Mackay Cutters coach Steve Sheppard after his team fell to Ipswich Jets at BB Print Stadium.
Mackay Cutters coach Steve Sheppard after his team fell to Ipswich Jets at BB Print Stadium. Aidan Cureton

Ball possession makes all the difference in Cutters loss

THE INTRUST Super Cup top-eight spot eluded the Mackay Cutters for another week after they fell to Ipswich Jets on Friday.

Cutters boss Steve Sheppard predicted the opposition's relentless quick turnover strategy, but his men were unable to prevent it.

Ipswich dissected the Cutters' defence when they tossed the ball to the man behind in rapid succession until a Mackay man left his mark. When they found their target they would drill it.

Cutters held their ground and even took the lead in the second half, but Jets swarmed a hat-trick in the last 15 minutes and stole the win.

A frustrated Sheppard said in a game where possession was key, Ipswich were in control of the ball for too long.

"That's how they play. They like to keep the ball off you as much as they can and win that possession stat,” he said.

"I've heard them openly talk about (it), there's a lot of stats in football and if you win the possession stat you pretty much win the game.

"They definitely had that because they had about 11 more sets than us.”

Sheppard noticed the play style and said his men needed to be more aggressive in their defence.

"You just have to make sure they don't get any game speed. So you have to make sure everyone goes on their back defensively,” he said.

"Also if you play passive your contact is not as strong and that's when they can get those quick play of the balls. I reckon if you got back and watched all their tries were off quick play the balls.”

The Jets' risky style played to their advantage with the opposition winning most of the chances they took.

"They also play football where they put to contests. It's a 50-50 contest in everything whether it's a high kick or a low kick,” Sheppard said.

The Cutters coach said his side were mentally present in parts, but needed to extend that effort if they were to win.

While the Jets played their traditional style of footy, Sheppard noticed a few changes in their strategies.

"I've seen them kick long tonight, I've seen them tap the ball instead of take two, they were a bit different than they usually are,” he said.

Aidan Cureton



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