The main message when we take on Ipswich Jets on Sunday is to play with more patience and purpose at the end of our sets and respect possession a lot more than we did last weekend.
Because they’re no way we can expect to win a match if we have only 37 per cent of possession which was the case against Redcliffe Dolphins. That was due to either penalties, often late in the penalty count and in the wrong part of the field, or just basic errors.
There were positives and negatives from the performance.
It was good that was competed well for as long as we did despite not having much ball and losing skipper Cheyne Whitelaw and Rory Lillis with injury, leaving us two down on the interchange for pretty much half the game. The effort was tremendous.
Considering the Dolphins had 23 sets compared to our 14 attacking the tryline, and 63 per cent of possession overall, so to concede four tries wasn’t a bad defensive effort.
The area we need to improve though was that when we gave ourselves opportunities but just didn’t do anything with it too often.
We have to fix that against the Jets because the whole basis of the way they play is for them to keep the ball away from their opposition and control the ball when they have it. They’ll throw some trick-shots at you and you have to be aware of that.
We’ve been putting ourselves under too much pressure and gave away too much possession. Redcliffe’s first four attacking sets were on our line because of our errors, and they took advantage of that early momentum.
We tested then on three occasions early, didn’t quite score, then lost patience when we didn’t come away with points.
The more time our halfback Ryley Jacks plays and trains with us the better we’ll be in that area I think and we’ve made a change this week to put Lindon McGrady back to five-eighth and will start Christian Hazard at hooker where he could be quite dangerous. Lindon and Ryley combined well in the first two rounds.
We get Kirk Murphy back for this match which will really stiffen our defence and we might have Titans forward Will Matthews make his first appearance for the season after recovering from injury.
Cheyne and Rory will be rested which means Stuart Mason gets to make his debut for the club off the bench while John Makin will debut on the wing, with Talor Walters going back to fullback.
The next two weeks are important for us, with another home game against Norths Devils, going into the bye the weekend after, and we have to use the opportunity to get to where we want to be with the ball and grind out a win and keep in touch with the top teams.