RUGBY LEAGUE: Sunshine Coast Falcons and Melbourne Storm under-20s hooker Jake Turpin is intent on pressing his claims for an NRL contract but on Saturday his only focus was on winning for his captain.
The Falcons defeated Wynnum Manly 16-10 in a gruelling clash in the wet in Brisbane.
And it was an emotional pre-game discussion which motivated the side.
“It was good to get a win for our captain Troy Giess because it was one year to the day that his brother (Grant) passed away,” Turpin said.
“We talked about that before the game and we all put in for Troy.”
And it was the skipper who led the charge, keeping the Falcons in sixth place on the 14-team ladder.
“He’s as tough as nails,” Turpin said.
“He’ll never let you down, you know what you’re going to get out him every week and he’s one of those players you like playing with every week.”
As for 19-year-old Turpin, it was his fourth outing for the Falcons.
After starting the season in the Storm’s under-20 side, he spent time on the sideline with a fractured thumb.
Upon his return, he was thrust into the Falcons set-up.
“I’ve had to work my way (back) into it, but I feel like I’m improving every week,” he said before signalling his ambition to break the NRL ranks.
“That’s the goal. If I keep improving then hopefully I can get a crack somewhere, maybe not this year but next year.”
He’s behind Australian captain Cameron Smith and also Slade Griffin in the Storm’s ranks and is in the middle of contract negotiations with the club.
“We’re in talks at the moment,” he said.
“I love it down here and it’s a bit of a culture change to home (Brisbane).”
Turpin hails from Redland Bay but then played for Ipswich Brothers for four years before linking with the Storm in 2013.
Storm’s Curtis Scott also fared well for the Falcons on Saturday night but it was the pack which led by example.
“It was a bit of a bash-up through the middle. They are a pretty big side so we knew we were going to have to control the ruck to come away with a win.”
“It was a pretty important game for our season, to get the two points and hopefully put us closer to our goal of making the finals.”
The previously in-form Seagulls remain eighth in the Intrust Super Cup after 13 rounds.
By Steele Taylor of Sunshine Coast Stadium
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