Turbo-charged Jets fire up for Seagulls
AS A statement of intent, the Ipswich Jets' 33-6 semi-final win over Wynnum-Manly was loud and clear.
The Jets went into the Queensland Cup match as the lowest qualified of the five semi-finalists but emerged as a team to be feared.
If the scoreline wasn't impressive enough, adding to the merit was it was achieved at Wynnum Manly's home ground, Kougari Oval.
"It was a very good win," Jets prop Rod Griffin said.
"We're very excited."
It is Griffin's first year with the Jets and he is happy with his decision to join from the Tweed Heads Seagulls at the end of last season.
Part of the reason he joined the Jets was a work opportunity but he has been equally vindicated on the field.
Griffin's form has improved throughout the season and in the past month he has been arguably the Jets' standout forward.
A back rower usually, the Papua New Guinea international has been moved into the front row to cover for the loss of injured Rowan Winterfield.
It was no great stretch for Griffin, however, who just continued on as usual.
"The boys just told me to do the same things I usually do," he said. "It was a normal game pretty much."
Normal except for the fact the Jets completely dominated their opponents, ending the heartbreak of the past two seasons in which they have been knocked out in the first week of finals.
"Our key was taking them on up the middle all day," Griffin said.
"It seemed to be where their weakness was."
The Jets were able to eliminate their own weakness of allowing the opposition to get an early lead.
"We sort of had a roll on from the start," Griffin said.
"We kept the game plan pretty simple - just keep taking it up the middle."
Griffin paid credit to man-of-the-match Nat Neale for the way he continued to charge the ball into and through the Seagulls forwards, along with the effervescent form of fullback Javarn White.
The Jets travel to Mackay to play the Cutters on Saturday after Mackay lost 31-18 to Easts in yesterday's other semi.
Easts will play Northern Pride in Cairns on Sunday for a spot in the grand final.
The Jets Reserve grade team also remains alive in the FOGS Cup finals after beating Redcliffe 28-10. The Jets get this weekend off before meeting the loser of the grand final qualifier between Easts and Norths.
After beating Wynnum Manly at Wynnum, the Ipswich Jets have to travel to Mackay to play the Cutters on Saturday night in an elimination semi-final.