Jets set for Preliminary Final showdown

Jets set for Preliminary Final showdown

The Ipswich Jets are harbouring added motivation as they prepare for this weekend’s HART Sapphire Series Preliminary Final against USC Thunder at Nissan Arena.

Having fallen short in last year’s penultimate game of the season, the Jets are determined not to see history repeat itself.

While their focus sits firmly on Saturday’s clash, Head Coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser knows the memories of last year’s loss will undoubtedly play a role.

“We were in this same position last year and the disappointment of losing a preliminary final certainly sticks with you, so I know the girls have probably been reflecting on that,” Jeanes-Fraser said.

“We set our sights on the Grand Final from day one of pre-season though, working incredibly hard to put ourselves in a position to go one better, and I know the girls are determined not to fall short.”

The Jets secured the Minor Premiership just a fortnight ago but were unable to book a direct trip to the final game of the season, having been beaten by a resurgent Brisbane North Cougars in the Major Semi-Final.

Far from having their confidence dented though, Jeanes-Fraser believes her side will be better for the loss.

“We were obviously disappointed with the result, but we’ve also learned a valuable lesson in understanding exactly the level required to win this competition.”

The Ipswich side will enter this weekend’s game having comfortably accounted for the Thunder in both clashes between the two sides during the regular season.

Despite a combined winning margin of 34 goals across the two fixtures, Jeanes-Fraser said it was a clean slate heading into the Preliminary Final.

“The last two results aren’t relevant to be honest – not only are they a different team now having hit their straps at exactly the right time, but finals are also a platform that brings the best out in teams and we expect nothing less from the Thunder.”

“We have a lot of respect for Gary and the Thunder squad, they’ve been in fantastic form in recent weeks with a strong the mixture of youth and experience across the court which makes them dangerous.”

While there are exciting match-ups across each third, Jeanes-Fraser is in no doubt where the Preliminary Final will be won and lost.

“The game will be decided in both circles.”

“You can’t deny the strength of the Thunder shooters, but I have great confidence in both our defence and attack ends, as well as the depth on our bench, so that versatility will be invaluable.”

The Ipswich Jets face USC Thunder in the HART Sapphire Series Preliminary Final on Nissan Arena’s Show Court from 6pm on Saturday night, with tickets available at the door starting from $10.

The game will also be LIVE streamed via the HART Sapphire Series Facebook page and website.

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