In-form Capras outplay Pride
COULD the CQ Capras carry on from where they left off against the Ipswich Jets last Sunday was the big question going into this game and after 80 minutes of football the answer was a resounding "yes".
For many who have watched the local team over the years Thursday night's performance at Browne Park was a revelation as the Capras matched and then outplayed Northern Pride to win 28-18 against a line-up that had a large core of players with NRL experience.
The hard part is deciding where to start when dishing out the plaudits as there was barely a weakness.
In the forwards Tim Glasby and Alan Rothery were prominent, each putting in lots of minutes and giving the Capras plenty of momentum going forward.
That is no disrespect to the other forwards as each one of them was prepared to do their share of the hard yards.
After five games the Capras were able to field their first choice combination in the halves with Gavin Duffy returning from injury.
Duffy played a leadership role, moving team-mates around the park, setting up the backline for penetrating runs and turning the Pride around with his astute kicking game.
Then there was Cheyenne Motu who was just tremendous.
Time after time Motu was able to mesmerise the Pride's defence, teasing them by holding the ball in front of him as he ran at the defensive line and then playing little dummies that confused players, leaving holes to run through.
Going into the match there had been a lot of talk about Pride having former State of Origin full back Ty Williams in the Pride line-up.
However on the night there was only one full back that impressed and that was Reece Baker as he linked up well in attack, running Pride ragged around the edges, and was again solid in defence.
In all it was a great all round display.
Pride had an obvious game plan of trying to expose the Capras' inexperience on the right wing with bombs aimed into the corner. It worked to gain the opener but from there it was the Capras' night.
The power of Alan Rothery took him over the line for the Capras first try and then Glasby showed his own form of subtlety as he barged his way through would-be tacklers to score a try Gorden Tallis would have been proud of.
The teams went in to half time at three tries apiece, Motu scoring the third after Glasby had produced another powerhouse run and Brett Anderson a try for the Pride, but the Capras led 18-12 as winger Tyron Cranston had slotted all three of his kicks at goal.
For the first 15 minutes of the second spell the Pride camped in the Capras half and pulled the game back to 18-18 through Jamie Frizzo but instead of wilting under the pressure the young Capras team showed mental toughness to stick with the task.
Two great tries down the left wing sealed the match for the Capras. Mitch Zornig set up flying winger Sailosi Vatubua for the first, the move coming from inside the Capras half.
Shortly afterwards Vatubua sealed the win with a similar burst down the line, this time being fed by Baker.
Vatubua then spoiled his chance of scoring a hat trick when Baker and Glasby set him up only to lose the ball as he attempted to produce a somersault while forcing the it down.
As the siren sounded the Capras deserved the sustained applause from one of the biggest, and most vocal, crowds, seen at Browne Park.