(Thanks to Jay Buchan, Claudia Baxter and the QT)
IPSWICH Jets players Lorenzo Maafu and Ramon Filipine can justifiably feel hard done by following the announcement of the Queensland Residents team.
The pair played in last year’s Residents game against NSW, won 32-6 by Queensland, with Maafu named man-of-the match.
Both are in form, with Maafu named players’ player in last Sunday’s Queensland Cup win over Burleigh, while Filipine crossed for two of the Jets’ three tries.
The only Jets player selected in the team to play NSW Residents in the State of Origin III curtain-raiser next Wednesday at Suncorp Stadium was centre Donald Malone.
Norths, on the other hand, who sit one point above the Jets on the Queensland Cup ladder but have played one game more, had four players chosen.
A QRL spokesperson said Maafu, Filipine and Jets captain Keiron Lander were seriously considered and close to selection.
But it seems having played NRL this season ranked high on the selectors’ list, with numerous Brisbane Broncos-contracted players from Norths, Wynnum Manly and Redcliffe getting the nod.
The other clubs that could feel hard done by are third-placed Easts and fourth-placed Tweed Heads, who did not have a player selected.
Jets co-coach Shane Walker could offer little by way of explanation to account for the omission of Filipine and Maafu.
“I gave up theorising on what selectors think when I missed out on an under-12 team,” he said.
“I think Wayne (Bennett) might have said to me the difference between making a side and not making a side is three selectors.
“For the guys that had represented last year – the incumbents – they probably do feel a bit perplexed.”
But while it was bad news for Maafu and Filipine, it was good news for Malone.
“It’s brilliant for Duck,” Walker said. “He’s the form centre of the comp and has worked really hard.”
The other positive of the Jets having just one Residents player is Malone will be the only player missing when the Jets take on Souths Logan at Davies Park this weekend.
The clash was postponed from round seven due to the state of the Davies Park field.
“It is a bit of a selfish thought but the positive for us is we’ll get them all bar the Duck (Malone),” Walker said.
The Jets have received further good news, with halfback Ian Lacey’s injury from the weekend not as bad as first feared.
“On Sunday they thought it was a broken collar bone,” Walker said. “But after seeing Dr Roy (Saunders), he thinks it was just a bit of a displaced collar bone.”
On the other side of the equation, skipper Lander is in doubt with a toe injury.
1 Lachlan Maranta (Norths), 2 Nathanael Barnes (Wynnum Manly), 3 Dan Wallace (Wynnum Manly), 4 Donald Malone (Ipswich), 5 Liam Georgetown (Redcliffe), 6 Grant Rovelli (c) (Mackay), 7 Luke Capewell (Redcliffe), 8 Charlie Gubb (Wynnum Manly), 9 Jake Granville (Wynnum Manly), 10 Chris Farrell (Redcliffe), 11 Nick Slyney (Redcliffe), 12 Jon Grieve (Wynnum Manly), 13 Joel Riethmuller (Northern Pride), 14 Kurt Baptiste (Norths), 15 Mat Pitman (Souths Logan), 16 Jarrod Wallace (Norths), 17 Brendon Gibb (Norths). Coach: Paul Green.