Opposition teams do not travel to Townsville and win easily; in the season-and-a-half the Blackhawks have been in the Intrust Super Cup; they’ve lost two games at home from 20 outings.
Yesterday was one of those games, with Ipswich getting the two competition points to breathe further life into their campaign. The Blackhawks have now lost eight games in their history; three of which are at the hands of the Jets.
On the back of his 10 tries in two weeks for the Jets’ BRL side; Michael Purcell was elevated into the Cup team for an injured Carlin Anderson, who suffered a broken jaw in his last game.
The game started well for the visitors with speedy back Wes Conlon putting the Jets into attacking position with a 40/20 and from that, Ben White went over for his second try this season from seven games. The Jets had the perfect start 4-0 after eight minutes.
A Blackhawks’ knock-on gave the Jets another attacking chance. Jesse Roberts threw a long ball to Dane Phillips, who then found noted try scorer Nemani Valekapa, who notched try number 35 for the Jets.
After 10 minutes, it was 10-0 to the Jets. The Blackhawks then worked their way back into the game when winger Jonathon Rueben scored his 16th try off a well-executed Michael Parker-Walshe kick to trail 10-6.
The home side then showed desperation to jump on a loose ball after a Matt Bowen cross-field kick which resulted in a Delouise Hoeter try. For the first time in the match, the Blackhawks took the lead and were in front 12-10 – which was the halftime lead.
The Jets came out committed in the second half to not let the chance of an upset slip; and it only took six minutes for Purcell to score his 11th try in three games and his second in the Intrust Super Cup when he received a Valekapa flick pass that got the Jets back in front 16-12.
The Jets were offered the two points from a penalty and gladly took it to lead 18-12.
Purcell could have added to his prolific try scoring reputation, but the touch judge saw a foot on the sideline and denied him his double with 16 minutes to go.
He wouldn’t have to wait too much longer though, eventually going over again for his double in the shadows of fulltime. A Haydan Lipp conversion pushed the Jets out to a 24-12 lead – the eventual winning score.
The Jets had completed the mission in the Defence Force Appreciation Round against the feared Blackhawks and done it without stars like Carlin Anderson, Marmin Barba and David Fa’alogo.
Next weekend, the Jets will have the bye while the Blackhawks will take on the Falcons in Townsville.
IPSWICH JETS 24 (Michael Purcell 2, Ben White, Nemani Valekapa tries; Wes Conlon 2, Haydan Lipp 2 goals) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 12 (Jonathon Reuben, Delouise Hoeter tries; Matt Bowen 2 goals) at Jack Manski Oval.