The clash between Brisbane Tigers and Ipswich Jets was one that had plenty of passion, plenty of flair and a rivalry between captains and brothers Ryley and Rhys Jacks.
The Tigers kept the Jets scoreless in the second half to claim the win in Round 15; the Jets went into half-time up 24-12, but the Tigers regrouped to come out firing after the break.
As well as being the XXXX Rivalry Round re-match, both sides were wearing crazy socks in support of Crazy Round Round, which raises money and awareness for the work Family of League does.
Tigers captain Ryley Jacks said he was glad his team came away with the win – especially over his brother Rhys Jacks’ side – after a rocky start.
“It’s always nice to get one over him,” Jacks said of his brother, who was playing in his 50th game for the Jets.
“I thought we were good… it was probably just like a 20-minute patch there in the first half where we sort of switched off and then it made it a real contest, but our second half, I’m really proud of the team after being down 24-12.
“The way we realised and regrouped in the sheds is a sign of a good footy side.”
Jacks said the Jets proved tough to handle in the first half.
“The way they came out, their energy and their effort in that first half, was the reason why they were up… they were definitely up for this and you could see that,” Jacks said.
“Full credit to them. They’re definitely getting a win this year… luckily it wasn’t us, but they will be getting someone if they keep that up.”
Jacks said Joe Chan and Samuel Wallis off the bench for his side were impressive – particularly given it was Wallis’ first year of rugby league.
“I thought Sammy was really good coming off the bench,” Jacks said.
“I think Corey (Thompson), all of our usual players, did really well to get us over the line at the end there.”
Tigers winger Corey Thompson said “we made it extremely difficult for ourselves”, but said there were extremely positive signs in the second half.
“We went in down 12 at half-time and then we kept them to nil in the second half…I think that sums up our season, to be honest… we were down 20-0 at half-time against Redcliffe, then 14-6 down against Sunshine Coast last week,” Thompson said.
“We just make it hard for ourselves. And again, this week, first half, we made it hard for ourselves, but Churchy sprayed us at half-time.
“We came out and kept them to nil in the second half, but we’re still so far off where we need to be… but we’re on the rise and the good thing is we’ve got plenty of games left to kick-start and get back to where we should be on the ladder.”
Thompson said the team was learning every game; the standouts for him were young centre Saimone Ahomana and Wallis.
“Our young right centre Mon, he’s a young player to watch,” Thompson said.
“He has all the attributes a great centre has… he’ll be an exciting player.
“And Sam on debut… I thought he came on and lifted us, his energy and defence. He’s a big body and he was smashing them running hard.”
Elsewhere in the second instalment of XXXX Rivalry Round, Burleigh Bears centre Kea Pere scored a double in his side’s win over Tweed Seagulls.
Central Queensland Capras prop Bailey Butler scored a double to help his side beat Mackay Cutters.
And in a day for doubles, Will Partridge scored two tries in Northern Pride’s big win over Townsville Blackhawks.