Why Purcell loves being an Ipswich Jet
MICHAEL Purcell loves playing in the green and white.
The Ipswich Jets fullback was voted Players' Player for his role in the side's 16-12 win over Northern Pride on Saturday.
The ever-reliable number one did his job in both attack and defence at North Ipswich Reserve - his 90m covering tackle on Pride winger Shawn Bowen bested only by a solo scoring effort early in the second half to get the Jets' first points of the match.
Both instances had the stands rocking, as the "Kangaroo Catcher" found full flight.
Purcell leads the Intrust Super Cup in linebreaks this season, and has three tries to his name from five matches.
The secret to his good form?
"If you're having fun, you're playing better and you'll get more wins," Purcell said in the sheds after Saturday's win.
"Even when you're making mistakes, you're still having fun."
The Jets could have considered themselves unlucky to be down 12-2 at half time on Saturday.
The Pride's first try came from a deflected Todd Carney kick off the posts; the second through Bowen's intercept try, where Purcell fell centimetres short in his covering chase.
But after the break, the bounce started to go the Jets' way.
The Cairns outfit barely touched the footy in the second half, and their frustration only grew as the Jets played keepings-off in the final two minutes to run down the clock.
"That's what we aim to do, is to keep the ball off the opposition as long as we can - that's what footy is about," Purcell said.
"When you're playing as a kid, you just play what's in front of you. So long as you're having fun, you can make something out of nothing."
"Something out of nothing" is the Jets' bread and butter, and that continued against the Pride.
With Julian Christian, Wes Conlon, Denzel Burns and Purcell causing fits with their agility and top-end speed, a tiring Pride were quickly found out in defence in the second half.
Purcell, now in his third year at the Jets, labelled the 2018 iteration "the fastest team I've been around".
"The Walkers recruited very well in the off-season," he said.
"And the exciting thing is, we've still got Marmin (Barba) to come back, and Richie (Pandia) with his footwork."
'Percy' wants a return to finals football for the Jets, and early signs are promising.
He believes a big reason for their good form is the ever-building mateship within the playing group.
"There's a lot of mates here, it's a really good bond," Purcell said.
"It's a great culture at the club. It's always a good time to come to training. At some other clubs you might think, 'Oh, I don't want to go to training'.
"Not here. We love showing up."