After wrestling bulls, Ipswich training a cakewal

FOR Ipswich Jets captain Keiran Lander, a stint in the outback wrestling bulls was just the thing to get over the Jets’ end to the 2013 Queensland Cup season.

It was a mentally-refreshed Lander who ripped into the Jets’ first pre-season training session at North Ipswich on Monday night.

There were a number of familiar faces missing but also a few old ones, such as Scott Ireland, returned.

Not all made it till the end.

But for Lander, an off-season trip to the Northern Territory recharged him for another shot at a Queensland Cup title.

“We rolled a few wild bulls,” Lander said of his break.

It helped him temporarily forget, if not erase, the painful memories of last year’s elimination in the major semi-final.

“I got over it, I wouldn’t say quickly, because we were so close.

“It didn’t go for us in the last 15 minutes against Mackay (after halfback Ian Lacey got injured).

“We were one win from a grand final and no doubt we could have beaten both those teams (Mackay and Easts).

For Lander, Monday’s training marked the first step towards the main goal of 2014.

“Definitely,” he said.

“A couple of the boys didn’t last 20 minutes.

“We won’t see them ever again.

“It’s a test of character and we’re a hard-working team.”

It is that character and work ethic Lander believes will enable the club to overcome the loss of vice-captain Ian Lacey, best and fairest for the past two years Nat Neale, Jarrod McInally and Jacob Ling.

“They’re all replaceable,” Lander said.

“We have to replace them.

“Lace will be one of the biggest losses with his influence and vision.”

Thanks to the QT and Claudia Baxter, for more go to