Jets confident of regrouping after rare thrashing
IPSWICH Jets co-coach Ben Walker remained upbeat about the fast-approaching Queensland Cup season despite his team's rare rugby league thrashing.
Last year's Intrust Super Cup grand final winners and NRL State Championship victors were humbled 58-0 by the Manly Sea Eagles in Sydney.
However, Walker was anything but shattered by his team's scoreless performance against the NRL heavyweights.
"The boys should, and do, feel a lot more confident after the game," Walker said.
"To come down and perform the way they did was more than acceptable.
"We don't like losing but to match it with these guys physically is a hard ask."
The team returned from Sydney yesterday reflecting on their heavy defeat in the Jets' final pre-season trial match at Pittwater Park.
The Jets first half display allowed the Sea Eagles to run rampant on Saturday.
An error from the kick-off gave the home side an early lead and the NRL heavyweights fired up.
After the first 22 minutes Manly had capitalised on a wealth of possession to lead 30-0.
Captain Jamie Lyon made the Jets pay for every try conceded, converting four out of five in a hectic start at Pittwater Park.
To take on one of the NRL's premiership favourites at home and at full strength was always going to be a tough ask for the Jets. The home side led 40-0 at the break.
Thoughts of attack turned to defence in the second half as the Jets stemmed the flood of tries.
It took Manly 17 minutes to rediscover the try-line as the Jets managed to get their share of possession.
In the end the Jets were kept scoreless after 80 minutes, an unfamiliar result for a side known for their try-scoring ability.
The game may have slipped away early but Walker said when the Jets managed to get their hands on the ball there were positive signs.
"In the first half we just never had the ball and gave a lot of penalties away," he said.
"The possession levelled up in second half and we were able to challenge them. In patches we were very competitive.''
Walker said his team of part-time footballers would not be the last side to receive a Manly battering this season.
"I don't think we will be the only team they beat by 50 points," he said.
"Last year most of our guys were playing local league in Ipswich, Charleville and everywhere in between.
"They (Manly) are just so much stronger. They train all day every day."
The Jets celebrated the birthdays of Marmin Barba and Ben White while enjoying a recovery day in Sydney before flying home.
The players will be back at training this week ahead of the Jets season launch on Friday night.
Ipswich hosts the Norths Devils at home on March 5 in the first round of the Intrust Super Cup.
State of play
Manly Sea Eagles 58 (Myles, Matai, T Trbojevic, Taufua 2, J Trbojevic, Lawrence, Leary, Walker, Satini tries; Lyon 8, Walker goals) def Ipswich Jets 0 at Pittwater Park.