CLEAR RUN: BITS young gun Tyson McMahon provides rebound.
CLEAR RUN: BITS young gun Tyson McMahon provides rebound. NICK KOSSATCH

The old and the young have solid trial match

THE INCENTIVE to be constructive with the ball and play with a bunch of great blokes proved too much for NRL to AFL convert Jack Connors to join BITS Saints.

As he spoke to the Observer just before the trial match yesterday against AFL Super-Rules over 35 team Capricornia Barbarians, Connors said he has lots to do to get up to speed.

"I'm a little bit unfit and usually play in defence," Connors said before running out with his mates.

VIDEO: Watch some speeches and action from the trial match



Even though he grew up in an NRL environment, Connors father was an AFL fan and that was another factor which swayed Connors to switch codes.

"AFL is more fun and you get to do more with the ball," Connors said.

He had a stint on the wing before Barbarian coach John 'Nugget' Terrick and BITS Saints mentor Damien Lyon decided to shuffle players around and 'swap' teams to make the second half more competitive.

The Saints gave the older opponents a merry dance during the first half.




"We're moving the ball well and we are starting to get on top in the middle," Lyon addressed his players at half time.

Barbarians' player Jason Saatchi moved up to Gladstone with employment and the experienced defender appreciated the warm welcome.

So what is the reason?

He played the code in Melbourne for AFL Super-Rules club Craigieburn and said the Victorians take the modified version of the game seriously.

"I haven't played for three years and I have got to get some fitness," transport industry worker Saatchi said.

The solidly-built half back flanker got his fair share of the ball in the second half and perhaps he knows the reason why.

"It was hot and the players got more tired so I was able to catch up to them," Saatchi said.

Terrick welcomes new players to the Barbarians.

"Until we start to get new numbers, it's up to the guys to decide when training will be...either Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings," he said.


Jack Connors

Club: BITS Saints

Previous club: Tannum Seagulls (rugby league)

Position: Defender

Jason Saatchi

Club: Capricornia Barbarians

Previous club: Craigieburn (Super-Rules in Melbourne)

Position: Defender

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