TOP EFFORT: Combined Australian Services rugby league players Josh Lees and Jesse Jenkins before Saturday’s kickoff. Above: Action from the match.
TOP EFFORT: Combined Australian Services rugby league players Josh Lees and Jesse Jenkins before Saturday’s kickoff. Above: Action from the match. David Nielsen

Amberley-based servicemen share in Australia’s triumph

IPSWICH'S Royal Australian Air Force serviceman Josh Lees played his part on home turf on Saturday.

The Australian Combined Armed Services (ACAS) beat their New Zealand counterparts 30-24 at the North Ipswich Reserve.

Australian winger Lees was one of two servicemen stationed at Amberley who were in the team.

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The other was back-rower Jesse Jenkins.

But Lees is also a home grown Ipswich lad, who grew up playing junior league for the Lowood Tarampa Stags.

Not much has come close to the feeling of winning a Test match for the Australian Combined Armed Services.

"It was one of the better feelings I've felt on a footy field," Lees said.

"It was good to be around family and friends. And to have been able to concentrate on footy for a week, not have to work."

Lees was picked to make his ACAS debut last year but was sent on deployment so didn't get to play.

It built up the anticipation before Saturday's game despite the familiar surrounds.

"I was nervous," Lees admitted.

"It was surreal thinking we were versus New Zealand."

Lees, an armament technician on Super Hornets at Amberley, said it was "one of the more physical games," he'd played.

He believes it was the Australian team's superior fitness that got them home. "They seemed to be blowing a bit harder," he said.

"We chanced our arm early on while they were more one-out.

"Getting the ball out wide and around them is what did it for us."

Lees threw the final pass for one try. He is confident he has done enough to retain his spot for the next test.

That will be against a Great Britain services team before State of Origin III at Suncorp Stadium.



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