Chris Walker states case for Broncos return with starring role in Ipswich Jets’ win over Townsville Blackhawks

Article Courtesy of the Courier Mail written by Peter Bedel] CHRIS Walker remains adamant a return to the Broncos is not beyond him after the former Origin star turned back the clock to inspire Ipswich’s defeat of Townsville in the Intrust Super Cup. With Broncos coach Wayne Bennett watching on, the 35-year-old Walker reprised his blistering speed to ensure the Jets stunned the Blackhawks 36-24 in a thriller at North Ipswich Reserve. In his second game out of retirement, Walker quickly found his feet, opening the scoring when he got outside his man and sliced through the Townsville defence. The solo effort sparked a blitzkrieg that saw the Jets bolt to a 26-0 half-time lead before the Blackhawks came surging home to whittle the deficit to 26-20. But Walker returned to haunt the newcomers, having a hand in the try to centre partner Nemani Valekapa which gave the Jets an unassailable 30-20 lead. Walker first revealed his desire for a Broncos return to The Courier-Mail a fortnight ago and his impressive start to the year has done nothing to dull his impossible dream. Bennett was on hand to watch out-of-favour Daniel Vidot and rising star Carlin Anderson, but Walker urged the master coach to keep one eye on him. “Without sounding big-headed, I think I can play NRL again,” said the 163-game NRL veteran who has now scored 58 tries from 50 Intrust Super Cup games. “I watch a lot of rugby league and I see what the kids are doing out there and I believe I can still hold my own against them. “I haven’t spoken to Wayne Bennett, I don’t want to be like that. My focus first is getting back my timing for the Ipswich Jets and if I do that, who knows what can happen?” Walker said it was a relief to open his account as the Jets claimed their first win of the season after last week’s 18-16 loss to Wynnum Manly. He ensured the Blackhawks crashed back to earth after launching their competition debut with a drubbing of Mackay. “It was nice to get across the tryline, that was a monkey off the back,” he said. “My body feels unbelievable. Some people look at you and think you feel old at 35, but I honestly don’t feel a day over 25. “I feel just as good now as I did 10 years ago. Age is a mental thing. Obviously, people say you can’t do it at 35, but guys like Steve Menzies and Petero Civoniceva showed you can play NRL into your mid-30s.” In other Intrust Super Cup matches on Sunday, Wynnum beat Easts 18-14, Norths were too good for Burleigh 20-12 and the Papua New Guinea Hunters toppled Redcliffe 30-26.