Injuries force Capras changes

MARK Johnstone and Justin Tavae return to the CQ Capras 17 ahead of Saturday's clash with competition front-runners Burleigh Bears. 

Despite threats of a mass-cull from coach Kim Williams, the majority of the squad survive another week. They will be without the services of hooker Ian Webster and winger Marco De La Pena, who are both expected to miss the next four weeks minimum.

Williams knows exactly what the new personnel will offer his squad.

"Although we lost experience in Ian, Mark is a really good player and played a fair bit at this level.

"And Justin would have been in anyway, he has played two games for Emu Park and filled in quite well, he is one of our major signings and he is ready to go. He will slot into the centres and do a great job, he is a player I have coached for a long time."

After a few weeks coming off the bench, hulking forward Samson Graham gets a run in the starting side, along with two-try hero Josh Mitchell.

"I decided the 13 jersey actually fits Samson," Williams joked about the 25-year-old. "He brings so much energy, I am hoping he gets us on the front foot early."

"We have been guilty at times of waiting to see what the other team brings to the table so Samson is the type of player who gets stuck in and we need that.

"Burleigh are a big team, full of confidence and playing well, we need to match that head on early.

"He is not the biggest but he is one of the fittest and strongest, plays above his weight, very mobile and can work in our favour. We would be silly to play them up the middle all game.

"Aleki Falepaini has played more at this level but is not quite at his best at the moment, it's just about utilizing his strengths against a tiring defence."

The Bears present a long list of challenges to overcome. Two-try centre Nathan Davis, five-eighth Jamal Fogarty who has racked up 58 points alone this year, 2014 QLD Cup player of the year prop Luke Page and gun lock forward Lachlan Burr.

Williams is hoping his former Cutters half Cameron Cullen remains in the Gold Coast Titans lineup.

"Definitely their forward pack is going very well and on the back of that their halves are playing good footy," Williams said of the dangers Bears possess.

"Jamal Fogarty came through the Titans system and has been a good signing. I hope my good mate Cameron remains in the Titans side, he has probably been their best.

"They are pretty good all over the paddock, but it is a good test for us.

"I like after a loss that we get to go to one of the top teams and try to bounce back. I think our players need to rise for those occasions, so for the players and as a coach it is a really good test."     

Capras 17 

Reece Baker

Junior Kirisome

Brandon Manase

Justin Tavae

Adam Henry

Maipele Morseu

Matt Minto

Gavin Hiscox

Josh Mitchell

Jack Kavanagh

Vic Halfpenny

Bill Cullen

Samson Graham

Mark Johnstone

Peter Gallen

Michael Ki

Aleki Falepaini 



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