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Farm day: 'It has had a real positive impact on the boys'

When you reflect on a season it can be something different or new you did in the pre-season that brought change or results.

New Ipswich Jets Hastings Deering Colts coach Sinave Faitala was looking for a change to bring his new team together and build on last season.

The Jets won six games in 2022, building on the zero games they won the previous season.

In 2023, the Jets will be looking to move forwards again and add to that six wins and the man in charge of that progress will be Faitala.

Faitala teamed up with the Colts head trainer and local Craig Harsant to create four hours of “tree change” for the Jets.

“I was looking for something that would bring us together and give us some time together but also challenge us,” Faitala said.

“I didn’t know too much locally, but I know we aren’t near the beach.

“Craig owns a lot of farm land locally and he said 'why don’t you come out to the farm and we will challenge them?'

“It was an outstanding day, most of the boys hadn’t been on a farm before, there was a lot of cows looking at us in their paddock.

“It has had a real positive impact on the boys, they were tired, they did lots of running and carrying jerry cans up hills and blindfolded activities in the heat.”

The mastermind behind this torture day on the farm was not only Harsant but new team manager Brian Ranse, whose military background left him as the obvious choice as the drill sergeant for the day. Ranse designed most of the activities along the way. 

Harsant has been strapping ankles and dealing with injuries locally for the Fassifern Bombers or Jets for more than 20 years, but also runs cattle past Ipswich towards Boonah.

“Sinave said 'anyone got any ideas what we can do?'... I suggested a day on the farm might be the challenge you are after,” Harsant said.

So Oaklea became the destination for the Jets, but there wouldn’t be any rural lazing on the verandah or watching sunsets for the Colts.

“It was suggested I was going to get some cheap labour but I run a pretty tight farm so I didn’t have them building fences or anything," Harsant said.

“They did a lot of running, carrying things up hills and it was hot too so that always adds to the challenge.

“It was about taking them out of their comfort zone and that’s what you will encounter on the field too.”

These camps always bring about players that impress and some Jets came back from the farm with their reputations enhanced.

“Ky Rashleigh impressed me with his leadership,” Faitala said.

“We had some big boys too that were called on to climb hills which can be hard when you’re a big boy but they didn’t shirk it.”

That’s the sort of language you build a season on; challenge, hard work, didn’t shirk it... and maybe you can sit back in September and say remember that farm day.

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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