AT ABOUT 80kg, Troy O’Sullivan isn’t your typical Queensland Cup second rower.
But there is little typical about the big-hearted Jets utility who celebrated his 50th top grade game for the Ipswich Jets on Saturday evening.
O’Sullivan played a starring role, with his fierce defence a highlight, in the home team’s 25-18 win over Tweed Heads.
The 26-year-old was slated to play hooker but an injury to Sam Martin saw him shift to the back row.
With Michael Fisher and Matt Parcell also in the 17, it meant the Jets played with three hookers in their squad, but it didn’t inhibit them.
If anything it helped them run the Seagulls ragged late in the first half to set up a 22-4 half-time lead.
The Jets dominated the early second half exchanges as well but couldn’t add to their tally.
It resulted in some tense moments late in the game as Tweed stormed back, before the Jets escaped with a deserved win.
O’Sullivan was nearly lost to the club for a second time this year.
He moved to Sydney from 2010-12, before returning last season, but was considering retirement this year as he tries to get into the police force.
“I was very undecided,” he said.
“I was thinking about hanging them up.
“But the boys kept hassling me to play so I thought I’d give it one more year to try and win it.”
His decision has proved good news for the Jets as he has become their Mr Fixit.
He has played fullback, wing, hooker and second row, even filling in at prop once.
However, he admitted some surprise being named in the second row on Saturday.
“We had three second rowers out injured but you want your best team on the park,” O’Sullivan said.
“It was a bit of a shock at first but it doesn’t bother me. I’m used to defending in the middle.
“We play an up-tempo, fast game with quick play-the-balls.
The second half proved there are times when the up-tempo needs to be kept in check, lest it leads to errors.
“We just lost direction a bit,” O’Sullivan admitted. “We were rushing things a bit much.”
Despite that, he believes the win was an improvement on the opening round loss to Norths.
“I think we’re slowly getting better,” O’Sullivan said.
“In a couple of weeks time, we should be near our best.
“It’s a good mix of everything really. We’ve got speed and good defence.”
They are two attributes that sum up O’Sullivan.
Thank you to the QT and Rob Williams for the great photo