The Ipswich Jets kept their Intrust Super Cup finals campaign alive with an utterly dominant 54-0 win over the QCCS Mackay Cutters at BB Print Stadium.
Already lacking in confidence, atrocious ball control combined with Ipswich’s unorthodox brand of football provided a dismal night for the hosts as they crumbled to their heaviest defeat of the season in front of a big home crowd packed in for Indigenous Round.
The tone was set just seconds into the contest as Mackay’s opening kick-off sailed out on the full, with Chris Ash scoring for the Jets just minutes later as he planted the footy down inches inside the dead ball line off a pinpoint grubber kick.
Sam Caslick doubled the visitors lead as he managed to swipe the ball out of the grasp of a Cutters defender off a spiralling bomb kick, before Ash had a his second try of the night latching onto a miracle offload just metres out from the try line.
Jayden Connors made his first impact of the night when he split the Mackay defence apart and set up Marmin Barba for a 40m try right up the middle of the park, moments before getting a four-pointer of his own, crashing over from short range to bring up 30 points for the visitors before halftime.
Barba pushed the lead beyond five converted tries with a penalty goal, before Ben White fell onto a loose ball in the Mackay in-goal to effectively put the game on ice.
Michael Purcell was the benefactor of some pressure-free football as he snared a brilliant Barba chip-kick down the left flank to dot down near the posts.
Richie Panda added to the shopping list of Jets’ try-scorers as weak tackling let him stroll over to score, before Purcell got a dose of déjà vu as he once again found himself on the end of a picture-perfect chip kick to bring up the half-century for Ipswich as the full-time siren mercifully ended Mackay’s suffering.
“That wasn’t (Intrust Super) Cup standard of football,” Mackay coach Steve Sheppard lamented post-match.
“We struggled from the opening kick-off to the last siren. I think we had four sets in that first half, they just kept the ball away from us.
“A few boys would be feeling sorry for themselves and will need to find a bit more effort. We’re going to wipe the slate clean, but we need to get a bit of pride back into this jersey.”
IPSWICH JETS 54 (Michael Purcell 3, Chris Ash, Sam Caslick, Marmin Barba, Jayden Connors, Ben White, Richie Pandia tries; Marmin Barba 9 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 0 at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.
*John Bartley is a QRL Correspondent covering the Mackay Cutters