The Jets and Pride have played some epic comeback battles in their short history; and Ipswich added another winning chapter today to defeat their northern opposition 16-12.
The Pride had opened the scoring with William Bugden going in under the North Ipswich Reserve posts after his five-eighth Todd Carney signalled his intention to pass, but instead kicked – aiming for the upright.
The Jets could not clean up the rebound and the big Pride prop was onto the loose ball, and with the conversion, the visitors were up 6-0 in front after 23 minutes.
They went further ahead when Shawn Bowen latched on to the intercept when the Jets were attacking right; and he ran the length of the field to score in the corner and give the Pride a 12-0 lead with four minutes to go before halftime.
However, the Jets were not to go into the break scoreless as they took the opportunity right before heading into the sheds to kick a penalty goal.
Throughout the game, the Jets had defended well; but the Pride had made the most of their chances.
While behind, the Jets could look back to past comeback encounters for inspiration; including 2010 where they completed one of their greatest ever fightbacks against the Pride; clawing their way back from trailing 16-0 at halftime to go on to win 22-16.
They did a similar thing in Round 8, 2014 when after letting the Pride get out to an 18-0 lead after 30 minutes; Wes Conlon, Brendon Marshall and Marmin Barba combined to turn the game around and secure a 24-18 victory.
While today’s result was not quite as epic, it showed the never-say-die attitude of the Jets and 10 minutes into the second half, it was time for Michael Purcell to have some influence over the result.
He set sail straight up the middle and around Pride fullback Jordon Biondi-Odo to score his third try this season and have the Jets well and truly back in the game at 12-8 with 30 minutes remaining.
Fijian flyer Pio Seci was next to score when he followed through on a Dane Phillips short kick to ground the ball and give the Jets their second try of the half to level the scores.
They went ahead for the first time in the match when captain Nat Neale made an inspired run, charging down the right-hand side of the field before crashing his way over the line.
With his try, the Jets had gone from 12-0 down to 16-12 up in the space of 28 minutes and they held on to secure themselves comeback win against one of the form teams of the competition.
It was only the second loss of the season for the Pride who have shot out of the blocks in 2018; mostly off the back of some great form from their young halfback Jake Clifford.
Next week, the Pride will take on the Tigers at Barlow Park in the Channel 9 (QLD) TV game; while the Jets face off against another northern side in the Mackay Cutters.
IPSWICH JETS 16 (Michael Purcell, Pio Seci, Nat Neale tries; Wes Conlon 2 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 12 (William Bugden, Shawn Bowen tries; Jake Clifford 2 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.