Ipswich Jet and Brothers recruit Chris Ash (right) congratulates Michael Purcell during an Intrust Super Cup match.
Ipswich Jet and Brothers recruit Chris Ash (right) congratulates Michael Purcell during an Intrust Super Cup match. Rob Williams

Jet praises Brothers smart wet weather footy

STILL in the extended Jets squad, Chris Ash was pleased to see his Ipswich teammates turn it on to beat Northern Pride on Saturday.

Ash watched the game streamed live as he prepared for his latest rugby league encounter.

That was for his junior club Brothers, where the skilful halfback started his first A-Grade match this season in Saturday night's 34-10 win over the Redbank Plains Bears.

"It took me 15-20 minutes to get back into it,'' Ash said, having been a late call-up to the Brothers bench in their previous match.

"It's obviously very different to playing at the Jets. It's a more traditional style of footy.''

Ash, 26, played all his junior football at Brothers before spending nearly a decade with the Jets. He came up through the Jets Colts and former BRL ranks to make regular appearances in Ipswich's Intrust Super Cup side.

While still in the 2019 Jets squad, the dependable footballer was eager to play as much as he can for Brothers when not required for Ipswich.

"They (the Jets) know if they need me, they'll give me a call,'' Ash said.

"I'm still training with them and stuff like that. They leave it up to us whether we want to play or not. But I'm a player that needs to be playing week in, week out.''

As for Saturday night's game at the Redbank Plains Recreational Reserve, Ash said it was a forwards battle in the wet conditions.

"We stayed really patient and scored some tries towards the end of the half which was good,'' he said.

"We started playing some smarter wet weather footy.''

Brothers coach Jason Connors agreed.

"It was a game that wasn't for the backs,'' Connors said. "It was a game for up the middle.

"I thought collectively we had a lot of errors in our game but in the second half we fixed that and just concentrated on playing through the middle.''

Brothers took control of the match through Robert Kennedy, Israeli Oti and Josh Afoa, with valuable impact off the bench.

"Our forwards did a good job. I was pretty pleased in the end to get the result,'' Connor said.

Although the big men had extra work to keep Brothers unbeaten, fullback and captain Wes Conlon scored two tries and booted five goals.

"Wes controlled the game really well,'' Connors said. "Our kicking game was good.''

Connors said the young Bears had plenty of energy, something he warned his team about especially in the conditions to avoid getting behind.

Brothers lost centre Fine Faingaa early to a hamstring injury in the wet conditions, forcing a reshuffle of the backline.

Redbank also had a major injury scare with forward Costner Lemafa requiring ambulance treatment.

State of play

RLI Rd 4: A-Grade - Brothers 34 (Wes Conlon 2, Shane Gibson, Maka Faingaa, Rendy Mam-Gibuma, Loia Fetaoai; Wes Conlon 5 goals) def. Redbank 10 (Paul Leautu, Bronson Baker tries; Farran Willett goal).

Reserve Grade: Brothers 52 (Noah Elisaia 3, Eddie Pabai 2, Jakob Tierney, Brock McNulty, Zac Sutton, Damien West; Ryan Brown 6 goals, Josh Whitwell goal, Brock McNulty goal) def. Redbank 0.

U/20: Brothers 44 (Matt Thompson 2, Chris Tanuvasa, Josh McCarroll, Bodhi Haspels, Junior Notoa, Monson Lang-Sui; Josh McCarroll 6 goals) def. Redbank 4.



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