Marmin's magic show with extra 'Guns' this time
FOR years, Marmin Barba was the dominant storyline whenever the Ipswich Jets came to town.
The Mackay State High School product has run rings around his hometown Intrust Super Cup franchise on more than one occasion.
In Round 17 last season, Barba secured 21 individual points in the Jets' 54-0 rout of the Cutters at BB Print Stadium.
The 28 year old will return home to face the Cutters tonight, but he will not be the only Mackay product within the Jets' ranks.
Barba's MSHS rugby league academy teammate Rogan Dean will make his fifth appearance for the Jets since signing with the Ipswich club in the off-season.
The man Intrust Super Cup commentator Scott Sattler dubbed "Guns", courtesy of his 46cm biceps, will line up at left-centre for the Jets tonight.
Dean had not played a minute of Queensland Cup football since 2016 and was happily living a life outside of rugby league, before Jets co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker came calling.
Shane owns a labour hire business and through company connections with Dean's employer, the two came in contact.
"We had a yarn, going on nearly 18 months ago now, and I said if you want you can come out to training - which he didn't take us up on," Walker said.
But when Jets chairman Steve Johnson ran into Dean at the start of the year, the offer was again put to "Guns" and the rest as they say, is history.
Dean made his Jets debut in PNG against the Hunters in Round 7 and took just eight minutes to open his try-scoring account.
In Ipswich's recent loss to the Sunshine Coast Falcons, Dean was named players' player.
"He hadn't played for two years," Shane Walker said.
"He didn't make his debut until the PNG game and he hasn't looked back."
Walker said the corresponding fixture at BB Print Stadium last season was "the catalyst" for Barba's return to form, after the livewire had previously struggled on return from a severe ankle injury.
"He wasn't playing well until that point,'' Walker said.
"He found form in Mackay, where I'm sure he has a lot of good memories (playing).''
Walker added his side would face "a very different Cutters team" tonight, to the one the Jets put to the sword last season.
"(Cutters coach) Steve Sheppard always has his teams very well prepared,'' Walker said.
"It's clear that's still the case, and they're playing some good footy.''
Intrust Super Cup Rd 12: Tonight (7.30pm) - Ipswich Jets v Mackay Cutters at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.