The last time the Jets kicked off a season with a win was 2010 – and yesterday against the Norths Devils, the home side started 2016 intent of fixing the problem.
The Jets were chasing a club record-equalling seven wins in a row in the Intrust Super Cup stretching back to August 2015; while the Devils wanted to start the new season with a win after a hard year in 2015.
Ipswich had five debutants in their line up with Rory Humphreys, Sebastian Pandia, Marion Seve, Michael Purcell and Salesi Funaki all starting their Jets’ careers.
The game started like round one often does with plenty of optimism and excitement, but poor execution and timing.
Both teams were sorting each other out when prop Francis Molo used his big frame to crash his way over to the left of the posts and have the Devils off to the perfect start of 6-0.
Jets forward Josh Seage doesn’t get many tries, but he was on the spot to grab his third Intrust Super Cup try on the end of a clever Dane Phillips kick to put his side on the board. Carlin Anderson missed the kick and the Devils led 6-4 after 20 minutes.
It only took 33 minutes into the season before you got to say “Did Marmin Barba just do that?”
It was a Barba special in the left hand corner which saw him diving over the defender to score and give the Jets the lead of 8-6.
From the scrum, new boy Marion Seve jinked and found space to score his first try for the Jets and the home side extended their lead to 14-6 just before halftime.
Norths came back in the second half when Dylan Smith scored near the posts to narrow the gap to two points at 14-12.
Seve scored his second try on the right hand side and ran around under the posts to let Anderson add the two points. After 47 minutes the Jets led 20-12.
Anderson had started the day on 288 Intrust Super Cup points so his 14-point haul (through five goals and one try) saw him break the 300 mark for the Jets in the Intrust Super Cup. His try came after he sliced through off an inside ball to score his 32nd try for the Jets from 45 games.
In an entertaining game, Smith got his second try for the visitors, again bashing his way over to get the Devils well and truly back into the game and have the Jets thinking maybe we aren’t supposed to win round 1.
It was now 26-24 with six minutes to go.
However, another new boy in Michael Purcell took an intercept and ran away to score and seal the win for the Jets 32-24 with 78 minutes to go.
It was then time for some old heads to chime in, with the Jets’ lethal left hand side of Nemani Valekapa and Barba combining to get the winger a double and the Jets a Round 1 win.
Click here to watch the video highlights.
IPSWICH JETS 38 (Marion Seve 2, Marmin Barba 2, Joshua Seage, Carlin Anderson, Michael Purcell tries; Carlin Anderson 5 goals) def NORTHS DEVILS 24 (Dylan Smith 2, Francis Molo tries; William Brittain 2, Liam Tyson goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Read all the Round 1 match reports:
Kim’s Capras spoil Mackay’s party
Bears roar in second half blitz
Second-half comeback secures win for Tweed
Falcons celebrate closest of wins
Blackhawks win tight match v Phins
PNG open account v Magpies