‘Bull’ Lillyman goes bush with Bowen
JACOB Lillyman is a boy from the bush whose exploits as a former bull-rider have been well documented.
So it was no surprise to learn the bloke affectionately known to teammates as ‘Bull’ saw his fair share of the great outdoors during his off-season break.
Features of Lillyman’s bush holiday included crabbing at Cungulla Beach, hunting with Matt Bowen and his relatives at Hope Vale and helping out on his family’s cattle property at Richmond.
However, the great outdoors did take its toll on Lilllyman towards the end of his holiday when he stood on a stonefish and was bed-ridden for two weeks.
‘‘I went down to Cungulla to go crabbing,’’ he said.
‘‘Coming back into the boat ramp I jumped off to hang off the boat and I felt a pain in my foot like I’d trodden on a stick or something.
‘‘I saw a couple of holes in my foot and thought ‘that’s not right.’
‘‘I was in instant sharp pain and it kept getting sharper and sharper. That’s when I realised I’d stood on something.
‘‘The 30-minute trip into town was the most painful 30 minutes of my life.’’
Not even a local anesthetic and several hits of morphine could relieve the 22-year-old’s pain after he arrived at Townsville hospital.
‘‘Apparently the only thing to do is put your foot in hot water so I (did that) and it was relief straight away,’’ he said.
The injury prevented Lillyman from commencing pre-season training with the rest of the Cowboys squad at the start of November.
‘‘It’s all good now but it took a couple of weeks to get over it,’’ he said.
‘‘The first couple of days afterwards it was ridiculous. My leg from my knee down was just swollen.
‘‘If I was on it for more than five minutes it was just ridiculous. All I could do was lay down with my leg in the air and watch TV.’’
An earlier trip to Hope Vale, where he spent more than a week with Bowen and his family, proved an eye-opener for Lillyman.
‘‘I suppose I’ve sort of got a bit of a love for the bush. (Bowen’s) father Richard knew that and he’d take me out walking and looking for bush tucker and that sort of thing,’’ he said.
‘‘It was just fantastic to see them in action hunting in the traditional methods. (They’d hunt) in the water for stingrays or any kind of fish basically, just to see how sharp their eyes are and how they pick them out and aim spot on.
‘‘Matty is certainly a deadeye with the spear and woomera.’’