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Winless Jets eyeing of win against competition leaders

The tough start to the season for the Ipswich Jets gets no easier when they take on competition frontrunners Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the second week of Round 6 of the Hastings Deering Colts competition.

However, Ipswich Jets coach Christopher Ash said his side relished the week off where they mentally and physically refreshed and were now ready for the weekend's challenge.

“We just used the week to mentally refresh,” Ash said.

“One thing about the boys is that they’ve been really accountable and honest in our review sessions and they haven’t made any excuses for our performances.”

Wynnum Manly Seagulls coach Michael Dobson echoed a similar sentiment.

“We trained a couple of nights, but it was more about recharging the batteries and getting ready for this weekend,” Dobson said.

Dobson also said he was happy with how the start of the year had panned out so far, but he was eager for the team to push ahead and not rest on their laurels.

“The boys are going well and it’s been a good start to the year, but it’s only early days,” Dobson said.

“The boys are just buying in. Our outside backs are going really well as a group and the middles - on the back of that - once they get started, are coming off the back fence and playing really well through the middle.”

Despite them being yet to register a win for the 2021 season, Ash said there have been positives in the majority of performances from his side so far this year.

“It’s not panic stations just yet,” Ash said.

“We’ve been in every game besides Burleigh. We’ve even been leading at half-time in some of them, but at the back end of games, we are just falling away.”

Ash explained that his side’s defensive performances hadn’t necessarily been the issue and called for an improvement on the attacking front.

“Our goal line defence has been solid and the points that have been put on us are from our effort areas and not our defensive tactics, which is disappointing,” Ash said.

“But our attacking execution needs to be better because we’ve had chances to win nearly every game, but we just haven’t taken advantage of it with the ball in hand.”

Dobson recognised the areas where his side have been consistently strong and had contributed to their string of impressive performances.

“There’s no real trick to it. You’ve got to hold onto the ball at 21s level and if you can do that, it goes a long way to winning the game,” Dobson said.

“Especially with the new rules, if you lose that momentum through your errors and you’re playing on the back foot, it’s really hard to get it right, even at [Intrust Super Cup] or NRL level to get it right, so you’ve just got to complete high and give yourself a chance to win.”

Ash said he was expecting a clinical Wynnum Manly side in their upcoming clash.

“From what I’ve seen, they are a typical Wynnum outfit. They punch up the middle really well and then utilise their outside backs when they are on a roll,” Ash said.

“If we don’t improve in some areas (attacking execution) and don’t hold onto the ball, the result won’t go our way, but I think we’re a good chance if we can do all of the things we’ve been speaking about.”

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Dobson noted Ipswich would be eyeing off their defensive lapses which were highlighted in their narrow 36-30 win over the Sunshine Coast in Round 5.

“I’ve watched a bit of their footage. They’ll put a bit of pressure on us defensively, so we’ve just got to make sure we hold onto the ball and complete because they can certainly attack,” Dobson said.

“But if we can do that, it’ll help us hopefully get a win, but we’ve got to be better than we were two weeks ago defensively against the Sunshine Coast.

“Especially for that 80 minutes and against the Falcons, we were good for patches and there were patches that we faded out of the game and weren’t great defensively and I’m sure Ipswich will try and exploit that.”

Ash noted there has been some shining lights in a season which hasn’t quite gone their way.

“Lochlan Turnbull (hooker) being one of our older guys has really stood up and competed his backside off every weekend,” Ash said.

“Joseph Ross is another one since coming in for Round 3 at fullback. He’s been really good for us.”

Dobson called for his forward pack to stand up this weekend and lead the charge against a desperate Ipswich side.

“I think our middle forwards Malachi Retchford and Jacob Sturt-Tobin will hopefully be up for a big game this weekend,” Dobson said.

Elsewhere in the competition, week 2 of Round 8 will conclude with two additional matches to look forward to.

The Bears are climbing their way up the ladder after a 54-12 win over the Jets in their last start, adding to their tally of wins.

This weekend, they have players with Intrust Super Cup experience including Alofiana Khan Pereira and Will Evans returning to their line-up. 

Townsville Blackhawks mirror a similar pursuit of a top four spot after a 38-12 win over Mackay Cutters in their northern derby match in Round 5. 

A standout in the recent Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competition - hooker Tyreice Baira-Gela has been named on the bench for the away side. 

The physical Redcliffe Dolphins are coming off a narrow loss to Brisbane Tigers in Round 5, but will be looking to bounce back this weekend.

The Dolphins have recorded three wins overall for their season so far and have been strong at home, with all their wins coming at Moreton Daily Stadium.

The Western Mustangs remain winless for the 2021 season so far, but have shown plenty of effort in what has been a tough start to the season. 

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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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