Former Kumul Rod Griffin will be a key figure in the middle for Ipswich against the PNG Hunters on Sunday. Copyright: SMP Images/QRL Media Credit: SMP Images/QRL Media Copyright: SMP Images/QRL Media
Ipswich can push their way into the top four on the Intrust Super Cup table if they can hand the PNG Hunters just their second defeat of the season in Round 6 this weekend.
This weekend's round of matches are spread far and wide throughout Queensland with the only two undefeated teams, Northern Pride ad Norths Devils, heading for a heavyweight showdown at Billy Slater's home town of Innisfail.
Mackay will be desperate for a shot of confidence when they host Tweed Heads, the Sunshine Coast are trying to break a 24-game losing streak at home against Burleigh, Redcliffe should continue their resurgence against Central Queensland and Souths Logan host Wynnum Manly in another mouth-watering clash. Easts Tigers have the bye.
It will be a fabulous occasion when the Hunters arrive at North Ipswich Reserve on Sunday with former Kumul representative Rod Griffin preparing to lead the Jets into battle against his countrymen. To mark the historic first meeting of these two teams the match will be broadcast live on the University of Southern Queensland's online Phoenix Radio station from 1.50pm, making it available worldwide to anyone with an internet connection.
Sunday will also serve as the first Disability Awareness Day hosted by the Jets in conjunction with ALARA Qld Limited who provide a large range of support services for those with a disability and their families in the Ipswich and surrounding areas.
"As a club we want to encourage others to create opportunities for disabled persons and make a stronger commitment to equal opportunities with rugby league for all," said Jets CEO Wayne Wendt.
"The Jets adopted this approach when we appointed a young disabled man, Tyson Turner-Thomas, to work for the club on game days and he now has the big job of controlling the score board.
"As part of the day we will be signing a game-first Equality Commitment where the Jets will commit to take positive action to develop and embrace equal opportunities for the game to be enjoyed by all people in Ipswich in an inclusive environment."
On the field the Jets will have their work cut out for them with the Hunters coming off a 20-all draw with Easts Tigers, a game that has been the talk of rugby league in south-east Queensland over the past seven days. The epic end-to-end contest produced some extraordinary rugby league in front of one of the biggest crowds seen at Brisbane’s Langlands Park in years.
With the PNG team’s fan base expanding by the day, Sunday’s match is expected to attract another bumper crowd. Adding to the appeal of this game is the attacking arsenal of both teams.
Ipswich’s dynamic smaller men, including Wes Conlon, Marmin Barba, Troy O’Sullivan and Matt Parcell, have been posing problems for opposition defences. Like the Jets, the Hunters can score tries from anywhere on the field, with their ability to offload and break out of tackles a feature of their play.
Ipswich will be without injured fullback Javarn White, while the Hunters are set to be without strike centre Thompson Teteh.
For full previews of all Round 6 Intrust Super Cup fixtures click here.