Year off ISC affords Jets young guns time to grow
RUGBY LEAGUE: The chance to blood Tyler Coburn in the Intrust Super Cup is one overwhelming positive the Ipswich Jets will take from an all too brief season that promised so much but failed to get off the ground due to coronavirus.
Rebuilding under coach Keiron Lander after the successful Walker era, Ipswich did enough in the 16-10 first-up loss against a heavyweight Townsville Blackhawks to indicate the squad would be a competitive force.
The son of club legend Danny Coburn impressed for 20 minutes in the back row before succumbing to concussion but his performance to that point had pundits earmarking him for a big future in Queensland's premier competition.
"It was very encouraging," Jets assistant coach Mark Bishop said.
"We knew he was up to it.
"It was really good."
Lock Blake Lenehan is in just his second year of Cup and livewire Shar Walden played his 50th game and his first at fullback in round one. The season opener also presented an opportunity to inject exciting prospect Keenan Yorston.
Lander said while it was unfortunate the emerging talents who strained relentlessly during a gruelling pre-season would not get to demonstrate what they were capable of this year, the cancellation of the state wide competition afforded them another 12 months to mature as individuals, develop their games and prepare their bodies for the rigours of one of the planet's toughest leagues.
For others, the time off could signal the end, with Lander conceding some seniors would prolong their careers but others may struggle to lift for another campaign.
For them, missing their farewell year is certain to be a bitter pill to swallow.