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Ipswich Jets in stealth mission
IPSWICH JETS 30 defeat EASTS TIGERS 24
The final margin was as expected, but the result was not. Without their star halfback and hooker the Ipswich Jets have beaten Easts 30-24, further enhancing the club?s reputation as predictably unpredictable.
On one hand tipsters knew what to expect from the game. The form guide showed the Jets had endured seven games decided by a converted try or less in their preceding 12 games. Common thought also suggested that Ipswich was due for an upset, in much the same way it frustrated teams through the second half of season 2004.
However, few would have expected the Jets to come away victorious from Langlands Park on a day where every other conceivable factor appeared to be against them.
For starters Ipswich lost hooker Adam Boettcher for three games due to a suspension for a lifting tackle against Norths. Then Ricky Bird was ruled out later in the week, robbing the side of its chief playmaker and leading tryscorer.
Along with Easts holding the home ground advantage, the Tigers also boasted a 9-6 penalty count in their favour.
On face value it certainly did not appear to be Ipswich?s day.
Enter substitute half Steve West (pictured) who, despite recent time on the wing and in Mixwell Cup, helped set the tempo from the outset. His try four minutes into the game immediately had Easts on the back foot, with his darting play putting doubt in the Tigers? minds throughout.
Further first half tries to Luke Walker and Danny Coburn had Ipswich ahead 16-12 at the break, with Easts? tries coming through Steve Beattie and Marty Allen.
The second half saw the visitors establish a 28-12 buffer courtesy of tryscorers Marshall Chalk and Mat Cameron, a score which could have snuffed out the black-and-golds. Yet to Easts credit it fought back to 28-24 with plenty of time on the clock, skipper Brandon Costin passing 100 points for the season with a try and four goals.
Over a tense closing quarter Ipswich veteran Brendon Lindsay potted two drop-goals and the Jets clung on nervously to take their second win of their last four games. For the Tigers it was their sixth loss in their last seven games, another dent in their finals aspirations.
Following next Saturday?s City Country match, Ipswich will resume its season on July 3 against Burleigh at QLD Group Stadium. Easts travels to the Piggabeen Complex the same day to take on Tweed Heads.
IPSWICH 30 (Steve West, Luke Walker, Danny Coburn, Marshall Chalk, Mat Cameron tries; Steve West 4 goals; Brendon Lindsay 2 field goals)
EASTS 24 (Steve Beattie, Marty Allen, Brandon Costin, Leigh Coghill tries; Brandon Costin 4 goals)
Special thanks to the QRL website for another fantastic article.
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