- depleted Jets outfit.

Jets players fell to their knees at fulltime, exhausted and disappointed at losing a game they had every chance of winning.

But it was one of their worst performances of the year, with a 21/36 completion rate, and was a game they did not deserve to win.

In comparison, the Tigers completed 37 of 38 sets which is an incredible effort in the Queensland Cup.

The Tigers also dominated possession and the Jets defence did exceptionally well to hold them to four tries.

It was the Jets' third loss this season and they now sit fifth on the Queensland Cup ladder.

The game's sour note was the knee injury Lacey suffered late in the first half.

“It doesn't look good for him unfortunately,” co-coach Shane Walker said.

“He needs to have a proper medical but at first look it's probably six weeks for Lace.”

The Jets are already missing Trevor Exton, Tyson Lofipo, Marshall Chalk and Smith Samau from their first choice 17.

They have also been hurt by Gold Coast Titans forward – and sometime Jet – Sam Tagataese's mid-season move to the Cronulla Sharks.

They will need to play far better as a team to have any chance of beating the Burleigh Bears on Friday night at home.

Walker said he was not particularly bothered by his team's poor completion rate.

“That's the best the Tigers can play and we were giving it to them all game,” Walker said.

“I think it's easy to get carried away with completion rates and stats like that.

"That's not the whole story.

“We were below our best, but the mistakes we made were because we trying things and if there's an opportunity there you have to take it.

“Unfortunately it was one of those games where some of the passes didn't go to hand.

“Some of the errors at the end of the game I was a bit disappointed with.”

The Jets led for 70 minutes of the contest despite their constant errors.

Wild-haired prop Nathaniel Neale was again sensational, making 60-plus tackles for the second week in a row.

While Esi Tonga had his best game of the year, making several line breaks.

 

DECISIVE MOMENT:

Down by two points with four minutes left, the Jets flung the ball wide to their best attacker – Esi Tonga.

From his own 30 metre line, Tonga shuffled and stepped to the outside of his defender and into a yawning gap.

His partner in crime Donald Malone loomed up outside him and as the cover approached Tonga flicked the ball to the wing, but Malone had begun heading infield and the ball rolled into touch.



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