Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
IPSWICH JETS 20 defeat BURLEIGH BEARS 16
Ipswich coach Trevor Gillmesiter said there was ?no doubt? that his players were mindful of their futures when they took the field for a 20-16 win over competition leaders Burleigh on Sunday.
In what could be paradoxically labeled a predictable upset, the Jets led throughout against a Bears side decimated by representative commitments and injuries. Roughly a third of Burleigh?s regular squad, along with coach Rick Stone were affected by the circumstances.
However Gillmeister wasn?t downplaying the win at all and allowed his troops their day in the sun amid what has been a tough campaign.
He did make it clear though that QLD Group Stadium would be home to a number of new signings in 2006 and that competition for spots was bound to be hot.
?There?s quite a few guys wanting to come to the place now,? Gillmeister said, alluding to a possible link with the new Gold Coast NRL club.
?Maybe that?s a bit of a spark for the boys here. There?s a fair bit to be sorted out, but you know a lot of locals and Queensland boys would see a pathway to the NRL through us.
?I?m speaking to John Cartwright (Gold Coast head coach) about a few blokes he may place with us for next year.?
One player who may have missed his boat for a shot at the NRL but continues to produce is halfback Ricky Bird (pictured), a standout for the Jets against Burleigh.
?If he was 20-years-old and his body was okay, I?d get him a start somewhere tomorrow,? Gillmeister said.
Along with unrelenting lock Danny Coburn, Bird helped the home side to a 12-10 advantage at halftime.
With the Bears aiming to avoid a second straight loss and Ipswich aiming for successive wins, the match came down to a tense finale, featuring at least two botched tries by the Jets.
Now running ninth on nine competition points, Ipswich is just three points behind Easts. Meanwhile Burleigh remains first on the table despite its recent run.
IPSWICH 20 (Ricky Bird 3, Steve West tries; Steve West 2 goals)
BURLEIGH 16 (Trent Leis, Adrian Vowles, Robert Apanui tries; Trent Leis 2 goals)
Special thanks to the QRL website for another fantastic article.
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