Ip-switch­ing it up: Gulls stay hip to mer­cu­rial Jets

Tweed Daily News - - SPORT - Steve Vi­vian steve.vi­vian@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

RUGBY LEAGUE: One might think an op­po­si­tion’s quirky game style would re­quire in-depth analy­ses and plan­ning, but the Tweed Seag­ulls won’t be pay­ing too much mind to the Ip­swich Jets’ un­pre­dictable traits in to­day’s ISC match-up at Pig­gabeen.

The clash shapes as the Seag­ulls’ big­gest in re­cent mem­ory and, if it can ex­tend a three game win-streak, the club could find it­self within strik­ing dis­tance of the ISC top six.

But to get back into the fi­nals con­ver­sa­tion, the Seag­ulls need to de­code the Jets’ switchy style of play.

“(The Jets) are dif­fer­ent so they don’t re­ally give you a gauge,” said Seag­ulls coach Ben Woolf.

“It can be such a dif­fi­cult game that you have to pre­pare dif­fer­ently. You can get caught out in ways that you nor­mally wouldn’t. They al­ways play an ex­cit­ing brand of footy.”

But Woolf says the best way for his side to com­bat the noise from across the pitch will be to ex­er­cise pa­tience and calm.

“They’re un­pre­dictable, so we’ve put a lit­tle bit of time into them, but we’re just more fo­cussed on get­ting our­selves right this week, get­ting through our sets and let­ting the footy come,” he said.

“We’ve got to be bet­ter in the ruck than we were against Mackay, but we’ve also got to make sure we keep play­ing that at­tack­ing footy.”

The Seag­ulls en­joyed seven days off over the bye to freshen up some “boys who were a bit busted”, ac­cord­ing to Woolf.

Apart from the in­jured Hiale Roy­croft and Tris­tan Lum­ley, the Seag­ulls will have a near full-strength out­fit to throw at the sixth-placed Jets side, spear­headed by ex-rab­bitoh Nathaniel Neale and emerg­ing hooker Ju­lian Chris­tian.

Help­ing and hin­der­ing the Seag­ulls’ cause is good and bad news at the Gold Coast Ti­tans’ se­lec­tion ta­ble.

The bad: Tweed will have to do it with­out full­back AJ Brim­son, who has been ar­guably the club’s most im­por­tant cog dur­ing the past few rounds, af­ter the Ti­tans se­lected the 19-yearold to make his NRL de­but to­day in recog­ni­tion of his blis­ter­ing form at Cup level.

Moeaki Fo­tu­aika, who made his NRL de­but last week dur­ing the Seag­ulls’

bye, will also re­main with the Ti­tans for their fix­ture against the Mel­bourne Storm.

The good: The Seag­ulls will run out against Ip­swich with more NRL ex­pe­ri­ence than at any point dur­ing the sea­son with the ad­di­tion of Ti­tans-listed play­ers Kon­rad Hur­rell, Leilani Latu and Bren­dan El­liot to the team.

Half­back Kane El­gey, who will look to im­press again at Cup level, re­mains with the Seag­ulls along with Kiah Cooper and Ryan Simp­kins.

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