While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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ATTACK was a priority and defence was an afterthought as Souths Logan and Ipswich handed ABC TV yet another entertaining exhibition on Saturday.
While neither coach would have been happy with the number of points conceded, Souths Logan?s Mark Gliddon was more at ease as the Magpies cruised home 44-34 at QLD Group Stadium.
For Jets counterpart Trevor Gillmeister it was another tale of the one that got away, an 18-6 advantage 25 minutes into the game whittled away after a stunning try from Magpies debutant Chris Sandow.
Splitting the Jets apart like a buck rabbit hopping through the briar, Sandow showed why he has been so hotly pursued by the Gold Coast Titans, jinking three times and eluding half-a-dozen defenders in a solo run to the line.
One of the shortest-ever players to feature in first grade football, 17-year-old Sandow scored a second time in the 57th minute, breaking a 28-all deadlock and handing the Magpies a lead they did not surrender.
While the youngster has plenty left to learn in the art of tackling and playmaking, his flair with the ball makes Souths Logan a threat from anywhere on the park. Indeed, it was a shame for Ipswich?s Ricky Bird to miss the contest, with a match-up between the two Cherbourg talents forming a wonderful prospect for any spectator.
In Bird?s absence it was veteran Travis Baker that did the wheeling and dealing for Ipswich early on. A precise Baker pass put Ricky Dodd in a gap in just the third minute, resulting in a fine try to backrower Joel Reithmuller. Baker also kicked well to pressure the Magpies and followed-up in the 11th minute when he and Cameron Mulcahy laid on a try for Geoff Holcombe.
It seemed inconceivable that the cellar dwellers should be up 12-0 against a side with designs on the finals. Souths Logan struck back with a sharp try by centre Mase Laulu-Togagae, but Ipswich again crossed in the 20th minute via teenage forward Daniel Fullarton for an 18-6 advantage.
Then came Sandow?s try and the tide turned. Within four minutes of the mighty midget crossing, teammate Tyrone Coppedge blitzed down the sideline and through a feeble attempted tackle by Luke Walker. Tanu Wulf kept the ball rolling another four minutes later, posting the first of his two tries. Winded from the onslaught, Ipswich found a right of reply when Baker somehow slid through a mountain of defenders to level things 22-all at halftime.
Although the second half started wonderfully for Ipswich ? via an intercept try to Ben McFadgean ? it was all downhill from there. The Jets missed 17 tackles in the second stanza and allowed four more tries to the visitors. The last Magpies try added insult to injury, with Coppedge running from dummy-half down an unmarked blindside.
While the Laulu-Togagae brothers, Mase and Quentin, were among the shining lights, five-eighth Phil Dennis and prop Josh Griffith both led the show. As always big Sta Fau made a dent whenever he promoted the ball.
Souths Logan is now back on the fringe of the top five, while Ipswich faces a tough task to avoid this year?s wooden spoon.
SOUTHS LOGAN 44 (Chris Sandow 2, Tyrone Coppedge 2, Tanu Wulf 2, Mase Laulu-Togagae, Stanley Fau tries; Mase Laulu-Togagae 6 goals) d IPSWICH 34 (Joel Reithmuller, Geoff Holcombe, Daniel Fullarton, Travis Baker, Ben McFadgean, Matthew Cameron tries; Travis Baker 5 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.