A monster penalty goal from Wes Conlan sealed a hard fought 18-10 victory for the Ipswich Jets over the Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park yesterday.
With Queensland selectors wary of Josh Papalii’s minimal match fitness heading into the representative season, the Canberra Raiders second rower made his debut for the Magpies in front of a large home crowd.
In perfect conditions, it was the home side making all the early running, with some pinpoint kicking from the Magpies’ halves keeping the pressure on the Jets’ defence.
Both sides traded sets for much of the first half, with strong defence combined with sloppy ball handling keeping the scorers worry-free.
The Magpies were first to put points on the board, with winger Jordan Rapana breaking the drought in the 35th minute to send his side into the half with a slender four-nil lead.
Looking to extend on their half time advantage, Souths were called for offside on the kick-off to gift the Jets early field position.
The defence showed by the Magpies in the first half seemed to go missing during the break, with Jets winger Marmin Barba crossing the line in the ensuing set to tie the match. Six minutes later the highly touted Jets offense were in once more, with half Dane Phillips crashing over to give the visitors a 10-4 lead after 50 minutes.
After a relatively quiet opening 40 minutes, Papalii showed his class with a barnstorming run through the Jets defence that opened a hole for Kurt Baptiste to run from half and score next to the uprights. Josh Damen added the extras from in front to once again tie the match.
With the match up for grabs, neither team seemed able to take the advantage. A woeful five minute period saw both sides repeatedly turn the ball over in the middle of the field, culminating in a Magpies forward pass that likely would have led to a try.
This proved to be the Magpies’ final scoring opportunity, with Kurt Capewell’s well-placed grubber behind the Souths defence finding Troy O’Sullivan to give the visitors a six point advantage with four minutes to play.
The nail in Souths’ coffin came when the restart failed to travel the required distance. Electing to take the penalty attempt, Conlon calmly slotted the goal from halfway to give the Jets an insurmountable 18-10 lead.
The Magpies travel to Langlands Park to face Easts next Sunday, while the Jets host the CQ Capras at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday.
IPSWICH JETS 18 (Dane Phillips, Troy O’Sullivan, Marmin Barba tries; Wes Conlon 3 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 10 (Jordan Rapana, Kurt Baptiste tries; Josh Damen goal) at Davies Park.
Souths Logan Magpies: 1. Luke Archer 2. Ramon Filipine 3. Grant Cooke 4. Max Dudley 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Ahearn 7. Rhys Jacks 8. Sam Mataora 9. Kurt Baptiste 10. Andrew Edwards 19. Josh Papalii 12. Darcy Wright 13. Phil Dennis (c) 14. Mitch Cronin 15. Leon Panapa 16. Rez Phillips 17. Josh Damen
Ipswich Jets: 1. Javarn White 2. Kurt Capewell 3. Nemani Valekapa 4. Brendon Marshall 15. Carlin Anderson 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Kurtis Lingwoodock 9. Troy O'Sullivan 10. Rod Griffin 11. Ray Schuster 2. Sam Martin 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Tariki Peneha 17. Marmin Barba 19. Wes Conlon 22. Matt Parcell