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Ipswich win emotional clash with Wynnum Manly

Round 18 of the Hostplus Cup was an emotional day at the North Ipswich Reserve.

Both the Wynnum Manly Seagulls and Ipswich Jets honoured two people who meant the world to the rugby league family, but sadly passed away this week.

Those two were Paul Green, who coached Wynnum Manly to back-to-back premierships in 2011 and 2012, and Michael Purcell, who played 73 games for the Jets.

The Jets had the added layer of captain Nat Neale playing his 82nd and final game at the North Ipswich Reserve after playing his first home game in Round 3 against the Sunshine Coast in 2011.

Wynnum Manly haven’t visited Ipswich since 2017 but have won the last four times they’ve clashed including a 56-4 win earlier this season.

The Jets starts to games have proven problematic with them only scoring 12 tries in the first 20 minutes of their games this season.

But the Jets went a long way to correcting that issue when they scored the first two tries inside the first 20 minutes and then a third in the 21st.

It was certainly not pretty but the Jets would take the four points; Gerome Burns hoisted the kick across the field and in the scramble for the ball another kick was placed into the in-goal, then another scramble and Lachlan Cooper came away with the ball and his third try this season.

For only the fifth time this season, the Jets scored first and took a 6-0 lead. The Jets scored the second try when Rhys Jacks saw his opposite number in the line and decided to try his luck going straight through him to score his second try for the Jets in 34 games.

Any team that has tries on their mind will have wide eyes when they get a mid-field scrum and the Jets’ eyes were bulging out of their head.

Ratu Rotavisoro, on the end of the mid-field scrum and some slick passing, scored in the right corner.

Then it was the chip and chase that brought points with Burns kicking for himself, Cooper grabbing it and passing it inside for Burns to score.

The Jets were getting down to attacking areas easily and when there they were throwing options that the Seagulls couldn’t handle.

As the ball went along the Jets backline Dominic Macumboy dove over to give the Jets a 26-0 start. That had the Jets high fiving and Wynnum Manly wondering what was happening.

Wynnum Manly started the long climb back out of the defensive hole they'd dug when Kalolo Saitaua climbed into the line and on the back of that play the ball Harrison Graham dived over to give the Seagulls a positive at half-time.

At 26-6 the Jets had easily their best half of football in 2022; five tries in a half when they’ve only scored 53 in the season had plenty of smiles around the North Ipswich Reserve.

What the Jets did well was get down into good attacking areas and not let the chances go to waste.

Wynnum Manly would need to turn around some poor handling that wasn’t allowing them to be in a position to score points or stop them being scored.

The second half started with Wynnum Manly’s plan just to finish sets and make the Jets bring it back from deep in their own end.

Wynnum Manly kept getting turned away by the Jets as they showed a stubborn style of defence.

Wynnum Manly kept getting down there through half breaks and it was Zac Hosking who finally turned it into points.

Max Plath had some Jets defence interested and turning in when he was able to pass to Hosking who turned and twisted his way through to the line for Wynnum Manly’s second try.

Wynnum Manly had scored the last two tries but still had a long way to go at 26-10 with 16 minutes to go.

Wynnum Manly proved that simple football scores points when they worked to the middle of the field and then came left for fullback Ben Farr to score and give the Seagulls a chance at 26-14 with seven minutes to play.

Wynnum Manly played with width and attacked the Jets left side when they went through the hands and it was Farr again that created space and Dredin Sorensen forced his way across the line.

A score of 26-0 became 26-18 with three minutes to play.

The Jets hadn’t scored a point in 48 minutes while Wynnum Manly had scored the last four tries.

The Jets hung on to record their fourth win of the year and finish Neale’s career at the North Ipswich Reserve with a win.

“It was a great first half and then in the second half Wynnum came back which they were always going to do," Neale, with his hand bandaged and stitches inserted, said.

The Jets. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
The Jets. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

“We hung on and that’s pleasing it’s the sort of game we might have lost earlier in the year. Maybe my last set of stitches for the Jets tonight.”

Jets play Norths Devils in Round 19.

Wynnum Manly will take on Souths Logan Magpies.


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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