GALLERY: Inconsistent ball handling highlight by coach
CAPRAS coach Lionel Harbin lamented poor discipline, costly turnovers and a spate of inexperience - but believed Central Queensland rebounded quickly after its demoralising first half.
Harbin said Melbourne Storm-contracted Ben Hampton was a "class above the rest" leading the Sunshine Coast Falcons to a comfortable 36-24 win at Browne Park on Saturday night.
"They were a good quality side, but the game was there for us to take," Harbin said.
"Ben Hampton was a class above everyone and you could tell why he has earned himself a contract in the NRL."
Despite both sides having similar penalty and error counts, Harbin highlighted the inconsistent ball handling by his team which curtailed any meaningful pressure in attack.
"Dropped balls came back to hurt us," he said.
"In the first half we scored a couple of tries but we turned it over in the first tackle and were punished for it."
Harbin lauded the return of Reece Baker's never-say-die attitude with a resilient game at fullback.
"He brought a lot of energy to the team and he will be better for the run," he said.
A consistent Hayden Buckman was another to earn the coach's praise after scoring a double at wing.
"We had a couple of individuals who were really good for us," Harbin said.
"Bucky had a really good game for us and it was pleasing to see him capitalise off Matty's (Minto) good vision."
Sunshine Coast played merciless in the opening 40 minutes to enter the break 30-14 ahead.
Central Queensland came out firing after halftime with youngsters Buckman and Jake Ainsworth crossing the paint.
"Our second half was really good, we defended well," Harbin said.
"Shaun Collins played great at left centre and defensively shut down their play a few times."
Led by five-eighth Minto, the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras kept peppering the Falcon's line in the dying minutes but had any potential comeback snuffed out by a runaway try.
"We are scoring tries but we aren't stopping them at the moment," Harbin said.
"We need to be able to defend our errors."
The Capras will return to the training paddock tonight before coming up against an eighth-placed Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park, Gold Coast on Sunday.