CQ Capras centre Bessie Aufaga-To'omaga in last month's pre-season trial against the Mackay Cutters, which the Capras won 34-10.
CQ Capras centre Bessie Aufaga-To'omaga in last month's pre-season trial against the Mackay Cutters, which the Capras won 34-10. Jann Houley

Capras aim to get better of Cutters in Rivalry Round

RUGBY LEAGUE: Sione Veukiso is set to make his CQ Capras debut against the Mackay Cutters tonight after injury sidelined key forward Bill Cullen.

Veukiso has been named on the bench, with Chalice Atoi slotting into the starting line-up to replace Cullen, who succumbed to a back injury in the team's 36-16 loss to Wynnum Manly last weekend.

Centre Nathan Bassani returns after serving a one-week suspension for a grade-one shoulder charge.

Coach David Faiumu is expecting a fiery clash in the local derby at Mackay's BB Print Stadium.

"They'll come out hard and they'll be aggressive,” he said.

"I'm expecting a tough battle up front.

Skipper Jack Madden will be looking to lead the CQ Capras back into the winner's circle tonight.
Skipper Jack Madden will be looking to lead the CQ Capras back into the winner's circle tonight. Matthew McInerney

"They've got some big boppers in their team and they'll be looking to stamp their mark early on in the piece.

"We've got to be really clinical in how we stop those big forwards and limit their go forward.”

The Capras are one from two, while the Cutters remain win-less after two rounds.

However the Cutters have the better of the head-to-head ledger at 14-7 and have won the past two and seven of the past eight games against the Capras in Mackay.

Faiumu is keen to rectify that statistic and see his team bounce back from last weekend's loss.

"It's all about us and what we need to do,” he said.

"It's about sticking to our systems and fine-tuning them.

"We've got to be smarter when we've got the football and just do things a bit better in certain areas.”

POWERING ON: Hard-working forward Jamie Hill will have a big role to play against the Mackay Cutters tonight.
POWERING ON: Hard-working forward Jamie Hill will have a big role to play against the Mackay Cutters tonight. Warren Lynam

Faiumu is excited for Atoi and Veukiso.

"I'm expecting lots of aggression and lots of energy and enthusiasm from Chalice,” he said.

"The last three starts he's come off the bench so it's a great opportunity for him to step up.

"Sione can play in the back row and the middle as well so I'm looking forward to seeing him play at this level.”

Faiumu said his middles would have an important role to play, especially in the opening 20 minutes.

"Jamie Hill, Billy Gilbert, Jack Lote, Chalice Atoi - all those boys have got to get us off to a good start,” he said.

"If they can do that it will allow guys like Maipele Morseau and Jack Madden to get us on the front foot with our attacking sets and our good kicking game.

"I know if we do the right things we can get the job done.”

CAPRAS TEAM

  • Matt Wright, Kainoa Gudgeon, Bessie Aufaga-To'omaga, Nathan Bassani, Luke George, Maipele Morseau, Jack Madden, Ryan Jeffery, Aaron Teroi, Jamie Hill, Chalice Atoi, Aaron Pene, Billy Gilbert, George Grant, Jack Lote, Sione Veukiso, Dave Taylor

TODAY'S GAMES AT MACKAY'S BB PRINT STADIUM

  • 2pm:: Mal Meninga Cup, Mackay Cutters v CQ Capras
  • 4pm:: Hastings Deering Colts, Mackay Cutters v CQ Capras
  • 7.30pm: Intrust Super Cup, Mackay Cutters v CQ Capras


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