Seci hat-trick sees Jets down Phins
The Jets had not beaten the Dolphins since 2015, and it took something special for them to reverse their recent fortunes; something like a Pio Seci hat-trick.
The Dolphins came to Ipswich in great form, having won five games in a row and they were looking to continue pressing their momentum.
But when Cameron Cullen tried to “do a Jets” play and drilled the short drop-out to the Jets’ right hand side; Ipswich were awake to the plan and Kierran Moseley quickly executed an offload to Seci who gave the Jets a 4-0 lead.
In a game that provided few scoring chances early, the Dolphins took to the air and isolated Richie Pandia, with a soaring Jonus Pearson reaching over the top to score just before halftime.
The conversion attempt was waved away and scores were 4-4 at the break.
It did not take long in the second half for Redcliffe to hit the lead after an error from the Jets.
Jamil Hopoate was on hand to score his second try of the season to the left of the posts put the Dolphins in front 10-4.
The Jets were given the chance to chip away at Redcliffe’s lead with 30 minutes to go and took the two points on offer with Wes Conlon kicking the goal to get the Jets to within a try with 28 minutes to go.
The Jets followed up the penalty goal with a mistimed Dane Phillips kick being chased hard; and somehow, the Jets had the ball. Seci kicked for himself, chased and grounded the ball for his second try.
Seci was in the game again minutes later when on the back of a penalty down-field Julian Christian (pictured above) placed a kick on the third tackle for the Fijian flyer to rack up his hat-trick.
Last week’s match winner Sam Caslick made sure he featured in the point-scorers column again when on the back of some great movement from Ben Shea and Ben White, he was able to break free and race away to put the Jets in front 22-10.
On e of the rising stars of the competition, Kotoni Staggs added to his 2018 points tally by adding four more for the Phins after he scored in the right-hand corner to stop the Jets momentum.
He then slotted two more points via a penalty goal to get within a try the Jets to trail 22-16.
However, they were not able to pressure the Jets again who put in a tremendous defensive effort to hold on for an important win.
Both teams will have the bye next weekend.
Ipswich Jets 22 (Pio Seci 3, Sam Caslick tries; Wes Conlon 3 goals) def Redcliffe Dolphins 16 (Jonus Pearson, Jamil Hopoate, Kotoni Staggs tries; Kotoni Staggs 2 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve
*Michael Nunn is a QRL Correspondent covering the Ipswich Jets