Josh Johnston to emulate fast flowing style for Capras
IT'S not often a prop can prove the difference between a team winning and losing - but that's exactly what 19-year-old Josh Johnston hopes to demonstrate when he lines up for the Capras tonight in Townsville.
Johnston has his first official audition for the season in tonight's derby against the Blackhawks at Jack Manski Oval.
The former Emerald Tigers junior returns from a strong pre-season with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs under-20s and was confident he would add plenty of drive to the depleted Capras pack.
"I'm really stoked. I wasn't sure when I was going to get a run. I thought it would be a little further on but football is an injury game," Johnston said.
"Now I just need to step up and perform when I'm out there."
While he promised no silly errors from his in-goal area, Johnston is a confident ball runner who should adapt neatly into the Capras' game plan.
"I'd love to have a really high work rate and get the stats right up here," he said.
"If I can get my tackle percentage right up and not miss any or not many I'll be really happy.
"And then just strong carries and no errors."
Johnston, who debuted for the Capras in the final round of the 2014 Intrust Super Cup season, idolised the ad lib attacking styles of former NRL players Ray Thompson and Robert Lui.
"I remember as a little kid watching Neville Costigan play State of Origin, now I'm playing him this weekend, that will be pretty cool," he said.
Johnston earned the plaudits of coach Jason Hetherington who praised his commitment to training.
"He works hard on his game, so it's good to see he is getting the opportunities he deserves," Hetherington said.
"Bulldogs have massive wraps on him and I have no doubt he'll do a good job for us."
Johnston will come off the bench for the Capras after front-rower Gerrard Tema was ruled out with a knee injury.
Hetherington yesterday confirmed Tema was no chance against the Blackhawks with Peter Gallen also ruled out of Round 4 clash.
Intrust Super CupRound 4
CQ Capras (Javarn White, Jonas Pearson, Russell Webber, Tarrant Mariner, Ja'Ofanga Rabakewa, Matt Minto, Russ Aitken, Nathan Young, Josh Mitchell, Fabian Soutar, Garrett Field, Guy Williams (c), Gavin Hiscox, Ian Webster, Chris Stolk, Andrew Dale, Josh Johnston, Rajan Opetaia-Halls) vs Townsville Blackhawks today at Jack Manski Oval, 5pm.