The big talking points from the Capras trial games
TONIGHT the Rockhampton Leagues Club CQ Capras staged their first full contact season hit-out for a mixed bag of results.
Superior fitness and sheer quality came to the fore for the Intrust Super Cup side who at times had to dig deep.
Here are the big talking points of tonight's trial.
1: In Krys Freeman and Jack Madden, coach Kim Williams has himself a hooker and halfback of high regard. Both can organise, both can kick, tackle and guide. They are rugged players who take the ball right to the line and usually take the right option in attack. It is early days, but the pair are shaping up as 'buy of the year' players.
2: Matt Groat is a monster. And he promote the ball. The burly prop was unstoppable at times, ripping in with the ball in hand and sneaking a few offloads out the back. He enforces himself on the opposition defence, allowing the likes of Gavin Hiscox, John Filipo and Phil Nati to do less grunt work. Played 50 minutes straight with no signs of slowing down. Mitch Zornig and Justin Daniels did well a few times, cutting him in half.
3: Guy Williams and Gavin Hiscox might be edging closer to the end of their careers but you wouldn't know it. Williams on the left edge was dangerous and protected Madden well most times. His sleight of hand was class and he ran the line balls well. Worked hard in defence. Hiscox was his usual self, work horse. It was a stinking hot night but he worked tirelessly for 40 minutes. His only blemish, leaving the field late on with a corked thigh. All reports is that he is okay.
4: The Capras are still very much a work in progress. At times they were their own worst enemy. Yes it was a hot night, but sloppy play the balls, poor handling, rushed passes hurt, but the discipline in defence hurt the most. At one stage they gave three penalties in succession. Take nothing away from the Seagulls or Brothers, but against better opposition, these mistakes are a death knoll.
5: Williams has still not yet made up his mind on his starting side, let alone 17 for next weekend's penultimate trial against the Mackay Cutters. While some played their way into positions, others played their way out. He said he believes some players would be surprised and upset to miss out.
6: The outside backs are the four positions causing Williams the most selection headaches. With four centres at this level in Sam Smith, Brandon Manase, Justin Tavae and Junior Kirisome some may miss out. Ken Tofilau was sharp and could be a wing spot. But all four positions are very much up in the air, though it's is not a bad headache to have.
7: Seagulls and Brothers will be top four again this year and perhaps meet in the grand final. They more then matched their parent club for energy, enthusiasm and big hits. Only a final pass and sharpness in attack let them down at the end. Both sides had key personnel missing too. Williams said he was disappointed to miss out on a trial against a QRL club but was quite impressed with the feeder clubs' talents.