Hayes fits comfortably into Parcell’s Ipswich Jets jersey

WATCHING on, you’d never have known Landon Hayes was starting his first Queensland Cup match on Saturday. Hayes turned in a polished performance at hooker in just his second game for the club in the top grade, looking as though he’d been there for years. Early in the game against Souths Logan at Cherbourg Hayes spied the opportunity for a 40-20 kick from dummy on the fourth tackle. He nailed it, helping the Jets turnaround a poor start to win 50-20. Hayes replaced Matt Parcell, who made his National Rugby League debut for the Brisbane Broncos in Canberra. It says a lot about Hayes that he had such confidence to back himself. But Hayes insists it says more about the culture at the Jets. “Ben and Shane (Walker) are the sort of coaches who encourage you if you see something to go for it,” Hayes said. “The fullback was on the other side of the field so I just went for it.” Hayes has not had much time to reflect on his weekend. He has been occupied with the second year of his exercise and movement science degree, as well as working at his dad’s cattle yard at Silverdale. But he knows he wants more of what he tasted on Saturday. “I loved it,” Hayes said. “It was good being back with the boys again, like I was in pre-season.” Hayes played most of the pre-season as the Jets number one hooker as Parcell trained and trialled with the Broncos. So it was a less daunting challenge than his Queensland Cup debut late last season. “I felt a lot more comfortable through the week leading up than I did last year,” he said. “It’s been good with an injury free off-season and good pre-season.” The man Parcell replaced in the Broncos, Cody Nikorima is expected to be out for about a month. It could mean an extended trot for Hayes in the Jets top team but he is not looking too far ahead. “I’m just taking it one week at a time,” he said. “If I get the opportunity I’ll grab it with both hands.” TODAY’S TOP FIVE NEWS STORIES FROM QT Pet’s death sends grim warning to dog ownersGibson’s family at peace now justice has been servedAssaulted, tied with wire and strangled: killers given lifeOne Mile Hotel open for business despite rumoursSausage king snags gold with award winIpswich Queensland TimesTOPICS: IPSWICH JETS, LANDON HAYES, MATT PARCELL, QUEENSLAND CUP