Melbourne overpowers Jets cubs

THE Ipswich Jets failed to repeat last week’s sterling performance as a team filled with teenagers was outclassed by NRL team the Melbourne Storm last night.

The Jets only played the first half and lost 34-0 at Langlands Park.

The Jets used a largely different squad against the Storm to the one which went down to the Sydney Roosters 22-12 last Saturday night.

The backs especially were filled with youngsters trying to stake a claim for the Queensland Cup but with a large penalty count against them, they were always on the back foot.

The match was divided in two, with the Easts Tigers playing the second half against the Storm.

But Jets co-coach Shane Walker said the trial was valuable despite its short duration.

“Any time you get to play an NRL team, you have to take that opportunity,” Walker said.

“At this point its just about getting the guys a chance to play footy again.”

Trevor Exton played his first match since returning to the Green jersey after a stint in England.

Ian Lacey did not play and is unlikely to play any of the trial matches.

The Jets’ chances this season were boosted significantly when the squad emerged with a different attitude after a back-breaking 13-hour intensive training camp at Burleigh two weeks ago.

Starting at 5.30am, the group was put through a torture session by the “Friday Warriors”, a group of ‘old school’ fitness fanatics, including Ben and Shane Walker’s father.

The day was made into a competition as the Jets were divided into five teams of seven players and had to complete a six-stage course.

Just reading what comprised the stages brings out a sweat.

At any one stage, there were three people riding, three people running or paddling with a log, and one support driver.

Stage 1: 10km cycle, 3km run.

Stage 2: 25km cycle and a walk up Mount Panorama hill.

Stage 3: A hill-infested 17km cycle, a 9km kayak.

Stage 4: A 15 km cycle with 7km constant climb and a 1.5km hill run.

Stage 5: A 20km very steep cycle, a 7km paddle down the Nerang River

Stage 6: A 7km run then a team 750 metre swim and then another 3km run to finish back at Pizzey Park.

The group, led by Jets giant winger Ramon Filipine, finished the competition first.

Jets co-coach Ben Walker said the players benefited immensely from the day.

“Its probably the hardest physical things a lot of them have done in their life,” he said.

“I’m certain the 35 players will be much better mentally for that experience, even if didn’t teach them any football skills.”

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