QCup Rd 11 Central Qld 26 Easts 18
Nobody told the CQ Capras they were not supposed to beat Intrust Super Cup heavyweights Easts Tigers at Browne Park.by NRL
Nobody told the CQ Capras they were not supposed to beat Intrust Super Cup heavyweights Easts Tigers at Browne Park.
Before the game, the experts from down south were optimistic the Capras might stay with the Tigers and possibly even make them work for their two competition points.
A popular margin for the game was expected to favour Easts by 12 points.
But they had read the script wrong and apart for a few short periods, it was the home team that called the shots and thoroughly deserved their 26-18 win.
There were errors, but in general the Capras played no-nonsense football and defended with an intensity rarely seen from a local team. The hardest decision of the afternoon would have to be deciding who was the home team's player of the day.
Once again the forwards were led with vigour by Alan Rothery, Tim Glasby and James Crombie but there were cameo performances from 1-17 on the team list.
Perhaps one player deserving special praise is winger Tyron Cranston. His success rate with conversions is up there with the best and his form has been a major asset for the Capras in recent weeks.
The young winger is also building in confidence, returning the ball and using his speed and trickery to make big metres.
When he and his centre Brent Williams first teamed up they looked like they were a stop-gap measure and unlikely to settle into a handy combination.
That is no longer the case as Williams too has made the position his own, getting better with each game he plays.
Russell Webber made the transition from winger to centre easily, scoring a sensational try and doing everything asked of him.
He also impressed his fellow players as he received the most votes for the Capras' best on park.
Not that the game started too well for the home team and their growing legion of supporters.
After both teams went through their opening sets efficiently, the Capras were caught out on their left-hand side with halfback Grant Giess scoring and Cody Walker adding the extras.
The points to the visitors had the effect of firing up the Capras and for the next half hour the home team looked like they were the ones in line for a place in the 2012 Intrust Super Cup finals.
It didn't take too long for the game to be locked up with Alan Rothery catching out the Easts defence, coming back on the angle as the ball was being fed left, and then powering through to score.
Midway through the first 40 minutes, halfback Gavin Duffy turned up in support of his hooker Cheyenne Motu, finding a gap and diving over to put the Capras in the lead.
Duffy had a fine afternoon, showing far more variety in his game than he has in recent weeks and establishing a formidable link with Jon Tavinor and Motu.
Try of the game belonged to Webber who still had work to do after breaking from the halfway line.
Two cover defenders lined him up and both were left in the dirt as he broke their attempted tackles to score.
Next on the scoring list was Reece Goldsmith who reacted quickest to an awkward little grubber kick to score close to the posts.
Just before the half-time siren, Walker scored a try to send the teams in for the break at 24-12.
As would be expected of a proud club like Easts, they came out to play in the second half and tested the Capras' defensive resolve.
A few weeks ago it is doubtful the Capras would have stood up to such an onslaught but now this young team is oozing confidence.
Easts showed no sign of panic and went through their sets in a workmanlike fashion without having the flair to break down the Capras.
The only time they did make a break, it was winger Ryan Tongia who scored the try as the Capras were caught out near the halfway line.
That should have meant a nervous final few minutes but a great Cranston run led to Easts conceding a penalty within kicking range and the young winger grabbed the two points to give the Capras the breathing space needed to complete the job.
CQ CAPRAS 26 (Russell Webber, Gavin Duffy, Alan Rothery, Reece Goldsmith tries; Tyron Cranston 5 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 18 (Ryan Tongia, Cody Walker, Grant Giess tries; Cody Walker 3 goals) at Browne Park.
By Alan Kennedy - Courtesy of the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin
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