The Ipswich Jets travelled to Rockhampton for their first away game of the 2015 Intrust Super Cup season with the words of coaches Ben and Shane Walker ringing in their ears.
All week the Jets’ coaches had told the players that the Central Queensland Capras would start well; full of enthusiasm and fire.
The Jets struck first with centre Chris Walker crossing for his 60th Intrust Super Cup try. Like last week against the Blackhawks the defence held off and Walker took full advantage of a hole that appeared.
The conversion was successful and the Jets had a great start.
It was from here that the words of Ben and Shane took on prophetic proportions and the Capras showed plenty of that enthusiasm and desire.
Matt Minto dominated the next 30 minutes and guided his Capras team around the field. Minto went to the line and threw a great short ball for Garrett Field, who took advantage of a Jets defence that had failed to get their defensive spacing right.
Minto then kicked a 40/20 to regain his side the ball and on the back of that possession Russell Webber scored. The Capras’ forwards were moving the piano around the field and Minto was playing it like a maestro.
The Capras went further in front when Fabian Souter crashed over and all of the sudden the underdogs were up 14-6. Things got better for the Central Queenslanders when Broncos under 20’s player Jonas Pearson scored and Minto converted to lead 20-6 after 31 minutes.
The Jets were playing a frustrated brand of football but regrouped and regained some ground when Rod Griffin and Matt Parcell combined to get the Jets moving again. Parcell scored and narrowed the gap to 20-12 after Marmin Barba converted the try wide out.
From the kick off it was time for the Jets attack to click into gear and it was the combination of Barba and Carlin Anderson who saw the Jets go 100m.
By half-time, the healthy lead the Capras were enjoying was destroyed in the space of five minutes. The Capras now led 20-18.
In the second half the Jets lost Chris Walker to concussion and had to reshuffle their backline. But it was the opposite centre Nemani Valekapa who scored his fourth try of the season in three games and the Jets took the lead for the first time since the fifth minute.
The Jets lead 22-20 with 20 to go and had to withstand raid after raid from the Capras who refused to go away.
The Jets iced the win with another special try with two minutes to go which swept up field and through the hands, ending with a chip and chase for a great Jets’ try by Dane Phillips for a 28-20 lead with two minutes to go.
The Capras still weren’t done and got back into the game with their own chip and chase try and a double to Pearson to narrow the gap back to two.
In the end the Jets held on to record a thrilling 28-26 win.
Next week the Jets will travel to the Sunshine Coast to take on the Falcons, while the Central Queensland Capras come up against the Townsville Blackhawks.
IPSWICH JETS 28 (Chris Walker, Nemani Valekapa, Carlin Anderson, Dane Phillips, Matt Parcell tries; Marmin Barba 3, Wes Conlon goals) def CQ CAPRAS 26 (Jonas Pearson 2, Russell Webber, Fabian Soutar, Garrett Field tries; Matt Minto 2, Ian Webster goals) at Browne Park.
CQ Capras: 1. Javarn White 2. Tarrant Mariner 3. Russell Webber 4. Ian Webster 5. Ha'Ofanga Rabakewa 6. Matt Minto 7. Russ Aitken 8. Peter Gallen 9. Josh Mitchell 10. Fabian Soutar 11. Garrett Field 12. Guy Williams (c) 13. Gavin Hiscox 18. Jonas Pearson 21. Gerrard Tema 16. Chris Stolk 24. Andrew Dale
Ipswich Jets: 1. Wes Conlon 2. Marmin Barba 3. Chris Walker 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Carlin Anderson 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Daniel Vidot 9. Matt Parcell 10. Rod Griffin 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Gerico Cecil 15. Troy O'Sullivan 16. Billy McConnachie 17. Liam Capewell