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Jets go back to basics to beat Capras and claim first win

Stars Wars may have the return of a Jedi and ‘Lord of the Rings’ features a return of a king; but today’s Round 5 Intrust Super Cup game at North Ipswich Reserve featured the return of the Ipswich Jets.

Everything that makes the Jets the Jets was on show against the Central Queensland Capras as the side claimed their first win of the season with a 40-24 effort.

To start the match, Ipswich marched up field with forwards working hard and backs finishing off tries.

The Jets crispness in attack and lethal short kicking game of Josh Cleeland was building pressure inside the first five minutes.

The Jets continued to challenge the inside shoulder of the Capras and the repeat set resulted in more ball and the Jets got the best outcome after four minutes.

Ratu Jope Rotavisoro scored the Jets first try of the afternoon far out on the Jets right when the ball went through the hands from centre field; Julian Christian threw a long ball to centre Jordan Carriera and he made the space and Rotavisoro was over just inside the corner post for his first Intrust Super Cup try in his second game.

The Capras let the Jets apply more pressure with a penalty that marched the Jets down field and on the back of that extra ball the Jets attacked from right to left.

Carriera travelled further than most people do on holidays and ran across field to find Nat Neale who offloaded to Rich Pandia to score the Jets second try and his 34th try for the Jets.

Cleeland added the two points and the Jets had a great start at 10-0 after 10 minutes.

The home side kept applying the blow torch to the Capras with repeat sets and a short kicking game that had the Central Queensland team begging for a reprieve.

However, Capras started their fight back through half maestro Jack Madden in the 30th minute when the half scored his fourth try in 2021.

Madden went the blind and chip kicked for himself, he found the bounce and scored to have the Capras on the scoreboard.

Madden’s try sparked the Capras to find their attack and interchange hooker Aaron Teroi scored the Capras second try when on the back to two penalties, Teroi burrowed down to the middle of the North Ipswich Reserve and put the ball down.

The Capras took the lead for the first time in the half as the siren sounded for half-time Madden went to the left and found a rampaging Nixon Putt to score and take the lead 14-10.

The second half started well for the Jets when Christian scored his fifth try in five games in 2021 when he grabbed the bomb from Cleeland and scored under the posts.

The Jets had the lead back when Cleeland took the two points.

Jets interchange momentum maker Blake Lenehan simplified his thinking this week and came up with a massive 189 meters in 55 minutes and his third career try for the Jets in 23 games.

“Our focus this week was just to do our job, not worry about anyone else,” Lenehan said.

“I just wanted to cart the ball forward and make ground, not worry about anything else.

“If I do my job and don’t complicate things then we can win.”

Zac Hetherington runs the ball for the Jets against the Capras. Photo: Josh Woning / QRL
Zac Hetherington runs the ball for the Jets against the Capras. Photo: Josh Woning / QRL

On the back of a penalty the Jets looked to Lenehan and the big man extended the Jets lead 22-14 after 51 minutes.

Jets head-geared half Cleeland ran 50 metres to score an intercept and score try number 16 in his Jets career.

Three back-to-back tries saw the Jets lead 28-14 after 16 minutes in the second half.

Putt though sparked hope for the Capras and had his second try and got his side back to within eight points when the human wrecking ball crossed the line with 20 to go.

But it was Jets fullback Jayden Connors who helped secure the two points for the team, bring up his 100th career point in the process after stepping through and scoring under the posts late in the game.

Capras outside back Jack Maizen showed the spirit of the Capras and gave them faint hope with five minutes to go at 34-24.

But rookie Rotavisoro finished the return of the Jets with his second try with a minute to go after the Jets forwards punched their way through to the right-hand side and the Jets went back to the left and Christian found his winger.

Next weekend, all Intrust Super Cup teams will have a bye. Jets will host Tweed Seagulls in their Round 6 game on May 8.

The Central Queensland Capras will head to BMD Kougari Oval to take on Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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