GALLERY: Why Capras coach is all smiles after Broncos clash
RUGBY LEAGUE: Coach Kim Williams was a happy man after the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras' first pre-season trial at the weekend.
The new-look Capras outfit took on a young Brisbane Broncos side in front of an enthusiastic 2500-strong crowd at the Theodore Showgrounds on Saturday night.
The Broncos ran out 16-6 winners in the game, played over four 20-minute quarters, but Williams was far from disappointed with the result.
Chanel Seigafo, who alternated between wing and centre, was the Capras best on ground and the left-edge combination of Jack Madden, Connor Broadhurst and Dave Cowhan looked ominous.
Starting front rowers Phil Nati and Brad Lupi also impressed in the absence of the experienced Oliver Percy and Peter Rogers, and certainly pressed their case for selection come Round 1 of the ISC in a month's time.
Williams was particularly impressed with the mental toughness exhibited by his players on Saturday, given that was an area that had plagued the team in the latter half of the 2017 season.
"I thought we were very good. I think we pretty well achieved all the things we wanted to achieve,” he said.
"We were good defensively. We dropped a little bit of ball early on but we defended against those errors really well.
"We showed we're a lot tougher than we were in that back half of last year. We had to defend our line for long periods of time and we were able to do that.
"That was probably one of our worst features last year so we've improved in that area already and that's a good sign.
"I don't think any individual had a bad game. Everyone who got a run did their job and should be pretty pleased with their performance.
"The pleasing thing was the way we worked as a team. It's something we've really focused on and there were some really good signs there on Saturday night.”
The Broncos scored in the fifth minute of the game, with Corey Allen crossing out wide on the back of a couple of repeat sets.
Williams said from there it became "a bit of an arm wrestle”, with the Capras levelling the score just before half-time when Nathan Bassani latched onto a well-placed kick to crash over.
The Broncos scored early in the second half, Allen crossing for his second of the night off the back of a sleek backline movement to make it 10-6.
They claimed their third try when David Fifita pounced on a rebound to extend the lead to 10 points.
Williams said while there were a number of stoppages with penalties and while playing quarters certainly helped, the Capras fitness looked equal to that of their southern counterparts.
He was also pleased that his players were not over-awed by the occasion and stuck to the game plan and their structures pretty well.
"It was a great night out there. The crowd was pretty big and all the earlier games were pretty entertaining,” he said.
"It was awesome and everyone involved did a fantastic job.”
The Capras next trial will be against the Townsville Blackhawks in Mackay this weekend.