Capras expect difficult Cutters
SOME players, like James Waterton and Dave McLellan, get their reward for good displays in last week's trial matches while others are rested for the trip to Mackay to play the Cutters.
Week two of trial matches and Capras coach John Harbin is more interested in which players are ready to put their hands up for inclusion in the Intrust Super Cup than the result of the fixture.
While the Meng Cup is the first piece of silverware to be finalised in a season, played over the annual trial match and two league fixtures, Harbin is more concerned about getting things on track and getting some of the combinations operating efficiently.
Unfortunately the Capras plans for sorting out the playmaking area of their line-up has been put on hold with Gavin Duffy likely to be out for about four weeks as the thumb he injured last week requires corrective surgery.
Alan Rotherey came through the limited time he had in last week's trial without any complaints and will get more minutes against Mackay while John
Clayton is also likely to get an extended run having produced some dangerous runs against the CQ Indigenous team last week.
The Capras will, at least, know a high percentage of their opposition with no fewer than five of the squad from Central Queensland; Matt Minto, Chris Gesch, Sam Hoare, Luke Fatnowna and Logan Sullivan, as well as Cutters coach Anthony Seibold.
Harbin knows the odds are against the Capras for a number of valid reasons.
"They are expected to do well this season," he said. "Rugby League Week has tipped them to finish fourth (Intrust Super Cup)."
Not that predictions are a worry to Harbin as the Capras have been tipped by the same publication to end the season with just the Sunshine Coast below them
He said the Cutters have recruited very well and will be playing in their new stadium with a large crowd in the ground waiting for the main game between the Cowboys and the Titans.
With the Cutters' strong link with the Cowboys, they will have four dual-contract players in their squad.
"We will be throwing a few of our boys into the cauldron," Harbin said.
James Waterton earns a position in the Capras team after an inspirational display for the Indigenous All Stars while Gladstone's Ryan Wilson will take on the kicking duties after impressing in last week's curtain-raiser.
Workhorse front-rower Dave McLellan is another who deserved recognition after tackling himself to a standstill against Gladstone while Casey Bromilow is also recognised for his efforts.
"It is going to be a tough game," Harbin said. "It'll give me a few ideas about what these players can do." Harbin said some players had not given themselves the best opportunity of selection in pre-season but in competitive matches at the weekend had shone.
"It is the time to put their hands up in a trial game," he said.
Cooper Nobbs' return to football after a knee reconstruction was also watched with interest by Harbin and he is another chosen in the 23 of which 20 will travel.
Harbin said it is likely the Capras will face two Cutters teams with Seibold giving all his players a decent run on the park.
Players named for the trial game at Mackay on Saturday:
CQ Capras: Reece Baker, Malcolm Darkin, Mitch Zornig, Ryan Wilson, Sailasa Vatabua, James Waterton, Casey Bromilow, Tim Glasby, Reece Goldsmith, James Crombie, Ben Faulkner, John Clayton, Brent Williams, Russell Webber, Cooper Nobbs, Jack Kavanagh, David McLellan, Hayden Davis, Alan Rothery, Cheyanne Motu, Johnathon Tavinor, Luke Crumblin, Chris Saunders (three to be omitted). Coach John Harbin.
Mackay Cutters: Dean Tass, Bureta Fariamo, Liam Taylor, Moses Pangai, Michael Comerford, Chad Grintell, David Milne, Grant Rovelli, Matt Minto, Tyson Andrews, Sam Hoare, Neil Budworth, Dane Hogan, Zac Dalton, Chris Gesch, Luke Young, Dean Webster, Jason Schirnack, Kelvin Neilsen, Logan Sullivan, Tyson Martin, Luke Fatnowna, Lee Williams, Andrew Ward. Coach Anthony Seibold.