Dave Taylor, meet your match
CQ CAPRAS off-season recruit David Taylor may be a man mountain, but his opposite number tomorrow night will be a man who does a mountain of work for the Ipswich Jets.
Sebastian Pandia may not receive the plaudits some of his fellow forwards do each week, but inside the Ipswich dressing rooms you would be hard-pressed to find a man whose on-field work is more appreciated.
The Jets fly out for Rockhampton tomorrow to take on the Capras at Browne Park.
"Sebastian certainly doesn't fly under the radar around his teammates," Jets co-coach Shane Walker said.
"They're aware of his contribution every week, and it's massive.
"This is his third season (with the Jets). Last season he was one of our better players, but this season he has taken his game to a new level."
Pandia leads the Intrust Super Cup with 554 run metres through the opening three rounds.
His 63 runs are 13 more than the next-best player.
He sits just one offload shy of teammate and captain Nat Neale for the league-lead in that category.
The "mountain man" as coined by his coach, Pandia is a key cog in a Jets forward pack which boasts the likes of Neale, Ben Shea, Rowan Winterfield and Tyson Lofipo.
"There's already a great bond between them," Walker said.
"You get a real sense of that, they look out for each other, and feed of each other's workload and energy.
"They're all men's men, too. We've got a really fit, strong forward pack that are all about working for each other."
That forward pack will need to be at its best tomorrow, when they take the field against all 130kg-plus of former NRL, Queensland and Australian star Taylor.
"(Taylor) is the biggest threat we've ever faced," Walker said.
"We identify threats one, two, maybe three at maximum of an opposition that we have to do a job on. Dave Taylor is literally the biggest, both physically and more importantly the skill set and danger he poses."
With a shorter than usual turnaround from Saturday's win over Easts, Walker kept his squad off their legs at training last night for an extended film session.
But even with Taylor and promising Capras hooker Billy Gilbert on the other side, Walker said the Jets' preparation and style would not change for any opposition.
"Our preparation never changes, the basic principles of how we defend don't change, it's just about making everyone aware of the skill set and threats we are likely to see from them," he said.
"One thing we know from 10 years of going up there, is regardless of how good or bad their team is, playing in Rockhampton is always a tough contest.
"For us, it's about going up there and getting the two points. We don't care how we get them, so long as we do."
The Jets will be without Marmin Barba and Isimeeli Hafoka for the contest.
Barba injured his shoulder and Hafoka was concussed in the win over Easts. Walker expects Barba to miss just one week, after scans revealed no structural damage.
Intrust Super Cup Round 4
Tomorrow (7pm): Ipswich Jets v CQ Capras at Browne Park, Rockhampton.
Provisional team: Michael Purcell, Denzel Burns, Pio Seci, Rory Humphreys, Wes Conlon, Julian Christian, Dane Phillips, Tyson Lofipo, Kierran Moseley, Nat Neale (c), Ben White, Seb Pandia, Ben Shea, Sam Caslick, Jayden Connors, Mitch Koina, Rowan Winterfield, Mitch Carpenter.