The QRL Media Year in Review series continues with Ipswich Jets. The Jets were one of the stronger teams in the competition in 2018, finishing the season in sixth place on the ladder.
The Jets enjoyed a strong victory in the first week of the finals series. However, they failed to fire in Week 2 of the finals, going down to an Easts Tigers side chasing their first Intrust Super Cup premiership.
With the 2018 Intrust Super Cup season having drawn to a close QRL Media have decided to take a look back through the year for all 14 clubs to see what went right, what went wrong and what the club are likely to focus on going forward into the 2019 season.
The remaining clubs will feature on QRL.com.au in coming weeks
More Intrust Super Cup Year in Review Series:
The Season By-The-Numbers:
Final Position on Ladder: 6th
Regular Season Win %:
- Won: 13
- Draw: 0
- Lost: 10
Home and Away Record:
- Home: 8-3
- Away: 5-7
- Scored: 554
- Conceded: 505
- F/A: 49
Players in Focus:
Standout Player: Nat Neale
- Tries: 9
- Average Run M: 147m
- Tackle Breaks: 93
- Post Contact M: 1489m
- Tackles: 736
- Tackle Efficiency: 92%
Notable Player Mentions: Michael Purcell, Jayden Connors and Ben Shea
Highlight: Jayden Connors double helps Jets to a come-from-behind win over Norths Devils to secure a place in the finals.
Notable Player Achievements:
- Nat Neale (XXXX Queensland Residents selection, Petero Civoniceva Medallist, Front- Rower of Year, Allan Langer Best & Fairest – Ipswich Jets & Walters Family Player’s Player – Ipswich Jets).
- Michael Purcell (Equal Intrust Super Cup Top Try Scorer 2018 and Best Back – Ipswich Jets)
- Jayden Connors (Rookie of the Year – Ipswich Jets)
- Seb Pandia (Best Forward – Ipswich Jets)
- Richard Pandia (Coaches MVP – Ipswich Jets and PNG Kumuls selection)
- Pio Seci (Fiji Bati selection)
- Ben Shea (150 Intrust Super Cup games)
- Marmin Barba (Most Intrust Super Cup tries – Ipswich Jets)
Key Factor: Poor Start Finals (Week 2)
The Ipswich Jets were one of the stronger teams in the Intrust Super Cup in 2018, finishing the season in sixth place on the ladder after securing a 22-14 victory over Norths Devils, in the final round of the regular season.
Ipswich enjoyed a strong win over the Townsville Blackhawks in Week 1 of the finals, upsetting the home side 32-12 at Jack Manski Oval.
Week 2 of the finals however saw the high-flying Jets come up against a strong Easts Tigers outfit. Jets started the game slowly, conceding two tries within the first seven minutes. The Jets attempted to muster a comeback with two tries before the break - but the Tigers proved too strong, running in a further seven tries to claim a 50-20 victory, at Langlands Park.
Looking ahead to 2019:
Looking forward to next season, Ipswich have retained most of their squad, including Petero Civoniceva medal winner and skipper Nat Neale, and this season's leading try scorer Michael Purcell. With the key retirements of influential playmakers Wes Conlon and Dane Phillips, the Jets will be looking to their young players for some added spark in attack. Young-gun playmaker Julian Christian is one who could fill this void in 2019.
Christian recently featured in QRL Media’s ‘Colts players to watch in 2019’ and enjoyed a breakout season with the Jets in 2018. With the guidance of the Walker Brothers, and the likes of Neale and Purcell spearheading their campaign, the Jets will again be a competitive side in 2019.