CQ Capras in crisis after visa issues and 64 point loss
CAPRAS officials, coaching staff and players will head to Browne Park tonight to address the club's most recent visa controversy.
Operations Manager Brendan Bowers confirmed the club had 20 player visa's approved for their trip to Kokopo, Papua New Guinea, after similar complications in the 2014 season.
"We were well aware of last year's passport/visa problems and therefore made it a priority to hand players passport and visa applications out at the start of the season," Bowers said.
"But they are grown men and the players who did not have this organised in time have to take some responsibility. Punishment's for those players will be discussed at board level."
Dean Allen (elbow), Rajan Opetaia-Halls (illness) and Josh Johnston (back) were ruled unfit late last week, while Dean McAdam's visa was denied due to a six-month passport expiration.
Another Gladstone-based player ruled himself unfit to travel at 5.15pm on Friday night.
"We could have taken others but there was no way we could have organised a visa in time," Bowers said.
"In saying that it gave us a great opportunity to get two new players. We have asked one of those PNG boys, Lance Kuveu, to apply for a visa and come play for us for the remainder of the season."
Bowers yesterday attempted to breathe life into the Capras' ailing season, declaring the team could bounce back after hitting "rock bottom" against PNG Hunters.
"There are some games we could have performed better as a team," he said.
"We aren't big enough or strong enough. It's been boys playing men. Three weeks ago we had five of the forward pack under 20 years of age."
"Some of the players we are using this year are not ready to compete at this level but they are getting the experience and will be better for it."
"We will get through this season and re-evaluate from there."
Bowers expressed his disappointment in their player walk-outs with former Melbourne Storm hooker Russ Aitken and former Ipswich Jets enforcer Javarn White among the mix.
"It's very disappointing, extremely disappointing as a club," he said.
"But they have to make that decision. If they don't want to play for us, for whatever reason, we wish them all the best for the future. We want players here who want to play for us."
"It's hurting us at the moment but in the long-term we will be okay."
Addressing controversy surrounding supporter club's and the QRL's commitment to the Capras, Bowers said he couldn't be more pleased with their official efforts.
"Our relationship with the QRL is fantastic. They understand the position we are in and they are working with us to fix it," Bowers said.
"The Broncos again, there is this mind set with us and a lot of other Intrust Super Cup clubs that the NRL teams owe us something and that they should bring players back. But why?"
"There are other ways the NRL clubs can help rugby league in our region. They could bring a NRL game up here. They could give us a proper trial and help with areas of development."
THE Rockhampton Leagues Club Central Queensland Capras have hit rock bottom - on and off the field.
Revelations the club fielded two Papua New Guinea locals in their Round 16 clash with the PNG Hunters yesterday, due to visa complications, generated plenty of debate about the future of the battling club.
The 68-4 defeat at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo, was the side's 14th-straight loss for the 2015 season with a record 600-points scored against them since Round 1.
A season that looked only to promising for the Central Queensland side has been riddled with injury, player walk-outs and limited support from feeder club's.
How long can the Intrust Super Cup keep propping up the Capras and will they become the next fallen franchise?
Rugby league enthusiast Baron Large said the out-of-form Capras need to get back to playing for each other.
"It's disappointing. They seem to have the players, the size and the speed but their dedication to each other isn't there," Large said.
"They've had good coaching staff but they have struggled to find that killer instinct.
"It's time they get up and fight for each other. If one man goes down, everyone needs to stand up that little bit taller."
Large nominated improved execution, commitment in defence and completing sets as the keys to a form turnaround for the Central Queensland side.
"They have good players but they aren't combining as a team in attack or defence."
Large said there were more questions than answers coming from the head of Queensland Rugby League with the Capras lacking support from feeder club, Brisbane Broncos.
"They need the Broncos help and support by sending the odd player back to the Capras," he said.
"They do it for every other Intrust Super Cup team but Central Queensland doesn't seem to be getting the backing.
"Until we get an NRL team to this region or one of the club's offer full support the Capras will continue to struggle.
"I understand naturally the Broncos will feed to southern clubs but they need to start extracting digits if they want to be a supporter club."
More to follow.