Free licence helps Conlon fire for Jets
WITH a licence to thrill, Wes Conlon might as well have 007 printed on his back.
Instead it's the number one that adorns the back of Conlon's jersey, and even that is a smokescreen.
An Ipswich junior and former Souths Logan Magpie, the veteran speedster has a unique role within the Jets squad.
"Wes might be wearing the one but he's been playing on the wing for us this season," Ipswich Jets co-coach Shane Walker said.
"Even though he's on the wing we encourage him to come into the middle when he feels like it. He's pretty much got a free licence to do what he wants."
That confidence has been well rewarded.
A mentor to young fullback Michael Purcell, Conlon has proven a versatile weapon whether it be on the field or with a kicking tee.
Marking his 50th game milestone in the Jets colours, Conlon is just one point away from notching up 100 points for Ipswich.
The Jets designated goal-kicker, Conlon is a good chance of bring up both milestones against the PNG Hunters this afternoon.
"Wes does a great job for us," said Walker. "He's got great instincts.
"We marvel at what he does every weekend for someone who is finely built. The great thing about rugby league is that players come in all shapes and sizes."
With so many talented speedsters around him, Conlon's experience and vision have kept him among the Jets' top backline players.
Like Marmin Barba, Carlin Anderson and now Purcell, the fleet-footed fullback/ winger shows plenty of confidence in the way he approaches each game.
"He's got a lot of confidence in everything he does," Walker said. "Whether it's attacking the football or goal-kicking.
"His defence has really improved this season too."
On a four-game winning streak, Ipswich have found some form.
Returning from the representative break to defeat the CQ Caparas, Walker was happy with the performance last weekend.
"When you have a week off like that it can go one of two ways," he said. "You can give the guys a week rest or really drill home the fitness.
"Whichever way you go can affect your flow so it was really pleasing that we hadn't lost that cohesion."
Against the second-placed Hunters, the Jets are desperate to turn around a lacklustre record at home this season.
With only one win against Burleigh so far at North Ipswich Reserve, Walker hoped the Jets could continue recent form.
"We anticipate it being a good match considering their place on the ladder," he said. "Our home performance hasn't been as good as our away this season.
"It's not something we focus on but having a good crowd there this weekend, naturally your motivation levels are higher."
WATCH ONLINE: Today's game will be streamed live from 3pm via the Phoenix Media Hub on the QT website.
Ipswich Jets v PNG Hunters at North Ipswich Reserve from 3.05pm tomorrow:
1. Wes Conlon
2. Michael Purcell
3. Ben White
4. Nemani Valekapa
5. Richard Pandia
6. Chris Ash
7. Dane Phillips (c)
8. Mitch Carpenter
9. Luke Capewell
10. Nat Neale
22. Tyson Lofipo
12. Seb Pandia
13. Rory Humphreys
11. Sam Martin
15. Lachlan Roe
16. Huskie Teatau
21. Jesse Roberts
Co-coaches: Ben Walker and Shane Walker.