I think we will field an even stronger side than last week when we take on Northern Pride at Piggabeen tomorrow but we’ll have to play better against a very good football side to get the points.
With Leilani Latu and Tristan Lumley back from injury we’ve got more size, experience and punch in the pack.
But our completion rate against the Jets last Saturday went back to below 60 per cent (56) and we have to be better than that against the Pride.
Having said that, the way Ipswich play with short kick-offs which they often get possession back from, and regular ‘trick plays, our general retention of the ball wasn’t as bad as the stats suggest.
We showed in the last 20 minutes that if we control the ball better and get back to our structures, points will come and it was good to see us get a win by doing that against a Jets side that can rattle you because they play a different style to everyone else.
We had a lot of new combinations last week and with another game under their belts, we should be better with the familiarity in what we do.
With Kane Elgey in his third match with us and Konrad Hurrell in his second, you’d expect a bit more precision in what we do on both edges.
Kane was great in his first game back from the Titans against the Cutters but was patchy against the Jets. We need him to really take control of what we do tomorrow but still look for opportunities with his running game, with Lindon McGrady in great form as his halves partner.
The good thing is that we are playing with more belief and patience, and that is showing when we get behind in the scoreboard and knuckle down to our processes, remaining confident that points will come.
We face another team above us on the ladder but these are the challenges we need to tackle if we want to be a finals side.
The Pride have some classy young players we have to watch.
While they have lost Todd Carney, they’re still strong in the halves with a real up-and-comer in Jake Clifford plus Jordan Bioni-Odo. Then they have Javid Bowen in the centres who has played plenty of NRL and Gideon Gela-Mosby has been chosen on an extended bench and could be back, and he is a genuine strike player.
They have a strong pack who got the better of Redcliffe last week which is a fair effort and they could have Enari Tuala although he could be a late call-up for the Cowboys tonight.
So it’s a big game for us, in the middle of three straight at home. But mostly we have to worry most about getting our game right and controlling the ball because if we do that, I think we have the class to do really well this season.
And we have the depth too, as shown by the fact we have 11 in the Gold Coast Vikings A-grade squad that is playing in the Chairman’s Challenge this weekend – and 10 in the run on side that played Brisbane last night.
Congratulations to those guys. It leaves our
A-grade a bit understrength tomorrow but it’s good for those guys to play at representative level against good opposition.
I hope to see you at the game tomorrow – 2pm kick-off.