Stalwart has ton of pride
WITH the Queensland Cup season entering its second half, the time has come for the Ipswich Jets to make their move.
The Ipswich Jets welcome Northern Pride to the North Ipswich Reserve tomorrow afternoon where a win could lift them into the competition's top five with a game in hand on most of their rivals.
The match marks centre Brendon Marshall's 100th for the club.
But don't expect Marshall to get all sentimental about it.
"It's just another game," he said.
"But it does feel good.
"After my first year (2006), coming last with two wins, I didn't see myself staying any longer."
The following year Kevin Walters took over as coach and Marshall's and the team's fortunes began to turn around.
Five years on and Marshall is almost part of the furniture at the North Ipswich Reserve.
"I've got a lot of good mates here now," he said.
"It's one of the reasons I've stayed.
"Hopefully I get to 300 like BL (Brendon Lindsay)."
Marshall was exaggerating on that last count, with his focus much more on the here and now.
"I'm still improving my footy, which is good," the 31-year-old said.
"I try not to think much about the stats. I'll just be happy to make it through the season."
The real focus is on the valuable two competition points up for grabs.
A win would lift the seventh-placed Jets above The Pride on the Queensland Cup ladder.
The Jets could even find themselves in the top five for the first time this season if second-placed Redcliffe get the points at Mackay.
The Jets have named Todd Riggs at hooker to replace Michael Fisher, who is grounded with a rib injury.
"Riggsy knows how we play," co-coach Shane Walker said of the converted half.
"He's confident in the role and did a really good job for us against Wynnum last year playing hooker.
"By nature he is very much an organiser so he will bring a fair bit of stability and direction."
Matt Parcell comes on to the bench from Colts as cover for Riggs with Luke Walker to start in FOGS Cup.
"Hooker's a very demanding position," Walker said.
"Given Riggsy hasn't played there this year we've brought Matt in. So Riggsy can go flat out for the first 20-minutes and we've got Matt there as cover."
It will be Parcell's top grade debut but the 19-year-old doesn't lack confidence.
"I've got a go finally," he said.
"It's going to be awesome. I'm more excited than nervous."
Parcell has been happy with his form in an inconsistent colts team.
"I'll just play my natural game," he said. "I know I can handle it.
"I'll just try not to over-think it and play the way I always play."
Bullocking second rower Lorenzo Maafu has worked his way back into the starting line-up in what will be his 50th game for the club, with Sam Martin coming off the bench.
For the 24-year-old Maafu, 50 games is an achievement considering he was suspended for 15 months in 2010 after testing positive to a banned substance.
Most matches for the Ipswich Jets: Dan Coburn 258, Brendon Lindsay 122*, Brian McCarthy 121, Ricky Bird 118, Luke Walker 105*, Danny McCallister 103, Brendon Marshall 99*.
* Still playing