The Ipswich Jets continued their recent good run of form by defeating the Northern Pride 22-12 at the picturesque Ken Brown Memorial Oval at Thursday Island.
Match: Pride v Jets
Round 18 -
Venue: Ken Brown Oval, Thursday Island
Northern Region manager Scott Nosworthy estimated there were more than 1000 people in attendance during the day which began with some fantastic junior matches in the Zenadth Kes Junior Rugby League Challenge and the Outback v Northern United game.
While the Pride were the home side, the support was relatively evenly matched around the ground - however Pride winger Gideon Gela-Mosby was the standout favourite, with the noise rising every time he got the ball.
While the fans were eventually treated to a great game with the Pride lifting in intensity in the second half to produce an exciting finish; both teams struggled early and were forced into errors and gave up penalties to produce some frustrating football.
The first try didn't come until the 23rd minute of the match when the Jets were finally able to capitalise on their use of the ball, when pressure on the Pride winger from a high kick resulted in a turnover to the visitors.
They were able to use to ball to set up for Mitch Carpenter to steam through under the posts.
The Jets were in again soon after when Josh Seage was on the end of some razzle dazzle play - a lucky rebound was collected by the Jets before a nice inside pass found the forward with his motion fully set on getting over the line.
With both kicks from Marmin Barba successful in windy conditions (he had missed an earlier penalty attempt which would have seen them open the scoring) - the Jets had a 12-0 lead at the break.
Ipswich opened the scoring in the second half with a great wingers try from the powerful running Rogan Dean who dove over in the right hand corner.
The Pride were finally able to respond when they had an extended run of pressure on the Jets line.
With the ground announcer urging the crowd to get behind their team, Tom Hancock surged over just to the left of the uprights to bring the scores to 16-4. Jordan Biondi-Odo was successful with the conversion attempt for a 16-6 scoreline in the 53rd minute.
However, while the Pride then had many opportunities during the rest of the half, the Jets line would not be broken again when the game was in the balance, despite the best efforts of Gela-Mosby who created excitement down his left edge.
Instead, the Jets put the game to bed when skipper Nat Neale was able to charge, bounce and spin his way out of tackles to put the ball down in his side's first proper chance with the ball in the second half with nine minutes left of the clock.
The Pride were able score a consolation try as the siren was sounding, with fullback Cephas Chinfat, who has impressed for the side since his recent Intrust Super Cup debut, over in the far right corner. Brayden Torpy was successful with the conversion attempt after fulltime.