Is there a better sight in rugby league than Marmin Barba racing down the field with the ball in hand?
Ipswich co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker would argue there isn’t one, but rival Norths coach Mark Gliddon would probably see it differently after Barba inspired the Jets to a 36-10 victory over the Devils at Bishop Park yesterday.
Barba scored two long range tries as the Jets snapped a three-match losing streak to move into fourth spot on the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
Like the Jets, Norths desperately needed the two competition points yesterday but the home team’s assault hit an early snag when Ipswich winger Carlin Anderson took an intercept and sprinted away to score in the 13th minute.
Ipswich crossed in the next set of six after some enterprising play was finished by fullback Javarn White.
Norths needed to score next but those hopes were extinguished by Barba when he intercepted a pass and sprinted 80m to score under the posts.
The Devils finally got their timing right in the 33rd minute when a shift to the right was completed by Kainga Turner.
Todd Murphy missed the conversion as the Jets took an 18-4 lead into the half-time break.
Norths dominated the opening 10 minutes of the second half after Ipswich knocked-on from the kick off. After a spate of mistakes coming out of their own end, the Jets eventually conceded a try to Devils five-eighth Darren Nicholls.
Now within eight points, the reinvigorated Devils were starting to mount even more pressure on the Ipswich line.
But Barba almost singlehandedly put an end to the Devils’ fight back when he scooped up a grubber kick off his line, spotted a gap and raced into open space.
In an enthralling 100m foot race, Barba was nearly caught by Devils winger Michael Lucas, but the Jets speedster put on the afterburners to pull away and score in the corner.
Wes Conlon nailed a difficult sideline conversion to restore Ipswich’s 14 point advantage.
Late tries from Matt Parcell and Sam Martin closed out the win for the Jets, who will play the Sunshine Coast Falcons next weekend.
Norths will look to get their finals bid back on track with an away victory over the Mackay Cutters on Saturday night.
IPSWICH JETS 36 (Marmin Barba 2, Javarn White, Carlin Anderson, Sam Martin, Matt Parcell tries; Marmin Barba 3, Wes Conlon 3 goals) def NORTHS DEVILS 10 (Kainga Turner, Darren Nicholls tries; Todd Murphy goal) at Bishop Park.
Norths Devils: 1. Shaun Carney 2. Michael Lucas 3. Kainga Turner 4. Tristan Lumley 5. Keiran English 6. Todd Murphy 7. Sam Foster 8. Jamie Muller 9. Krys Freeman 10. Jared Blanke 11. Chris Faust 12. Brendon Gibb (c) 13. James Sharkie 14. Darren Nicholls 16. Troyden Watene 17. Jarrod Wallace 19. Mark Vaiao
Ipswich Jets: 1. Javarn White 2. Kurt Capewell 3. Nemani Valekapa 4. Brendon Marshall 5. Carlin Anderson 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Kurtis Lingwoodock 9. Troy O'Sullivan 10. Rod Griffin 11. Josh Seage 12. Sam Martin 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Billy McConnachie 18. Marmin Barba 19. Wes Conlon 22. Matt Parcell