Jets soar as Eagles crash-land
IPSWICH proved a class above the Sunshine Coast at the North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday.
Rarely did the Jets look under threat from the Sea Eagles, winning 36-18.
It was a scoreline Jets co-coach Shane Walker felt flattered the visitors.
The Jets dominated most aspects of the match, despite enough dropped ball to keep most opponents in the hunt.
But the Sunshine Coast couldn't convert their gifts into points, mainly due to the Jets' impressive defence.
The Jets led after seven minutes through a trademark Jarrod McInally leap to grab a Brendon Lindsay cross-field kick, juggle and score.
Ian Lacey from dummy half and Ramon Filipine out wide made it 16-0 as the Sunshine Coast struggled to stop the Jets' off-loading in the tackle.
Sea Eagles fullback Hughie Stanley kept his team in the match with a 70m solo effort just before halftime as Jets' minds wandered prematurely to the dressing room.
"That was very disappointing," Walker said.
"Probably our two main focuses were Hughie Stanley and their halfback (Todd Murphy). The boys did a wonderful job on the halfback. He's been touted around the place as a pretty good player."
Ipswich found their focus to start the second half, Keiron Lander inspiring with a charge down before two of Ipswich's best, second-rower Lorenzo Maafu and fullback Javarn White, combined to make it 20-6.
White showed some fancy footwork for his second try soon after and the Jets were cruising to victory.
The only concern may have been a flat spot mid-way through the second half when the Jets were almost, but not quite, home.
It cost them a try but could have been worse with the Sunshine Coast blowing two more chances.
But Walker wasn't worried.
He expected the intensity to drop at some point, due to the Jets not having played for three weeks.
"A couple of things happen when you haven't played footy for a while," Walker said.
"You will get a period when you're flat. There is nothing you can do to prepare yourself."
If a flat spot was inevitable, Ipswich's response was impressive.
A flowing backline move ended in Jarrod McInally's second try, ensuring the Jets moved above the Norths Devils into seventh spot on the Queensland Cup ladder.
Walker was excited by the return of Maafu after a month's absence and the Herculean work of winger Filipine.
"He had a wonderful game," Walker said of Maafu, whose bullocking runs skittled Sunshine Coast defenders throughout the afternoon. "He did a great job."
Filipine is among his team's leading hit-up workhorses and still manages to turn up on his wing to finish backline moves, as he did for his try.
"Ramon is having the best year of his life," Walker said.
"He consistently does 20-30 hit-ups a game."
The Jets turn their focus to a trip north for this weekend's clash with Mackay Cutters and Walker is confident they are on track to beat their fellow mid-table rivals.
Jets won their FOGS Cup clash with Sunshine Coast 44-18 but the Jets Colts lost 28-4.
STATE OF PLAY
Ipswich continued its climb up the Queensland Cup ladder with a second successive win. Ipswich's tally of three wins and four losses from their seven starts leaves them in seventh spot with a game in hand on their nearest opponents.