Former Rabbitohs players, Shane and Ben Walker, have led their excitingly unorthodox Ipswich Jets to a 26-12 victory over the Newcastle Knights in the second ever State Championship this afternoon as co-Coaches.
Boasting a style of play that had the building Grand Final crowd at ANZ Stadium enthralled and bemused in equal parts, the Jets took common Rugby League convention and tore it apart as they achieved their double – the Intrust Super Cup Premiership and the State Championship.
The Jets led 20-6 at half-time thanks to some fantastic points scored off the back of stealing the ball courtesy of their unorthodox style – specifically short-kick-off and line drop-outs.
The Knights were first to score in the second half, and nearly came away with a second when Newcastle seemed to explode through the line and into the corner. But it wasn’t just the Jets’ attack that was on song – an incredible try-saver in-goal saw the Jets maintain their eight-point lead.
But Newcastle were unperturbed – parking themselves right on the Jets line for what seemed like an eternity. The Jets proceeded to unsettle the Novocastrians in every way available to them. From desperation defence to giving away penalties for rushing up early in defence, the Jets continually stymied Newcastle’s attempts to score.
Ipswich’s defensive resilience would pay off when they again opted for an unconventional kick that led to a try to Rod Griffin before Carlin Anderson extended the lead to 26-12 – wrapping up the championship with nine minutes remaining.
Another Walker brother and former Rabbitoh in the form of Chris Walker, also played his role for the team by coming off the bench in the latter stages of the match to be on the field at full-time.
Congratulations to the Walker brothers on their Premiership and State Championship successes.