Hogan hopes crushing of Capras marks turning point in season
RUGBY LEAGUE: Sunshine Coast captain Dane Hogan hopes his side's thrashing of CQ Capras on Sunday represents a turning point in their state league season.
The Falcons crushed their opponents 38-0 to remind the rest of the competition of their potential.
After starting the season with just three wins from eight outings, last year's runners-up produced a clinical display at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
They rushed to a 32-0 half-time lead before going on with the job.
Hogan admitted a recent run of three close losses had dented their confidence but he expected this performance would boost their morale and said it could kick-start their campaign.
"A lot of the boys were having a little bit of self-doubt with their own games so it's obviously good to get a good win like that leading into the bye (next weekend) and hopefully we can come out firing against Redcliffe and hopefully it could be a bit of a turning point in our season," he said.
"We know we've got a lot of talent and if we get the fundamentals right and stick to the process like we did in this game the points will flow."
Coach Craig Ingebrigtsen said last week many members of his squad were on notice following the recent losses.
But it seems they met the challenge.
The Falcons' focus and determination was particularly evident late in the game, while holding a commanding lead.
Under pressure, they staved off attacking raids from CQ, with a try-saving tackle from impressive hooker Harry Grant the highlight.
"It's an attitude thing," Hogan said.
"We had a pretty tough week at training this week.
"(There were) a lot of home truths about where we are in the season and I think everyone in the team really responded and got on the same page.
"We were just desperate at the back end of the game to not let any points in, which will be great for our for-and-against.
"We probably could have rolled over and let in an easy try, being up by so much, but we were courageous and kept them to zero."
But the match was won in the first half when the Falcons had a high completion rate, running into a fresh southerly wind.
Melbourne-contracted Jahrome Hughes starred in the halves, crossing twice and playing a hand in most other tries.
He opened the scoring when he brushed through a couple of tacklers.
Matt Soper-Lawler struck next when his tackle on opposing winger Chanel Seigafo forced the ball loose.
Prop Jacob Hind produced a strong outing the absence of Tui Kamikamica and he crashed over to make it 16-0.
Hughes found winger Jake Ainsworth with a nice pass to score and then the former skipped through the Capras defence to make it 28-0.
Ainsworth found the line again for a 32-0 lead at the break.
Capras' ex-Queensland representative David Taylor was sin-binned and Grant darted over to make it 38-0 while the big man was off the field.
It was the Falcons' biggest win in more than a year, after a 58-0 victory over Tweed Heads in the corresponding round.
They managed to win with ease despite mid-game leg injuries to back-rowers Louis Geraghty and Chris Lewis.
Storm-contracted Ryan Papenhuyzen returned to the Falcons for the first time since round two, after initially being sidelined with a head knock while youngster Will Toloi produced an impressive performance in the centres in his state league debut.
He came up with a strong outing, with some willing defence and composed runs.
Capras coach Kim Williams said the Falcons were powerful through the forwards.
"We thought that was their strength and they'd play to that and they did that really well so credit to them," he said.
But his side appeared hapless at times.
"It's a bit disappointing to see the lack of intent and desire in our attack and defence in such an important game for us so we've got some work to do," he said before suggesting changes to the line-up were likely for their clash with the Hunters in Papua New Guinea in a fortnight.
"The bye couldn't come at a better time."
Sunshine Coast Falcons (Jahrome Hughes 2, Jake Ainsworth 2, Matt Soper-Lawler, Jacob Hind, Harry Grant tries; Ryan Papenhuyzen 5 goals) def CQ Capras 0 at Sunshine Coast Stadium