Capras denied the win but coach proud of effort
RUGBY LEAGUE: The CQ Capras were denied a win by a controversial video ref's call in the dying seconds of the game but coach Kim Williams could not have been prouder of his charges.
"I think it's one of the greatest performances from the club for a number of years,” he told Channel Nine after the 26-all draw with the Townsville Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon.
"To go down 20-6 midway through that second half, probably most people were thinking it's game over and they're going to rack up a score so (I'm) extremely proud of our boys.”
Blackhawks fullback Carlin Anderson spared his team's blushes by nailing a full-time sideline conversion to secure the draw.
Blackhawks winger Johnathan Reuben scored at the death in controversial circumstances after his sideline effort was ruled to have remained in touch despite the on-field official indicating to the video referee a no try.
The pressure was then put on fullback Carlin Anderson as his team trailed 26-24 with full-time already sounded, but the recent Cowboys signing made no mistake with the conversion.
A brilliant start to the second half featuring two unanswered tries from Reuben - scored within the space of two minutes - and another from Jordan Kenworthy resulted in a 20-6 lead that soon evaporated in the face of a four-try Capras' onslaught.
Making it 20-10 when winger Samuel Lollo on debut finished a good edge play, the Capras got back in the game when fullback Maipele Morseu opened up the Blackhawks defence to make it 20-16 after the conversion.
It almost seemed inevitable when former Cowboys under-20s forward Bill Cullen powered over to give the Capras a 22-20 lead with 20 minutes remaining, and they appeared to seal it when Morseu got his second of the day in the shadows of full-time, only for Marco De La Pena to miss the conversion.
That handed Townsville an opportunity to grab a late equaliser and they somehow cracked the Capras' inspired defence when quick hands put Reuben in the corner.
Reuben ended up with four tries after scoring inside the opening two minutes, but the machine failed to turn over and the Capras capitalised on the back of a Krys Feeman 40/20 to score through Ken Tofilau and give the visitors a 6-4 half-time lead.
Freeman was named co-man of the match and applauded his team's defensive effort, particularly in the first half.
"We've leaked a lot of points in the first half this season so it was good to turn a bit of a page today but unlucky we didn't come away with the points,” Freeman said post-match.
Williams said while it would have been nice to take the two competition points, but he couldn't be disappointed.
"You just cop it, there's far too many positives in that game for me even though we should be celebrating,” he said.
"You've got to the take the positives from that otherwise we're wasting our time. I think today is a very positive sign for us as a club.”