The Ipswich Jets are all set for landing this weekend as they take on the Central Queensland Capras in the first Intrust Super Cup game to ever be played in Gatton.
Before the main event kicks-off on Saturday afternoon, which marks the final round of the Intrust Super Cup, junior games between teams from the Gatton Hawks and Laidley Lions will be played throughout the day.
Jets CEO Jason Cubit, whose own son Hunter will get a run-out on the day for the young Hawks, said the event was a chance to return the favour for the support shown by rugby league fans from the Lockyer Valley.
“It’s a way for us to give back to some of the country areas that do support us as well,” Cubit said.
“Obviously Laidley’s part of the Ipswich competition and Gatton’s part of the Toowoomba competition... (and) both towns have produced players that have played for our club.
“It’s like a mini country week for us, we’re very excited to come out here.”
Former Pittsworth Dane Mitch Carpenter cut his teeth in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition before making the switch to Ipswich this year and is excited about lining-up for the Jets on familiar territory.
“It’s pretty exciting to come back around these regions, I always enjoyed playing at Gatton,” Carpenter said.
“They were always one of the tougher teams to play... it was always a good rivalry.”
The 24-year-old has quickly adjusted to playing at the next level after leading the Danes to the TRL crown last season and has become a consistent performer for Ben and Shane Walker’s side.
“I guess after winning the TRL premiership last year, I was looking for a bit more of a challenge,” he said.
“I was approached last year to go down there and try the pre-season to start off with and go from there.
“One thing lead to another and I’ve played the whole year pretty much... it’s what I wanted to work towards but I probably didn’t expect to go into it straight away.
“It’s definitely a big step up, I guess you find everyone across the park is that bit bigger and stronger and quicker, you’ve kind of got to adapt to that.”
He hoped he could give the Gatton crowd a show, even if his side’s finals hopes were officially over after their loss to the Mackay Cutters on Saturday.
“You always get a good crowd and they should be right behind us which always helps... especially playing at a little ground like this makes for a good atmosphere,” he said.
Junior games will run from 11am-3pm at Cahill Park on Saturday before a FOGS Colts Challenge fixture between the Ipswich Jets and Redcliffe Dolphins at 3.25pm and the Intrust Super Cup game at 5pm.
Gates open at 10.30am with $5 entry for adults and concessions from 10.30am until 2.30pm and $10 for adult onwards with free entry for kids under 14 all day.