Rugby league is at its best on a Sunday afternoon at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park and today’ match between the Tigers and Jets didn’t disappoint.
Easts had won three of the past four games between these two clubs and today was the 43rd time the Jets and Tigers have clashed in the battle of Ipswich Road.
Ipswich were after a win to keep their season on track for September finals, while the Tigers were looking to stay in the top half of the finals equation.
Tigers’ captain Jake Foster seized the momentum early for the home team when he scored in the scoreboard corner and had the Tigers celebrating a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.
However, the Jets hit back when Tigers fullback Linc Port waited for the ball to roll dead, only for it to be pounced on by Jets’ front rower Nat Neale who chased and dived on the ball before it rolled over the line.
The Jets were almost in again when Luke Capewell ran towards the Can Bar – getting over the line, but dropping the ball. The Tigers capitalised on the error when winger Jarrod McInally scored in the opposite corner to give the Tigers a 10-6 lead after 20 minutes.
For Jets fans, it’s heartbreaking seeing a Walters score against them; but that is exactly what happened the next set when Billy Walters went in under the posts after a great run from Tommy Butterfield.
The Tigers had all the momentum leading to halftime up 16-6. However, in the second half they had a moment of ill-discipline and conceded three penalties in a row giving the Jets the chance to attack.
Neale was taking full advantage of the extra ball charging into the Tigers and off-loading the ball.
Despite this, it was the Tigers who were the next to score and McInally had his second try after centre Shane Neumann flicked a miracle ball inside for him to run the 10m and score.
Things weren’t looking great for the Jets at 20-6 and they got worse when Gerard McCallum took an intercept and ran 30m before offloading to Brayden Torpy who scored to hurt the Jets 24-6.
With 14 minutes to go, the Jets regrouped and Capewell got the ball down cleanly this time and got the Jets back in the game at 24-12.
Next set, Wes Conlon sprinkled his magic attacking play on the game by executing a 40/20 kick that allowed Neale to score his second try and had the Jets steaming home 24-18.
Ipswich were then given a penalty within kicking distance and took the two points to have the game hanging by a thread for the Tigers at 24-20 with six minutes to go.
However, the comeback came too late for the Jets and the Tigers held on to claim their second win of the year against the Jets.
Next weekend, Ipswich will travel to Winton to take the on the Townsville Blackhawks while the Tigers will take on Norths at Mundubbera in the Channel 9 TV game.
EASTS TIGERS 24 (Jarrod McInally 2, Jake Foster, Billy Walters, Brayden Torpy tries; Brayden Torpy 2 goals) def IPSWICH JETS 20 (Nat Neale 2, Luke Capewell tries; Wes Conlon 4 goals) at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.