Jets deceive the Devils
Ipswich kicked out on the full twice, dropped the ball on their own tryline and trailed for the majority of the game – but somehow escaped with an unlikely 32-25 win over Norths.
In a wonderful advertisement for the unpredictability and competitiveness of the Intrust Super Cup, the Jets pulled a rabbit out of the hat against one of the early pacesetters in the competition.
Prop Nat Neale continued to impress and amaze that he doesn't have a current NRL spot, winning the Hastings Deering Man of the Match with another powerhouse display.
Neale grabbed two decisive second-half tries, but his never-say-die-attitude and direction around the ruck were just as valuable.
The 29-year-old bearded bookend has not played NRL since 2014 when he made a solitary appearance for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, yet surely seems deserving of another chance.
Artful dodger Wes Conlon was another to impress and slotted five penalty goals to provide the difference on the scoreboard.
The signs were far from promising early on, when the home side conceded the first two tries to the Devils in meek fashion.
Iain Riccardi and Namila Davui grabbed tries in 6th and 10th minutes respectively as Norths jumped out to a 12-0 lead.
Compounding matters, Ipswich was giving away territory with gay abandon from risky manoeuvres in dicey field positions.
Testament to the fortitude of Ipswich's confidence however, they never gave up on rolling the dice, much to the pleasure of Channel 9 TV viewers and coaches Ben and Shane Walker.
A try to Julian Christian which put the Jets back into the contest was evidence of that, coming after Sam Caslick collected a short kick-off that rebounded off a defender, then threw a wide spiral pass to his weak side to Christian looming in support.
Several times in the second half the score was deadlocked, with both teams looking for the edge.
It came via Ipswich chipping away, potting penalties whenever the opportunity was presented, and then capitalising via hard running Neale.
Next week Norths will face the Northern Pride at Barlow Park on Saturday night, while the Jets travel to Davies Park on Sunday to take on Souths Logan.
IPSWICH 32 (Nat Neale 2, Julian Christian, Ben Shea tries; Wes Conlon 8 goals) def NORTHS 25 (Iain Riccardi, Namila Davui, Gehamat Shibasaki, Troy Dargan tries; Todd Murphy 4 tries; Troy Dargan field goal) at North Ipswich Reserve.