NAMED: Who is key for Capras women in season opener
The experience of Chelsea Baker and Annette Brander will be critical for the CQ Capras in their season opener on Saturday, according to coach Amanda Ohl.
The Capras head to Brisbane to tackle the West Brisbane Panthers at 3pm on Saturday in Round 1 of the BHP Premiership.
Capras teams will also be in action in the Intrust Super Cup, Hastings Deering Colts (under-21), the Mal Meninga Cup (under-18) and Cyril Connell Challenge (under-16) this weekend.
Ohl is looking forward to seeing the players back in action after the inaugural statewide women’s competition in 2020 was cancelled after just one game because of COVID.
“I’m excited and a little anxious,” she said.
“We’ve watched a few of the Panthers trials; they look good and they’re as strong as they were last year.
“They’re a young side and, like every team in the comp, they’re bigger than us so will probably look to dominate us through the middle.
“Our biggest asset is our speed and agility, so we’ll do our best to play around them.
“We’ll look to keep them moving and hopefully towards the end of each half our fitness and their fatigue will play a part.”
Ohl said the big-game experience of Australian Jillaroos and Origin reps Baker and Brander would be crucial, and they would provide a calming influence for the Capras young playing group.
She nominated several other players who would have a big influence on the result.
“Keysha Baker at fullback has been working really hard and her speed will be a big asset. I expect her in the last 10 or 15 minutes of each half to get in around the ruck and make some inroads around some tired opposition,” Ohl said.
“Young centre Emma Paki impressed in her first trial and has been really good at training. She’s picking the game up well and I expect her to have a big impact out wide.
“Mackenzie Reid will be vital for us with her service and direction out of nine, and halfback Reeghyn Beardmore’s kicking game will need to be on point to get us where we need to be.”
Ohl said the Capras’ focus would be on getting the basics right.
“For us, it’s always going to be simple stuff because we don’t have the advantage of training together two or three times a week like the other teams,” she said.
“We try to keep it as simple as possible and let the girls use their God-given talent to get the job done.”
CQ Capras team for Round 1 of BHP Premiership
Keysha Baker, Bree Spreadborough, Jessica Powell, Emmanita Paki, Bronwyn Takaku, Chelsea Baker, Reeghyn Beardmore, Gemma Brennan, Mackenzie Reid, Naomi Clayton, Sophie O’Toole, Annette Brander, Kailah Rogers, Krystal Sulter, Meg Neven, Emmaley McMurdy, Mikayla Roe