Central Queensland Capras pip Moranbah Miners in final trial
RUGBY LEAGUE: A determined Central Queensland Capras side fought off a Moranbah Miners comeback in the third and final preseason trial for the Intrust Super Cup Capras' squad, to triumph 24-46.
Coach Jason Hetherington and the Capras' squad travelled to Moranbah for Saturday's trial game, anticipating a tough Miners' unit lead by former Melbourne Storm forward Jaiman Lowe.
While greeted by a physical Miners team, the visitors got away to a flying start in the first half with a quick succession of tries from Gavin Duffey, Reggie Saunders, Cameron Munster and Darcy Etrich and goals from Munster and Marc Webb as the Capras' game plan fell into place.
"We were strong in the first quarter - we played really well with a lot of intensity, our structure was good and our defence was spot on although in the second quarter we started to drop away a bit from our structure and what the team is about," Hetherington said.
As the second quarter progressed, front rower Lowe used his experience to set up a try for the Miners while centre Zac Walker snuck through the Capras' defence to fight their way back late in the first half, although they still trailed 14-24.
The Miners muscled in on the Capras, who struggled to complete their sets in the third quarter, and the hosts drew equal with the visitors 24-24 creating a real arm wrestle.
In the fourth quarter however, the Capras found their second wind after reverting back to basics and the game plan which gained them their early lead.
With the forwards laying a solid platform, winger Tyson White was able to capitalise on an opportunity and scrambled over the line in the corner, while back rower Sione Tongia backed his team mate up with another try.
With five to go, centre Josh Benjamin dotted the ball down and just to ensure the game was well and truly sewn up, hooker Etrich crossed the chalk for a second time with a try set up by Tongia.
The ever-positive Hetherington was impressed with how the team turned the game back in their favour.
"We will look at what we've been doing...what's in place already is good we just need to keep doing it right," the coach said.
"The Miners were nice and physical, it was a good trial...I was really pleased with how each and everyone of the forwards went and the backs and edges played well too...we've had a really good three trials and they've been exactly what we wanted - everything has fallen into place."
The coach will now sit down with the "brains trust" to name a starting 18 for round one of the Intrust Super Cup, where the Capras' will play Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles, at Stockland Stadium, on March 16.
He will name the team this week.
Meanwhile, the Villa Capri CQ Capras Under-21s were dominant in their match against the Moranbah reserve grade, also played at Moranbah on Saturday. They won their clash convincingly, 52-10.
Intrust Super Cup Trial
CQ Capras 46 (Darcy Etrich 2, Gavin Duffey, Reggie Saunders, Cameron Munster, Tyson White, Sione Tongia, Josh Benjamin tries; Cameron Munster 6, Marc Webb goals) defeated Moranbah Miners 24 (Saia Mateaele 2, Zac Walker, Matt Nuttall, Jaiman Lowe tries; Buchanan Rawhiti 2 goals).
Villa Capri CQ Capras Under-21s v Moranbah Reserve Grade
CQ Capras Under-21 52 (Sam Kitchin, Jordan Milburn 2, Kieran Pratt, Jaron Goodman, Brendan Grulke, Nathan Young, Sterling Broadhurst tries; Dave Munns 4, Jordan Milburn 3, Brent Breckon goals) defeated Moranbah Reserves 10 (Dylan Smith, Mark Finlay tries; Luke Dwyer goal).