'Get on your bike' Marmin, because Purcy is coming
MARMIN Barba was the talk of North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, after his second half try against the Sunshine Coast Falcons put the Jets winger into the record books as the club's leading try-scorer.
But before Barba, one of his teammates also touched down for a significant milestone.
Fullback Michael Purcell kept pace with his try-a-game average, crossing for try number 50 as a Jet and his 14th in as many matches this season.
Now into his third season in Ipswich, the man they call "The Kangaroo Catcher” has shown remarkable consistency for a player most known for his flair.
A breakout 2017 season saw Purcell score 23 tries in 23 matches; one year removed from crossing 13 times in 14 outings.
It prompted coach Shane Walker to suggest the Jets' latest entrant to the record books would do well to keep his try-scoring pace or risk being overtaken.
"The way Purcy is scoring tries, Marmin will have to really stay on his bike because Purcy is fast approaching,” Walker said.
Purcell has received many plaudits for his fleet-footed work and ability to break the game open.
Eerily similar to Barba in that aspect.
"He's an amazingly gifted player, Michael Purcell. His ability, his instincts, his speed, his toughness . . . all of those things. He's a unique individual,” Walker said.
And this season, his teammates and coaches have been quick to highlight Purcell's importance in defence also.
On Saturday against the Falcons, Jets fans got a glimpse at another key aspect of Purcell's character.
Purcell left the field with his head in a bandage, and requires stitches to his forehead after receiving a knock late in the second half.
The fullback was out of the play for as long as it took to stem any bleeding, before returning to the line to help will his side to a key win.
"Anyone that plays footy is tough, but to be 70-odd kilos wringing wet and playing in the position he does, under the pressure he is, and the way he attacks the ball and brings it back at the defence . . . he's one hell of a tough player,” Walker said.