Broncos Target: Jets speedster close to securing NRL future
IPSWICH Jets fullback Carlin Anderson is on the cusp of signing a full-time contract with the Brisbane Broncos for 2016.
The 19-year-old has prospered in his two seasons at the Jets and spent last off-season training with the Brisbane Broncos.
His move to fullback for the Jets from the wing earlier this season has given his rare talents even more of an airing.
So much so the Broncos have had to fend off offers from rivals including St George, Gold Coast, Canterbury and North Queensland for his signature.
"I wanted to stay loyal," Anderson said of his decision to sign with the Broncos.
"This is probably the second step for me. I did the hard yards.
"Now I've got to keep playing good footy and improving.
"Hopefully one day I can crack the NRL."
To most good judges it is a matter of when, not if, he makes the NRL squad.
Anderson was a late comer to league, only starting in his mid-teens.
But he has shown a knack for freakish feats, demonstrating miraculous skills and vision so far in his short senior career.
The Jets can expect more of it as Anderson matures and gets more accustomed to life at fullback.
That's if the Broncos don't deny them the chance.
"I think fullback is my position," Anderson said.
"I love playing fullback and am getting used to it.
"Most of the time we're in attack I try to push up as much as I can.
"I look for an off-load off the big boys or follow (centre) Nemani Valekapa when he uses his fend, or run off one of the quick boys in the middle.
"We get along so well and love to play that style of footy."
Anderson is confident the Jets are on track to beat Easts at home this afternoon, if they can stop Tigers five-eighth Shaun Nona.
The Jets will have the services of Daniel Vidot from the Broncos again but not Joe Ofahengaue, who has been recalled to the NRL club's first grade squad.
The Jets are also without interchange utility Troy O'Sullivan, who has personal commitments this weekend.
Wounded props Rob Griffin and Tyson Lofipo are close to making their returns.
Today (3pm): Ipswich Jets v Easts Tigers at North Ipswich Reserve.
- Jets: 1. Carlin Anderson, 2. Marmin Barba, 3. Chris Walker, 4. Nemani Valekapa, 5. Brandon McGrady, 6. Josh Cleeland, 7. Dane Phillips, 8. Josh Seage, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Rod Griffin, 11. Sam Martin, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Keiron Lander (c), 14. Daniel Vidot, 15. Kurtis Lingwoodock, 16. Billy McConnachie, 17. Liam Capewell, 18. Gerico Cecil. Coaches: Ben Walker and Shane Walker.
- Tigers: 1. Eddie Tautali, 2. Richie Kennar, 3. Donald Malone, 4. Michael Kai, 5. Matt Duffie, 6. Shaun Nona, 7. Grant Giess, 8. Christian Welch, 9. Tommy Butterfield, 10. Liam McDonald, 11. Dane Hogan (c), 12. Jake Foster, 13. Troy Giess, 14. Francis Tualau, 15. Matthew Zgrajewski, 16. Dean Britt, 17. Joel Romelo. Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen.
- Head to head: Easts 19, Ipswich 18, drawn 1. Last time they played (July 27, 2014): Ipswich Jets 22 (Kurt Capewell 2, Nemani Valekapa, Carlin Anderson tries; Brendon Marshall 2, Marmin Barba goals) def Easts Tigers 18 (Eddie Tautali, Shane Neumann, Matthew Zgrajewski tries; Liam Tyson 3 goals) at Langlands Park.
- Key stats: The Tigers have 134 points after conceding 23 tries this year (the third best defence in the competition). The Jets have 174 points against their defence, letting in 11 more tries than the Tigers. In attack, the Tigers have scored 198 points through 38 tries. The Jets have scored 226 points.