Goodna's star recruit puts hand up for Jets
FRESH from scoring another hat-trick, Goodna speedster Brett Kelly would welcome a call-up to the Ipswich Jets.
"I'll take it with both hands when it comes,'' Kelly said after completing his second three-try haul of the season in Goodna's 36-10 A-Grade win over Redbank Plains.
With the Jets having lost Michael Purcell for 8-10 weeks with broken bones in his right arm, Kelly could be a future fullback option for Ipswich's Intrust Super Cup team.
Kelly's Goodna teammate Ray Baira was late last week called into the extended Jets squad as cover for a growing injury toll. Baira started on the bench and made his Jets debut in the second half of today's game.
Kelly, 26, joined Goodna after a season with Easts in the state league following an extended stint playing in the Northern Rivers competition where he grew up.
"I had a couple of games (with Easts) there then I just wanted to come over and play in Ipswich with the Jets and around here with the boys,'' he said.
However, while waiting for any potential call-up, the fleet-footed, lean and athletic footballer is enjoying his first season at the Eagles.
"I'm loving it, the brotherhood here,'' he said after the Eagles turned on another try-scoring lesson at Woogaroo Field on Saturday afternoon.
"I feel comfortable.''
Kelly, who grew up in Lismore and Byron Bay before heading north, is well versed in scoring multiple times in a game.
"I love getting hat-tricks,'' he said, recalling hauls of five and four tries "and heaps of threes'' during his time in the Northern Rivers.
On Saturday, he crossed for Goodna's second, third and fourth tries from a mix of speed out wide and making a break up the middle before sprinting to the tryline.
Kelly said Saturday's victory was pleasing after losing 21-10 to Brothers a week earlier - Goodna's first defeat of the Rugby League Ipswich season.
"That was heart-breaking,'' he said. "It was poor execution, a lot of dropped ball. But we bounced back really well.''
Goodna coach Corey Kirk said Saturday's game wasn't as clinical as we would have liked. However, he was happy his team achieved its target of not conceding 16 or more points.
That was despite some second half sinbin issues and players coming off injured.
Hat-trick hero Kelly said beating Redbank Plains was encouraging heading into the Easter break. "Everyone pulled all their weight,'' he said.
Being a newcomer to the Goodna team, Kelly was also happy to see teammates Jamie Maliko, Jardii Nean, Simon Bartley and Albert Junior Ma Chong also score tries.
"It was good to share it with the boys and enjoy our win,'' Kelly said.
Redbank Plains took the early lead when five-eighth Farran Willett crossed and converted his own try. But once Goodna replied through Maliko's try, the home side upped the tempo to continue their winning run at Woogaroo Field.
Both teams were guilty of dropped ball although Bears players like forward Pau Leautu never gave up as Goodna came close to scoring 40 points for the fifth time this season.
Asked who has helped him the most since joining Goodna, Kelly answered: "The coach Corey''.
"Just everything. Helping me bond with the boys and introduce me to all the new members,'' Kelly said. "It's a beautiful culture here.''
In today's A-Grade games, competition leaders Brothers thrashed the struggling Fassifern side 64-6 at Harrisville with Michael Saili leading the try fest.
Swifts headed into the Easter break with a 40-30 win over Norths at Purga.
State of play
RLI A-Grade: Goodna 36 (Brett Kelly 3, Jamie Maliko, Jardii Nean, Simon Bartley, Albert Junir Ma Chong tries; Simon Bartley 4 goals) def Redbank Plains 10 (Farran Willett, Michael Pouhila tries; Farran Willett conversion) at Woogaroo Field.
Brothers 64 (Michael Saili 4, John Maila, Wes Conlon 2, Rendy Mam, Loia Fetaoai, Josh Leisemann, Josh Afoa tries; Wes Conlon 5, Josh Leisemann 3 goals) def Fassifern 6 (Mahe Paseka try; Jake Hooper conversion) at Harrisville.
Swifts 40 (Ricki Mato 2, Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku, Peaton Samatua, Jake O'Doherty, Jacob Sinn, Aurangzeb Nuuola tries; Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku 6 goals) def Norths 30 (Jesse Zampech 2, Matthew Battins 2, Pacific Bakera tries; Jarrod Biggs 5 goals) at Purga.
Reserve Grade: Goodna def Redbank 48-4, Brothers def Fassifern 40-12, Swifts def Norths 32-16, Rosewood def West End 22-16.
Under 20: Goodna def Redbank 28-24, Brothers def Norths 30-10.
SEQ women: Easts def Brothers 24-12, Mt Gravatt def Goodna 10-8, Redlands def Redbank (scores unavailable).