Jets lose match, but win fans in Cooktown
"JUST an absolute great bunch of guys.”
That was the impression the Ipswich Jets left on Cooktown Junior Rugby League president John 'Chook' Giese and the rugby league-loving community during their trip to Far North Queensland last weekend.
The Jets faced Northern Pride at Cooktown's John Street Oval for the Intrust Super Cup's 'Get in the Game' Country Week on Saturday.
And although the Jets have since returned to Ipswich, their impact on the Cooktown community and young rugby league players will be a lasting one according to the CJRL president.
"The Jets players were brilliant. They just interacted with everyone,” he said. "It was the best thing I could hope for.
"They were out there for the community and it was good to see.”
Stepping off the chartered bus from Cairns, the Jets were taken on the "Cooktown Tour” by Giese and a few locals.
"They went down to our markets and did a warm up and some agility drills down there, which was good,” he said.
"A few of the boys bought some handlines and went fishing off the wharf at night time with some locals.
"To put it plainly, I was absolutely impressed with the whole weekend.”
The Jets and Cairns-based Pride drew a large crowd to the John Street Oval in anticipation of high quality rugby league.
But it was the matches held beforehand which pleased Giese the most.
"Cooktown is definitely a rugby league-oriented town, but as a little club we don't get a lot of competition up here,” Giese said.
"We've got an under-14 girls team but unfortunately they don't have another team to play against.
"The interest in the round meant we got a girls team from Cairns to come up and play us.
"All-in-all from the club's point of view, it was a very positive weekend for us. Not just to have the Jets and Pride here, but for the kids to be able to play in front of a crowd that was more than just their Mums, Dads, and friends.”