Rockhampton’s Cooper Nobbs pushes his way over to score one of the Rockhampton tries during the 26-16 win over Gladstone at Browne Park on Saturday.
Rockhampton’s Cooper Nobbs pushes his way over to score one of the Rockhampton tries during the 26-16 win over Gladstone at Browne Park on Saturday. Allan Reinikka

McLellan thrives in heat

ANY doubts over the fitness of big forward Dave McLellan will have been put to rest after he put in a great all-action display to help Rockhampton to a 26-16 victory over Gladstone at Browne Park on Saturday.

The match was played in very warm conditions but McLellan made light of it as he charged around the park looking for work.

He was not alone in a match that proved to be very competitive.

Surprisingly, the error rate was acceptable considering the conditions the players had to deal with in late afternoon.

A number of the Capras fringe players were selected in the match and with John Harbin sitting in the grandstand, they were out to impress.

It was the Gladstone team that took an early lead with a try to Greg Thomas but in spite of putting pressure on the Gladstone line the Rockhampton team had to wait until late in the half before creating the move that left Cooper Nobbs with a little bit of room on the left wing to get over the line and make the score 6-4.

Second-rower Hayden Davies was another willing worker in the Rockhampton team, usually making good metres with ball in hand but at half time it was Gladstone that still held a slight advantage at 6-4.

Gladstone opened the second half strongly but were unable to capitalise on a powerful run from Josh Kirkwood who took the ball close to the Rockhampton line before the move broke down due to untidy handling.

Shortly afterwards, Joey Hayward scored a try and Ryan Wilson added the extra two points with the kick.

A delightful dummy from Casey Bromilow gave Rockhampton its second try, wrong footing the Gladstone cover defence.

On the siren for three-quarter time, a Sam Herbert try gave Gladstone a 16-10 lead and seemingly, a clear road to victory.

However, the heat took effect on the Gladstone boys in the final stages of the game with Nobbs scoring a second try and then the team adding two further tries to win 26-16.

Two players who earned special praise from Harbin were Kayan Davies, Rockhampton's half back and Gladstone's Ryan Wilson. "I want both to travel to Mackay (on Saturday)," Harbin said.

Fullback Tyron Cranston rolled an ankle and Gavin Duffy hurt a thumb in the main game, but both were cleared of serious injury.

BJ Munns however, will need an x-ray on a shoulder he injured while playing for Rockhampton.



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