'Barba' drives wedge between Jets' playing group
ON-FIELD the Ipswich Jets are a measure of teamwork.
From Marmin Barba on the left wing to Wes Conlon on the right, each player is on the same page.
It makes for thrilling football when the Jets are in full flight, linking passes and breaking the lines.
But there is one issue threatening to cause a rift in the side on the eve of a potential finals berth.
A preference once sat in the barber's chair.
"I call it the 'Nat Neale', it makes me a little lighter,” Barba joked in reference to his recently shaved head which has coincided with a five-game try-scoring run.
Conlon was full of praise for his teammate's recent purple patch. But that was where his praise ended.
"Marms wants us all to get (the Nat Neale) I think,” Conlon said.
"But it doesn't suit everyone. I think some of us would look like criminals.”
It was mixed messages for Jets skipper Neale; proud to have a hairstyle named in his honour, but also slightly taken aback by Conlon's "criminal” connotation.
He felt the proof was in the try-scoring pudding.
"(Barba) is looking good,” Neale said.
"He's not making any more tackles, but he's scoring more tries so I think it's working.”
Neale is known to lead from the front at the Jets, but he was sceptical the 'Nat Neale' would catch on with the rest of the team despite Barba's desire.
"I don't think it'll ever happen,” Neale said.
"I don't think Sammy Caslick would do it, I'll tell you that. He's our resident model.
"I'm not sure if big Rowan Winterfield would do it either, he loves his long locks. He doesn't like change the big fella.”
Hopefully this difference of opinion does not impact too greatly on the Jets' on-field chemistry.