IPSWICH Jets product Jim Lenihan enjoys returning to the city that forged his national rugby league career.
However, it’s not only to visit his family and friends that Lenihan looks forward to.
After coaching another Burleigh Bears team to victory yesterday, Lenihan is making a habit of tormenting his former club.
Burleigh proved the Ipswich Jets’ latest bogey side, winning 28-18 at the North Ipswich Reserve.
The Queensland Cup victory came against the mistake-ridden Jets, who literally threw away a 16-6 halftime advantage.
However, it was sweet for Lenihan who played for the Jets from 1991-94 before stints in the Australian Rugby League and National Rugby League with Gold Coast (1995) and St George (1996-98).
The Ipswich born and bred utility back also represented Huddersfield in the 1999 Challenge Cup and Super League.
“I’ve had a bit of luck with Ipswich so it’s been really good,” Lenihan said of his coaching record.
“I think we were just patient enough to ground it out so that was pleasing.
“They (the Jets) certainly tried every trick in the book and we were able to find an answer.”
Burleigh had thrashed the Jets 50-12 in their previous encounter.
In his fifth year coaching Burleigh, Lenihan was heartened by yesterday’s effort which ended the Jets’ five-game winning streak.
“I’m really happy,” he said.
“We started slowly but each week we are getting better.”
Lenihan’s counterpart, co-coach Shane Walker, conceded Ipswich’s high error rate cost them victory.
However like his brother Ben, Shane maintained a positive outlook – even with the Jets slipping to fourth place on for and against averages.
“It was just basic handling errors that let us down,” Walker said.
“Nothing we can’t fix in a week.
“They (Burleigh) were at their best and that’s probably about as poor as we can play.”
The Jets weren’t helped yesterday losing strongman Rod Griffin before the game with a bruised right thumb. He watched helplessly from the bench.
Ipswich also lost their skipper Keiron Lander early in the first half after a nasty head knock with Burleigh’s Josh Ailaomai.
Despite an attempt to return with a strapped-up head, Lander was unable to play in the second half.
Lander too could only look on as his team let its lead disappear through numerous knock-ons, dropped balls and being caught on the sixth tackle.
Burleigh’s big men did the damage, pleasing Lenihan who is hoping his team can kick on in this year’s state competition.
However, he offered plenty of encouragement for his former club.
“They’ll win more games than they’ll lose for the rest of the year,” Lenihan said.
“Any time you can beat a side like that, you’re helping yourself.”
State of Play
Burleigh Bears 28 (Brad Tighe, Connor Broadhurst, Mark Ioane, Jason Chan, Darren Griffiths tries; Tyler Chadburn 4 goals) def Ipswich Jets 18 (Marmin Barba 2, Carlin Anderson tries; Marmin Barba 2, Carlin Anderson goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.