We won’t be fooled again

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - RIKKI-LEE ARNOLD

@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.

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