Jets converting talent for main game
THE score might have gone against them, but the Jets showed plenty of promise in their second pre-season trial yesterday.
Sudanese speedster and crowd favourite Chol Chol showed fans what he will bring to the Ipswich Jets this season with an exciting display against the Burleigh Bears.
In the final 10 minutes, a try to new recruit Chol, and a second to fullback Michael Purcell, set up an exciting finish as the Jets came home strongly in front of a big crowd at Goodna's Richardson Park.
The Bears held out to win 26-20 thanks to three successful conversions as the two sides finished with five tries each.
The crowd was treated to the first look at Newcastle Knight recruit David Fa'alogo in the green and white. One lucky fan won the chance to present the former international with his future jersey before the game.
The Burleigh Bears and the Jets faced off in Colts, BRL and Intrust Super Cup in a rare appearance at the Goodna grounds.
The Jets elected not to pursue conversions in all three games.
The Colts went down 40-16, before the BRL side recorded the Jets' only win for the day - 32-28 over the Bears.
Jets co-coach Ben Walker said his side was unconcerned chasing the extra two points, instead using the extra time to flesh out the new-look side.
"I'd prefer that we were 10 tries up but they really wrestled our ears off," Walker said.
"We weren't going for conversions because there was no point wasting time.
"With the number of players we have it was about trying to get as much football into them as possible."
Walker praised his side's backline with 18-year-old Chol crossing twice to put his rivals on notice.
"The outside backs are really putting their hands up with Ray Baira, Purcell and Chol who is shaping up to be a real crowd favourite," he said.
"If you have speed and strength you are generally a bit of a crowd pleaser and Chol showed he has plenty of both.
"He was electrifying."
With plenty of new faces getting a run for the Jets on Saturday, Walker was pleased with the depth of players available for selection.
"We were a bit disjointed as we threw them on and off, but we are in a pretty good spot having tried a few of the young guys out," he said.
"The pleasing thing from our point is that a lot of these guys weren't on our radar before pre-season.
"They've all shown they have ample ability."
The third and final trial game for the Jets will be a blockbuster showdown with NRL powerhouse, the Manly Sea Eagles.
Walker said the trip down to Sydney would give some of the newer players a chance to gel with the rest of the side.
"It's always good to go on a trip together and a good opportunity to get to know one another," he said.
State of play
Yesterday's trials at Goodna
Intrust Super Cup: Burleigh def Jets 26-20
BRL: Jets def Bears 32-28
Colts: Burleigh def Jets 40-16