Norths Devils have undergone some change this week with Rohan Smith announcing he will leave for the English Super League and coach Leeds, but one thing hasn’t changed, when pressure is on and Norths need something special, their big three of Jack Ahearn, Tyrone Roberts and Kierran Moseley will find a way.
The Jets showed plenty of resilience and effort, but the class of Norths Devils won out in the 79th minute.
Match: Jets v Devils
Round 5 -
Venue: North Ipswich Reserve, Ipswich
The Jets started positively and rolled through their sets; Ngangarra Barker saw opportunity on the left with Lachlan Cooper rolling the ball through the Devils’ defence for Ono So'oialo to score his second try this season.
So’oialo took the conversion from out on the left and had the lead 6-0 after 10 minutes.
From the next set, the Jets attacked off their line and found themselves 90 metres down field when Joel Holdsworth made the break.
The Jets attacked and Tyler Coburn dug his way over the line to have his second try in game 20 for the Ipswich Jets.
Ipswich were attacking with flair, while Norths were wondering what was happening at 12-0 after 12 minutes.
It could only be Norths’ main man and captain Ahearn who took the wheel and guided the Devils to good attacking area and when they got there, he rolled it through ever so sweetly for fullback Matthew Milson to score.
Roberts added two points and it was 12-6 to the Jets after 21 minutes.
The Jets got four points back straight away when they went left; Cooper went high for his outside men to jump, it came back into the hands of Denzel Burns who turned the Devils inside to run and find Blake Lenehan to score his side's third try and give Ipswich a healthy 18-6 lead.
Roberts was up to some tricks around the ruck scheming and stepping his way through the Jets to offload to bench forward Ben Nakubuwai to rage his way over the line and close the gap to six points.
It was a chain of passing that saw the Devils get their next points, in the left hand pocket, seemingly having to go right, the Devils hooker Moseley turned and found straight-running Connor Broadhurst who offloaded to Rashaun Denny to score.
It was a high octane attacking first half with six tries and the Jets leading 20-16.
It was six minutes into the second half when Norths found their rhythm and attacked to their right, and it was the old firm of Ahearn to Broadhurst who added in Brayden McGrady who backed up his try last round with another one in the corner this week.
The Devils took the lead for the first time 22-20 and they extended that lead minutes later from a Roberts bomb.
Norths went to the air when they next went down to Jets’ territory and the ball bounced for McGrady to toe it ahead pick it up and pass up to Jacob Gagan who went in to score.
Ipswich clawed away and when a Coburn pass found the grass, but was scooped up by Cooper to pass on for Ricco Falaniko to storm down to the sideline and find Barker, the Jets were looking good to upset the premiers.
It was the boot of Cooper again when he had a quick look and saw Barker flying though and nicely placed it for his flying half to score his second try.
Broadhurst was next to bother the scorers when he latched onto a short side pass from Moseley and ran the 30 metres to score in the corner.
That left Norths with a two-point gap with nine minutes to play.
With two minutes to play, the Devils showed their championship quality with a set that started 10 metres out.
With an unbelievable chain of passing, Norths were able to work their way over halfway by tackle three.
Then it was time for the Devils’ attacking arrows to take over - Ahearn, Roberts and Moseley.
Grand final hero Michael Sio came up with the inside pass from McGrady to get the Devils home 36-32 with seconds to spare.
Despite the disappointment, the performance of the Jets would have been heartening for fans, with the side without hard-working skipper Nat Neale who was sitting on the sidelines due to suspension.
Next week, the Devils have a bye while the Jets will travel to the Sunshine Coast to take on the Falcons.
Match: Falcons v Jets
Round 6 -
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast