Tweed Heads Seagulls v Ipswich Jets at Piggabeen Sports Complex on Sunday, March 5 - 2pm
Tweed Heads Seagulls
1. Lindon McGrady 2. Adam Barnes 3. Talor Walters 4. James Toole 5. Regan Ogle 6. Sionetakapautolo Alofi 7. Michael Burgess 8. Damian Sironen (c) 9. Samuel Meskell 10. Carne Doyle-Manga 11. Lamar Manuel-Liolevave 12. Samuel Saville 13. Nicholas Harrold 14. Petero Nakubuwai 15. Kaleb Bernard 16. Shane Gillham 17. William Johnstone 18. Mackenzie Reid 19. Sam Carsons
Coach: Aaron Zimmerle
1. Wesley Conlon 2. Michael Purcell 3. Marion Seve 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Richard Pandia 6. Luke Capewell 7. Dane Phillips (c) 8. William McConnachie 9. Christopher Ash 10. Nathaniel Neale 22. Tyson Lofipo 21. Jesse Roberts 13. Ben White 12. Fakahoko Teutau 14. Mikaere Beattie 15. Sebastian Pandia 17. Mitchell Carpenter
Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker
The last time they clashed round 24, 2016.
IPSWICH JETS 34(Richard Pandia 2, Nemani Valekapa 2, Billy McConnachie, Liam Capewell, Josh Damen tries; Josh Damen 2, Haydan Lipp goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 28 (Leivaha Pulu, Nathanael Barnes, Josh Coyle, Timothy Cassidy, Jacob Garland tries; Michael Burgess 3, Doug Hewitt goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Head to Head: Tweed 19 Ipswich 11
The Jets will have to carry two burdens into round one in 2017; a terrible record at Tweed and a terrible round one record.
The Jets avoided the trip to Tweed last year which might be a good thing because the Jets record down near the border is not too flash.
The Jets have only won twice at Tweed from 16 games. 2014 in the first week of the finals the Jets recorded their first ever win at the Coast.
IPSWICH JETS 28 (Marmin Barba, Kurt Capewell, Rod Griffin, Liam Capewell, Wes Conlon tries; Marmin Barba 3, Kurtis Lingwoodock goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 10 (Ricardo Parata, Jamal Fogarty tries; Blake Anderson goal)
The Jets backed it up with another win round 24 2015.
Then last year they didn’t have to travel to Tweed because both games were played in Ipswich.
Round one haven’t been kind to the Jets either.
The Jets have won one round one game since 2010 when they beat Easts 32-16. Last year the Jets got over Norths 38-24 to kick off the year with two points for the first time in six years.
While over all the Jets have only won 11 of 30 games between these two clubs.
Tweed Heads are coming off a year in 2016 they would rather forget. The Seagulls finished 13th with only 16 points.
In 2017 trials the Seagulls have beaten the Magpies 26-16 and the Bears 28-14. While losing 38-22 against the Newcastle Knights.
The Seagulls have several Titans they may be calling on in 2017. Sam Saville, Ryan Simpkins, William Zillman, Kurt Bernard, Morgan Boyle, Karl Lawton, Ben Nakubuwai, John Olive, Leivaha Pulu are all headed to the Seagulls if not required by the NRL side.
Tweed coach Aaron Zimmerle caught up with me to discuss the Seagulls’ pre-season and what he was looking for in 2017
“We have made individual defence our focus this pre-season. I have been guilty in the past against the Jets of focusing on what tricks they might use, where we need to concentrate for 80 minutes on simply making the tackle in front of us.”
The Seagulls have put a broom through the club with 30 of their 53 players that started the pre-season new to the club, bringing with them fresh optimism and determination to turn around the poor season last year.
“Season 2017 will be born from the ashes of 2016, a year in which our proud club struggled to compete with the premier sides in the competition,” said Seagulls coach Aaron Zimmerle,
“While many of last year’s losses came after competing strongly for nearly 60 minutes of each match, the frustration at not being able to get the job done was the angst of both players and coaches alike.”
The Seagulls have clearly set their sights on getting back to the unhospitable, snarling, ferocious birds they once were. Round one is a good place to start.
The Jets haven’t had great trial results but there have been plenty of positives. The Jets lost to Souths, Broncos and Tigers.
Round one will see the return of Luke Capewell to Jets’ colours after playing 15 games while contracted to the Titans- scoring 18 tries and four goals for the Jets.
Capewell will partner captain Dane Phillips in the halves and between the two of them the Jets have a very stable experienced halves combination for 2017.
Dane has played 145 Intrust Super Cup games. Scoring 31 tries and kicking four goals while Capewell has played 84 games scored 53 tries 94 goals 400 points.
Dane has an excellent short kicking game, while Luke is great at reading the play and putting himself in position to take advantage of offloads or breaks.
Michael Purcell could be a big beneficiary of the Jets’ halves partnership in 2017.
Purcell played 15 games last year and scored 13 tries. I am predicting that he more than doubles that try tally this season.
Purcell has speed and awareness. He doesn’t just sit out on his wing hoping the ball comes to him. He comes in field and finds the ball or the ball seems to find him.
Wes Conlon playing a full season will also help Purcell, those two linking around the back will have people sitting up in their seat.
Conlon played 11 games last year for the Jets coming back from injury but is great around the guys and is always enthusiastic.
In defence last year the Jets’ top tackler was forward leader Nat Neale. Neale made 671 tackles from 19 games averaging 35 tackles a game but more importantly only 20 missed tackles.
The Jets have named Mitchell Carpenter to make his debut as Jet # 579. While the Jets have also named Marion Seve from the Broncos who played one game last year for the Jets.
The Jets should also have Joe Ofahengaue who has been named on an extended bench for the Broncos.
The Jets v Seagulls always has a little bit of something going on. It’s a hard place to travel and keep your enthusiasm for life and football.
The Seagulls are trying to get back to Seagulls’ football while the Jets want to start 2017 playing their football.
Always a little bit of unknown about the first game of the year. Round one of a new season is a lot like a first day of school, everyone is optimistic and worked hard but there is still an element of the unknown.