GALLERY: Capras score last-gasp win in Browne Park thriller
RUGBY LEAGUE: There were jubilant scenes at Browne Park last night as the CQ Capras opened their 2018 Intrust Super Cup campaign with a spirited victory.
Five-eighth Blake Goodman was the home side hero, piloting a field goal over with just three minutes left on the clock to seal the 15-14 win over Easts Tigers.
It capped a memorable day for the Capras, whose under-20 and under-18 sides also scored wins over the visitors.
Jubilant head coach Kim Williams was understandably proud of his side's gutsy performance, but also that of the two young brigades.
"You can't help but be pretty happy with that," he said post-match.
"I just said to our guys certainly the wins are great but it's the way all three teams went about it.
"Each of the teams was behind at some stage and had to fight back for the win.
"I think you can see we're building something within this club that's hopefully pretty special."
It was certainly special for the first-graders, who had not tasted victory since Round 12 last year.
Coach Williams had stressed the need for his side to start the game well and his players responded.
Forward Bill Cullen crashed over for the first try of the match in the second minute to set the tone for what was a strong opening stanza for the Capras.
Fullback Zeik Foster, who was one of the team's best, won the race to a perfectly weighted grubber kick from Goodman to extend the lead to 12-nil halfway through the first half.
Easts hit back with a try several minutes later to make it 12-4.
They continued to build pressure on the Capras, who held firm, diffusing a number of attacking raids.
The score remained 12-4 at half-time but it was Easts who struck early in the second, scoring out wide to make it 12-10.
They wrestled the lead from the Capras to go ahead 14-12.
With seven minutes to go, classy centre Connor Broadhurst kept his cool to convert a penalty to lock the scores up at 14-all.
It was the Capras who then took their chance, with Goodman landing the field goal to secure the two competition points.
Williams said the two telling signs in the victory were the players' willingness to "rip in for each other" and the determination shown to come from behind and shut the game out.
"It's pretty hard to pick a best player because everyone just did a great job," he said.
"Blake's one-pointer was something special but it just capped off what was a great performance from the whole team.
"Last year, those big moments in the game we were probably coming off second best but today we were the better team in those big moments so that's a great sign."
The defensive lapses that plagued the Capras in the latter half of last year and even in their three pre-season games this year were not there on Saturday.
The players muscled up in numbers and held Easts up several times over the line.
Williams applauded the efforts of powerhouse forward Dave Taylor, who produced some strong carries at vital stages, made big metres and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.
The coach said the Capras had ticked a lot of boxes on Saturday and the win would help build confidence moving forward.
"I know it's only Round 1 but it's been a while coming so we're certainly going to enjoy it.
"The important thing is not to get carried away with it and realise what got us there was the hard work they put in on the field and through the pre-season.
"I love coaching here in front of this crowd and this community and when we can do them proud it's a pretty special feeling.
"Hopefully, we can back it up next week."