Ipswich looks to regain pride after heavy loss
THE Jets would love nothing more than to right last week's aberration with a win over Tweed Heads on Sunday.
But they will have to re-write history to do so.
Ipswich's 44-12 loss to the Northern Pride ended the club-record seven game winning run of the Jets.
But Ipswich vice-captain Ian Lacey has no doubt his side's performance on Sunday at Pigabeen Sports will bear little resemblance to last week's.
"It's one of those weeks we'd like to forget," the Jets halfback said.
"It wasn't us - not the team that's been on the park in the early part of the year.
"It's hard to put a finger on what happened but there's no real use dwelling on it.
"How we bounce back will be a key indicator of how we're travelling."
The response has been positive so far, with Lacey impressed with the way the team trained on Thursday night.
It will have to be as the Jets may be five spots above Tweed, but they have never beaten the Seagulls away from home in 12 attempts.
"We spoke briefly when we went over the Tweed tape about what we need to do," Lacey said.
"Then we had a really positive run.
"We got a lot of things out of it that we wanted to.
"We need to get back to what works for us and that's our ruck.
"We've been off the last couple of weeks. Just our starts.
"Around the rucks we've been a bit slow out of the blocks.
"Teams have been getting the jump on us, which is uncharacteristic.
"If we fix that up with a good start, complete our sets, get to our kicks and have a good kick chase we know we're in the game.
"We pride ourselves on playing at the other end of the park."
Lacey concedes the Jets' seven game winning run had taken a toll, both from the opposition lifting their games to knock them off and the Jets letting standards slipping ever so slightly.
Last weekend's loss should ensure the focus will be back on the little things that can make a big difference.
"When you've been up for so long everyone is looking for you to have a down week," Lacey said.
"Little things can creep in.
"It could be a number of things.
"But it's a team effort.
"Sometimes losses can be the best thing."
It will take that and more to overturn the Jets inexplicable away hoodoo against Tweed.
"It's never an easy game down there," Lacey said.
"But the key is always the same.
"It's about us. If we play to our strengths there's not many teams that can go with us."
With Jets centre Donald Malone equalling the club try scoring record last weekend, opposite centre Brendon Marshall will on Sunday become the third most capped Ipswich Jet first grader.
Marshall will pass Brian McCarthy's 121 games to sit behind only Brendon Lindsay (135) and Dan Coburn (258).
As he has got older Marshall has become more and more highly regarded for his defensive qualities.
But Lacey says the subtlety the 33-year-old brings to the Jets attack makes him virtually irreplaceable.
"Monkey (Marshall) does a great job week-in, week-out and seems to get better each year," he said.
"He always seems to get outside defenders and a lot of other stuff that works for us.
"He's a smart footballer.
"He knows when we go wide and when to hit back straight.
"He can quick catch and pass or put it on the toe for his winger."
Jets forward Kurtis Lingwoodock is in doubt with a knee injury, while five-eighth Dane Phillips is close to a return from his own knee injury.
If Lingwoodock is out and Phillips ready the latter will wear the number six jersey with versatile skipper Keiron Lander switching back to the forwards.
- Queensland Cup: Ipswich Jets v Tweed Heads at Pigabeen Sports, 3pm on Sunday
- FOGS Cup: Ipswich Jets v Redcliffe Dolphins at Davies Park, 12.15pm on Sunday
- FOGS Colts: Ipswich Jets v Tweed Heads at Pigabeen Sports, 1.15pm on Sunday