'Tricky' Connors in for Jets as knee rules Conlon out
A DARRELL "Tricky'' Trindall clone formerly with the Titans and a rising star once in the Bulldogs system get their chance for the Ipswich Jets on Saturday at North Ipswich Reserve.
Jets fullback Wes Conlon and forward Sam Martin are both out with medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries to the knee.
Co-coach Shane Walker said they were "huge losses” but had every faith Jayden Connors and Denzel King would do the job in the must-win Intrust Super Cup clash with the Northern Pride.
Connors is originally from Tingha in northern NSW, the home town of former NRL stars Nathan Blacklock, Owen Craigie and Preston Campbell. Connors was in the Titans 20s squad.
Walker said Connors reminded him of former Rabbitohs and Bulldogs star "Tricky” Trindall (pictured).
"Watching Jayden is dead-set like watching Tricky Trindall play because he runs like him, moves like him and does a lot of things like him,” Walker said.
"It is an absolute testa- ment to him because in the trials he played really well. He trained hard and got himself in great shape and is one of the fastest guys in the club.
"He was close to making the (Cup) team at the start of the year but he didn't because we stick with the guys that have done the job in the past.
"He was close a month ago and thought the window of opportunity had closed and was going to go back home and finish the season off there, but we urged him not to.
"Now we need him and he needs the opportunity too.''
Connors, who scored two tries for the BRL side last week, can play virtually anywhere in the backline. He could slot in at dummy-half if required.
King, who represented Ipswich Diggers this year, is another player with plenty of talent. "He left the Northern Pride a quarter of the way through last season and Pride wouldn't give him a release,” Walker said. "Despite our lobbying he had to sit three quarters of the season out, which is crazy.
"Denzel has been in the Bulldogs system and he has been knocking on the door all season and gets his opportunity now. He is a hooker who can also play a bit of lock.”
JETS: Jayden Connors, Michael Purcell, Marion Seve, Nemani Valekapa, Richard Pandia, Ben White, Dane Phillips, Mitch Carpenter, Luke Capewell, Nat Neale, Josh Seage, Seb Pandia, Tyson Lofipo, Lachlan Roe, Fakahoko Teutau, Jesse Roberts, Denzel King.