The Lowedown with former Socceroo David Lowe

It was a good day at the office for the Jets, wasn't it?

As one wag sitting immediately behind me said at 3-0: "Get a photo of the scoreboard. When was the last time you saw that?"

I can't remember off the top of my head. 

That is probably a question that my occasional stats man, Jeterpool, could answer instantly, but the point of the comment was crystal clear.

The long-suffering Jets fans had something to celebrate, and the standing ovation afforded to Andrew Nabbout when he was substituted in the final throes of the game was an excellent barometer of the crowd’s mood.

I turned to my confidant – "Glass half full" – and noted Brisbane must been wondering how that happened.

HAPPY DAYS: Andrew Nabbout, left, rushes in to celebrate skipper Nigel Boogaard's goal against Brisbane. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

HAPPY DAYS: Andrew Nabbout, left, rushes in to celebrate skipper Nigel Boogaard's goal against Brisbane. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

"They've never really threatened, Lowey,’’ he remarked, and on review he was 100% correct. 

One excellent save by Jack Duncan from Tommy Oar, tellingly from mid- to long-range, was the notable exception.

Those who recall my occasional analysis of matches will know that I have discussed frequently in recent seasons Brisbane's problems against Newcastle.

Often I have felt they are lulled into feeling that they are in total control of matches through possession stats, but have allowed the various Jets teams to get men behind the ball as they build up slowly and methodically.

End result, although attacking players like Holman and Oar get on the ball, they still face an organised and numerically strong defensive block to dissect.

So with 63% of the ball on Sunday, plenty of touches for their creative players, and a sense of comfort in midfield, did Brisbane fall into the same trap as usual? Déjà vu on steroids?

Was I being fair to the Jets, concentrating on what I perceived as Brisbane shortcomings?

The answer was found in a refreshing post-match press conference where Jets coach Mark Jones revealed the focus for his team was to get men behind the ball, not concede and bank on the pace and flair of his front four to hurt Brisbane on the counter-attack.

No mention of controlling the game, imposing a style, just an honest and pragmatic assessment of going about getting a result with the troops at your disposal.

That type of perspective probably won't get you a gig as a keynote speaker for the curriculum, but it will help you accumulate as many points as possible.

At this point I have to say that this is not a "park the bus" type of strategy either, and shouldn't be mistaken for one.

On the contrary, Wayne Brown in the No.10 role often pushed on to try and stop Brisbane playing out, leaving the Roar with a numerical advantage in midfield on occasions.

Steve Ugarkovic from central midfield made some excellent forward runs, and collected himself a very well-taken goal.

Nick Cowburn looked very comfortable and assured at right back, links well going forward, and I reckon is just about the most consistent passer of the ball at the club.

Devante Clut added energy and a threat when he made his second-half appearance, and grabbed a deserved goal against his old club.

So there were promising signs in the attack, and four goals as Jones pointed out was a "fantastic" return for the team.

But he, more than anyone, will appreciate that it came on the foundation laid at the back.

At the heart of that was skipper Nigel Boogaard, who was solid, bordering on imperious at times, for the entire 90 minutes.

Big Lachlan Jackson alongside the captain wasn't far behind him, despite giving several thousand Newcastle fans heart palpitations with his dummy in the six-yard box at the defensive end in the first half.

Jones trusted Jackson at the selection table, and we perhaps saw the reasoning for that when he comfortably legged it with the pacey Jamie Maclaren, running a channel in the first half.

From that moment on, Brisbane rarely played balls beyond the Jets’ back four.

There will be different tests, sterner examinations in the coming weeks, but the players and the fans are very entitled to savour the moment, before re-focusing on the trip to Western Sydney on Sunday to face the Wanderers.

Elsewhere, events in the league were headlined by Tim Cahill’s extraordinary debut goal for Melbourne City in the derby against bitter rivals Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC's second consecutive 4-0 victory, this time against Central Coast.

At 37 years of age, Cahill is not going to dominate games for 90 minutes like, say, the "Pasty Pirlo", Aaron Mooy.

Nor should we expect him to.

But gee he can lift when the spotlight shines, or the big occasion arises.

He scored a gem of a long-range goal, set the early tone with an aggressive challenge, and poured a little petrol onto the flames of rivalry as he took his leave from the pitch just after the hour mark.

Big bang for your promotional buck FFA, and a grand occasion unless you are in the Melbourne Victory bunker.

Cahill can't be expected to score goals like that every week.  His bread and butter will still come from crosses into the penalty box, but as one former Socceroo noted on Sunday, whatever he tries won't fail due to lack of self-belief.

Sydney FC continued their hot start, and are the Jets’ next home opponent on Saturday week.

It would be terrific for the club and the fans if the Jets could enter that contest undefeated. 

Newcastle skipper Nigel Boogaard was solid, bordering on imperious at times, for the entire 90 minutes.


Discuss "The Lowedown: David Lowe’s verdict"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.