Jets test state league champions in PNG
IPSWICH Jets winger Wes Conlon played his part kicking two goals from the sideline in his team's encouraging 22-12 loss in Papua New Guinea yesterday.
However, he conceded the Jets didn't produce the finishing touches needed to overrun the defending Intrust Super Cup champions on their home soil.
"It's very very warm but it was a very tough game,'' Conlon said from the sideline post-match in Port Moresby.
"We can take a lot out of that.
"We stuck in. We had belief we could win. We got within four points with four minutes to go.
"Just a few calls at the end there didn't go our way.''
After the Jets got to 16-12, PNG only wrapped up the match when Ase Boas scored in the 79th minute.
Jets chairman Steve Johnson echoed Conlon's view that the Ipswich side displayed plenty of early promise in the humid conditions.
"We had our chances to win the game,'' Johnson said.
"We just couldn't find a way to get over the line at 16-12.
"We had a lot of short kicks that didn't go to hand.
"We had a game plan that took it right to them up here.
"We could easily have won that game.''
Newly-appointed Jets captain Nat Neale crossed for Ipswich's second try in the 75th minute after new back Pio Seci crossed in the 26th minute.
"He's a different captain,'' Conlon said of Neale. "He leads instead of talking. He led well.''
Ben White was named Player's Player and "probably had his best game in a Jets jersey''.
Johnson was also impressed with Ben Shea up front.
Newly-recruited hooker Kierran Mosely got his first run with the Jets.
"There was a lot to like about it. Our defence was great against their big side,'' Johnson said.
"We just couldn't quite get the finishing play we needed.''
The Jets are back on home soil at the North Ipswich Reserve for their second round match against the Townsville Blackhawks on Saturday.
State of play
Intrust Super Cup Rd 1: PNG Hunters 22 (Watson Boas 2, Adex Wera, Ase Boas tries; Ase Boas 3 goals) def Ipswich Jets 12 (Pio Seci, Nat Neale tries; Wes Conlon 2 goals) in Port Moresby.