Comet shoots for the stars on rodeo circuit

WHILE  the Central Queensland Comets have a close association with the Broncos, rising star Casey Lillyman could claim he has a closer bond with the cowboys.

At Capella last weekend the star Comets centre became a rodeo superstar when he won an Australian title at Capella.

Lillyman, along with 17-year-old Jesse Townsend, stunned the more experienced cowboys when they won the National Title in the open Team Roping event.

“It was a good weekend,” the easygoing Lillyman said.

“It was my biggest win.”

Usually a cowboy is awarded a big shiny buckle to signify their triumph but Lillyman said the reward he and Townsend received was of a far more practical nature.

“We each got a brand new trailer; Jesse's too young to tow his,” he said with a laugh.

The Team Roping event involves one rider roping the steer while the heeler, which is the job Lillyman undertook, then secures the beast's feet.

“I do either end,” he explained saying he just as happy doing the job Townsend managed.

As if stopping a massive rugby league player is not hard enough!

Needless to say Lillyman does not see his work in the rodeo as something dangerous as he has been doing for most of his life.

But has he encouraged some of his Comets team mates to go to the rodeo and maybe try their luck?

“They don't know what to make of it,” he admitted.

Some of the team watched Lillyman at Beef Week when he teamed up with his dad to gain a third placing.

“I wouldn't mind getting a few out here,” he joked.

While it is hard to imagine Comets coach Wayne Barnett encouraging his players to participate in a sport where mishaps are commonplace, Lillyman has no plans to call a stop to either of his high risk sports.

Over the next week he will enjoy some of the end of season events with his Comets team mates, but with team training due to re-start within six weeks will he have time to combine his two “social activities”?

“I intend to do a few rodeos, it's pretty full on,” he said.

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