We won’t be fooled again
@rikkileea RYLEY Jacks will never forget the lesson he learnt when the Sunshine Coast bowed out of last year’s Intrust Super Cup finals series.
Leading 12-6 at halftime in the preliminary final against Redcliffe, the Falcons looked like they were on their way to Suncorp Stadium for a grand final showdown with Burleigh.
Instead, they fell away as the Dolphins ran riot in the second half for a 38-16 win in front of their home crowd.
For Falcons halfback Jacks, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
But it also taught him a lesson that he will carry with him into today’s preliminary final – against the same opposition at the same ground.
“I remember us being up halftime but we couldn’t finish off the job,” Jacks said. “That hurt to be so close to a grand final but not being able to seal the deal.
“You can’t really think about it too much ... but you definitely have to learn from your mistakes. That makes you a better footballer.
“What we have to do differently is play the full 80. It’s no good playing one good half of footy. We need to go hard for that full 80 and hold them out. That will be the difference.”
There will actually be a few differences for the Sunshine Coast today as they strive to make next week’s grand final against PNG.
Not only have they learnt their lessons, but they have a new-look spine compared to last season and have taken a much easier road to this year’s grand final qualifier.
Last year Craig Inge- brigtsen’s side had to travel to PNG twice and to Townsville before their preliminary final loss at Redcliffe. This season they’ve had a home final and a game in Brisbane.
Jacks – who is aligned to the Melbourne Storm and made his NRL debut in Round 1 this year – is now joined in the spine by fellow Storm signings Jahrome Hughes, Scott Drinkwater and Brandon Smith.
He said this combination would be key today if they wanted to upset the Dolphins, who are $1.65 favourites with UBET.
“We’re a lot more mature and more calmer. We just need to keep playing like we have been. We have a bit of momentum.’’
HARSH LESSON: Ryley Jacks is haunted by the Falcons’ 2016 finals loss to Redcliffe.