Coach Kane Hardy with the Capras under-18 squad, which has made a winning start to their 2021 season.
Coach Kane Hardy with the Capras under-18 squad, which has made a winning start to their 2021 season.

NAMED: Capras U18 players who have starred in opening games

The Capras under-18 players are “jumping out of their skin” for their first game of the season at Rockhampton’s Browne Park, according to coach Kane Hardy.

They will be looking for their fourth straight win when they hit the field against the Sunshine Coast Falcons at 5.20pm on Saturday.

The Capras are sitting atop the Mal Meninga Cup competition ladder, courtesy of three wins in which they’ve scored 130 points and conceded just 20.

Hardy is impressed with how his squad has come together.

“They’re a special bunch of boys,” he said.

“They’re hungry, they like being in the fight, they just want to compete.

“They’re doing it for each other, and they know they’re playing for the Capras brand and their region.

“We’ve got a squad of 30 players and unfortunately not everybody’s getting a run but the boys who aren’t deserve as much credit at those who are.

“They keep turning up to training and working hard as well.”

Hardy nominated four players who had been models of consistency in the opening games.

“Our hooker and captain Jai Hansen has been fantastic. He’s leading the way with his actions and his communication,” he said.

“Second rower Riley Hall is the leader of our pack. He just puts that jersey on and rolls his sleeves up and works tirelessly for every minute of the game. He’s been massive for us.

Centre Elekana Suavai scored a hat-trick in the CQ Capras under-18 team's win over the Wide Bay Bulls last weekend.
Centre Elekana Suavai scored a hat-trick in the CQ Capras under-18 team's win over the Wide Bay Bulls last weekend.

“Elekana Suavai is a big, strong centre. He’s got strong carries and defensively, he’s spot on. He’s definitely a kid with a big future.

“Lock Tane Kiriona has come on in leaps and bounds. He’s been given this opportunity and he’s grabbed it with both hands. He just keeps getting better and better, and it’s a credit to him the goals he’s achieving.”

Hardy said that talented quartet and their teammates would “have to be on their game” on Saturday.

“The Falcons are a handy little team; they’ve got some good players and they’re well coached,” he said.

“But we can’t worry too much about them, we’ve just got to think about ourselves and getting things right on our end.

“We’ve got to learn to build a little bit more pressure and overall, our completions have to be better.

“The boys have identified that. We’ve focused on that this week and we just have to make sure we deliver on that tomorrow.”

The Mal Meninga Cup clash is one of four games on the program at Browne Park on Saturday.

The Capras’ Hastings Deering Colts will kick the action off with a trial game against Norths Chargers at 2pm.

The Capras’ under-19 women tackle the Sunshine Coast Falcons at 3.45pm, with the Intrust Super Cup clash between the Capras and the Northern Pride at 7.15pm.

Capras under-18 team

Matthew Hill, Kalani Sing, Coby Williamson, Elekana Suavai, Jackson Warde, Tyler Conroy, Peyton Jenkins, Tyler Keogh-Paladin, Jai Hansen (captain), Tomas Powell, Jordan Heke, Riley Hall, Tane Kiriona, Seth McGilvray, Izaac Jackson, Mitchell Biddulph, Cadel Crawford.

Kayo is streaming two ISC games free each week, one on Saturday and one on Sunday afternoon. Visit kayosports.com.au/freebies.

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