DASHING PERFORMER: Ipswich speedster Brendon Marshall scores a try for the Jets at the North Ipswich Reserve this season.
DASHING PERFORMER: Ipswich speedster Brendon Marshall scores a try for the Jets at the North Ipswich Reserve this season. Claudia Baxter

Jets' veteran centre leads way helping teammates flourish

IF RUMOURS Ipswich Jets winger Carlin Anderson is about to sign a contract with the Brisbane Broncos are true, Brendon Marshall should take plenty of credit, if not a cut.

Marshall has already seen one winger, Tautalatasi Tasi, groomed on the flank beside him, snapped up by an NRL club this season.

But the veteran centre's praise for Anderson is as unselfish as the way he plays the game.

"I've told him there's not many young players who think the way he does," Marshall said.

"He's seeing stuff out there a seasoned Cup player might see.

"Picking his times and watching body language to tell if an opponent is going to kick or pass."

Marshall plays his 150th first grade game for the Jets tonight when they host Mackay at the North Ipswich Reserve.

He becomes the second most capped Jets player, passing former teammate Brendon Lindsay, behind only Danny Coburn.

You couldn't count the number of teammates he has made look good with the unsung work he does on the field.

It is every bit as important as the moments of magic he regularly produces and his near-flawless defence.

When Marshall made his way from Mt Isa at the end of 2005, wide-eyed and naive, all he knew was he wanted to play in the top grade.

He had an opportunity to do so with the Jets and has paid them back ever since.

"As a young country boy, it was scary at first," Marshall said.

"After a month or so, it lessened.

"I really wanted to play Q Cup."

Before long Marshall had no desire to be anywhere else.

At the end of a 2007 season where he was in and out of the top grade, Marshall was offered a two-year contract to join Wynnum-Manly.

He declined and got to play in the grand final with the Jets in 2008.

Hard times followed but never did Marshall wish he'd taken the lucre to join a rival club.

"I could tell the club was going somewhere," he said. "I preferred to stay and fight for a spot."

If the Jets can again reach the grand final, even win it, there will be no more deserving servant of the club than Marshall.

To get there, the Jets are eyeing a top-two spot on the ladder, which will require them to win their remaining four matches.

"Everything's shaping up pretty good," Marshall said.

"We're coming off a couple of good wins.

"We're aiming for second to get a second bite of the cherry. But hopefully we only need one bite."

Game day

QCup today (5pm): Ipswich Jets v Mackay Cutters at the North Ipswich Reserve.

Head-to-head: Ipswich 9 Mackay 5. Referee: Peter Gough.

Jets line-up: 1 Javarn White, 2 Kurt Capewell, 3 Nemani Valekapa, 4 Brendon Marshall, 5 Carlin Anderson, 6 Josh Cleeland, 7 Dane Phillips, 8 Kurtis Lingwoodock, 9 Troy O'Sullivan, 10 Rod Griffin, 21 Martin Kennedy, 12 Sam Martin, 13 Keiron Lander (c), 17 Josh Seage, 18 Marmin Barba, 19 Wes Conlon, 22 Matt Parcell.



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