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Loyal Lenehan to bring up 50 with Ipswich

Blake Lenehan is just like the pair of comfy, old joggers you keep by the door - but in a good way.

You know that favourite pair of joggers that you won't wear every day, but they are dependable, reliable and always there - that's Lenehan.

The Ipswich Jets prop will play his 50th game in the Hostplus Cup this weekend against the Tigers, having debuted with in 2019 against PNG Hunters.

Ben Walker and Shane Walker got him on the field for 15 minutes off the bench wearing No.17 against a formidable Hunters pack, against a team the Jets had never beaten in four attempts in PNG.

Six runs earned him 52 metres and he also made eight tackles.

The Jets have undergone such a seismic player shift since 2019 that the only two players that remain from that side are captain Nat Neale and Lenehan, who remains ever solid.

Lenehan played the then Cyril Connell Cup, Mal Meninga Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge and Hastings Deering Colts for the Jets, progressing through the ranks to become a Jets Cup player.

He will be the 60th Jet to play 50 or more games and the 760th Cup player to play 50 games.

“I think I have two highlights in those 49 games, my debut in PNG and against Norths this season I played 80 minutes,” Lenehan said of his career to date.

“Playing with Nat Neale and Rhys Jacks has been great for me.

“I love playing for the Jets and want to play a lot more for them.

“I’m not done with 50 games.”

Beside him has been Jets hooker and vice-captain Jacks; Jacks has played 111 games of Cup, so not much has got past the No.9.

“Blake is resilient, low maintenance and just tough,” Jacks said.

“He spends a lot of time with Nat Neale and myself, so I think people think he’s older than he is, but he’s just really mature.

“To play 50 games at such a young age in the front row is impressive.

“He could be the mayor of Ipswich one day, everyone knows him.

“He has a cult following, he’s a pure-bred Jet.

“He suits the Jets; working class, humble, and hard.”

In those 50 games, Lenehan has made nearly 1000 tackles and 4186 metres.

Lenehan is a players who was always fronting up when he was needed in tough times for Ipswich and he was always putting his hand up when called on.

Lenehan has learnt the hard way about playing Cup football with only 13 wins in his first 49 games.

“I think that he will look back on these three years and be able to help other players in the future,” Jacks said.

“He will have plenty of wisdom out of hard times.”

Lenehan celebrates with the Jets during his debut season. Photo: QRL
Lenehan celebrates with the Jets during his debut season. Photo: QRL

Lenehan has stuck solid and shown his resilience only missing one Jets’ game since that debut in 2019, sitting out the clash against Burleigh Bears last season.

Ipswich league is built on forwards who are tough and uncompromising and the "big three" in Jets history is Danny Coburn, Tyson Lofipo and Neale, who are also the three most capped players for the Jets.

Lenehan can dream big about where he might finish on the Jets rankings.

Coburn played 258 games for the Jets, but knew the first 50 made the next 208.

“I had a similar experience to Blake, not too many wins in the first 50, but it will make him tough and I think it makes you appreciate the wins and work for them.” Coburn said.

As the Jets trainer, Coburn has been on the field this year with Lenehan and likes what he sees.

“Blake works hard and is tough," Coburn said.

“That’s what you expect from Jets’ forwards and Blake does it.

“I would have loved to play with Blake and he’s skilful too, as the Jets improve I think you will see that more.”

Ipswich Jets’ fans will be hoping that 50 games are just the beginning and that Lenehan is still by the door ready for a long time.

You can watch the Ipswich Jets take on Brisbane Tigers this weekend via Qplus.tv, 9Now, Kayo Freebies and Hostplus Cup Facebook.  

 

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