THE Ipswich Jets and Easts Tigers are closest neighbours but don't share any special bond.

In the three times the Jets have clashed with the Tigers in the Intrust Super Cup finals, the Jets have won each game.

The Jets beat the Tigers in 2002 at Langlands Park, 2007 at North Ipswich Reserve and 2015 at home again.

On Saturday, the Jets travel to Langlands Park to take on the Tigers to see who plays the loser of the Bears v Dolphins clash.

The Tigers are coming off a massive 32-0 win over the Northern Pride while the Jets accounted for the Townsville Blackhawks 32-12.

The Jets and Tigers have come up against each other twice this year with both sides losing at home.

In finals, the Tigers have played 36 times winning 17. The Jets are now 11 from 21. Overall, the Tigers lead 24 to 21 with one draw.

Just as the were against the Blackhawks, the Jets will be raging underdogs. Ipswich has won only five of the past 16 games between these two clubs.

For more than 200 Intrust Super Cup games, Tigers' head-geared hooker Tom Butterfield has patrolled the middle of the Tigers' ruck.

"It's a great rivalry Jets v Tigers,'' Butterfield said. "Finals seem to send it up another notch.

"Ipswich have provided me with some great hookers to combat. I enjoyed Matt Parcell and now young (Jayden) Connors is playing some great football and he will be someone we need stop on Saturday."

Winning formula

I ALWAYS think the birth of the modern Jet was at Wynnum's home ground in the 2013 finals.

Co-coach Shane Walker stood in the dressing room telling his team that is how you win finals.

The Jets flew out to 20-0 at halftime and the Seagulls could never get it back. That was exactly the same margin at halftime as it was against the Blackhawks last week.

After two years of being eliminated in week one, the Jets had accounted for the Seagulls and defending premiers 33-6.

It was Ben and Shane's first finals win and first for the Jets since 2008.

The Jets replicated that effort again against the Blackhawks in last weekend's final with 65% possession, six line breaks to three, 61 tackle breaks to 36.

Michael Purcell had one of the best Jets' finals performances of all time in his first final - two tries, 11 tackle breaks and 195 metres.

The Jets have not lost a final since 2014 when Wynnum rolled them 34-22.

That is now six finals wins in a row including the State Championship.

Replica jumpers

THE Jets wore the Old Boy's Day 2002 replica jumper against the Blackhawks.

It was just like in 2015 when the Jets wore the Old Boy's jumper throughout the finals.

The Jets again came away with the win.

In 2002, the Jets beat the Tigers 28-22 at Langlands.

The Walkers hate a change of routine so I am predicting the Jets will charge from the dressing room on Saturday wearing the 2002 jumper again.

I spoke to some members of the 2002 team to find out how they came away from Easts with the qualifying final win.

Anthony Seibold (Jet number 379): "We got off to a great start and led 22-0 and Marshall Chalk had a blinder. What a great year with a great bunch of boys."

Marshall Chalk (Jet number 350): "I had a really good combination with our forwards. They would set up plays to get me the ball. It was a great team had an awesome year with those guys."

Brendon Lindsay (Jet number 376): "I remember Andrew Hamilton just taking it to the Easts' forwards and having a cracking game."

Generous Capewell

JET number 524 Kurt Capewell may be living in Sydney and playing for the Sharks but he has not forgotten the struggling farmers back home.

With more than half of Queensland in drought, Capewell decided something could be done so he is raising awareness and money for a cause that he says is very important to him.

"It's where I am from, I go home to Charleville and my mates are struggling, they're working for nothing at the moment,'' Capewell said.

"The NRL are giving $100 for every point scored in the finals, and anything you can give would help. The Sharks have got on board to help and are promoting it. It's just about raising awareness and shining a light on a big issue.

"The struggles are dramatic both mentally and financially for these people. They still have the same financial commitments as the rest of us: groceries, petrol and school fees but then you add so much more to what they have to do."

 

FANTASTIC FANS: The Ipswich Jets Switch City committee
FANTASTIC FANS: The Ipswich Jets Switch City committee

Switch City committee

THE Blues have Blatchys Blues and the Jets have the Switch City Committee.

If you are going out to Langlands Park on Saturday to watch the Jets you might come across the group of mates and brothers that are calling themselves the Switch City Committee.

The eight strong group of Ipswich civically minded men have started the supporters group this year to support the Jets.

Kurt Ison is an Ipswich fan who loves his Jets and league.

"We all support different NRL teams but we all support the Jets. It's our common bond,'' Ison said.

"We just love our city and are mad keen league supporters who are behind the Jets. We have old Jets' jumpers we wear and we go to all the games to support the Jets.

"Our aim is for the group to grow and we are working on a sign, at the moment it is just the eight of us all meeting at games.

"We played touch against Wes Conlon once. That was a pretty big moment for my brother and the committee. Wes is his favourite player.

"We just love the Jets.''

Cooper's stat

THE previous time the Jets played Easts in the finals was at Easts' home ground, 2002 Qualifying final: Ipswich 28 (M. Chalk, M. Jack, A. Bulow, B. Lindsay, R. Bird tries; R. Bird 4 goals) def Easts 22 (B. Liston 2, G. Allan 2, J. Bulgarelli tries; S. Thorburn goal).

A cold beer with . . .

THE year is 1976 and a young Wayne Bennett gives coaching a crack for the first time in Ipswich. I sat down with the coach to talk Ipswich, coaching and fighting.

Before you went to Souths in 1977 as captain/coach, you started your coaching career in Ipswich. What are your memories of coaching in Ipswich? I was 26 years of age. I still cannot believe what I did. I enjoyed working with them. Richards was the captain and a good bloke. He was very helpful and supported me. We made the State League final in Bundaberg, which was quite an achievement at the time. I remember lots but the standout was the Glass brothers refused to play because they were not happy with the team I selected. They did not play and another local legend wanted to fight me because I dropped him.

Do you have a favourite Ipswich footballer from your time watching? Dud Beattie, Noel Kelly and Garry Parcell were my favourites growing up.

Is it true you tried to get Alfie Langer to Souths in 1985? Yes. He stayed at Norths in Ipswich though.

What can you remember about coaching against the Jets in the State League? You had to be prepared to fight if you were playing them at Ipswich. I am not making that up either. We had a couple of big punch-ups.

You coached Garry Walker at Brothers; did you see any similarities between Ben, Chris and Shane Walker compared to their dad? Garry was a very good defender and hard worker. Shane always reminded me of him. Chris and Ben were very different players.


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