Rugby league royalty turns out for Broncos, Capras clash
RUGBY LEAGUE: The CQ Capras are sure to have won plenty of fans with their spirited showing against the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday night.
There was a lot to like about the new-look squad, which worked tirelessly in the 36-18 loss to a Broncos outfit that included four State of Origin players – Darius Boyd, Andrew McCullough, Joe Ofahengaue and Jack Bird.
More than 5000 people packed into Browne Park for the pre-season trial, which rounded out a full day of action which included a kids coaching clinic with the Broncos and the first appearance of the CQ Capras women’s team.
The crowd was dotted with legend legends past and present, including “The King” Wally Lewis whose daughter Jamie-Lee played for the Souths Logan Magpies in their hard-fought win over the Capras.
Capras men’s coach David Faiumu was understandably upbeat about his team’s encouraging performance.
“It was the hitout that we needed,” he said.
“They stayed in the fight. The Broncos looked like they were going to run away with it for a while there and I thought we finished strongly.
“There’s a lot to improve on, a lot to work on, but all in all very proud of the effort.”
Broncos big guns Boyd, McCullough and Ofahengaue played 40 minutes, while coach Anthony Seibold was happy with what he saw from Jack Bird in his 30-minute stint at fullback in his first game back from an ACL injury.
The Broncos stormed out of the blocks, Jon Reuben scoring in the third minute before the Capras levelled at 6-all with a try to fullback Kainoa Gudgeon.
Tries to Pangai and Richie Kennar put the Broncos ahead 18-6 at half-time.
The Broncos started strongly after the break and extended their lead to 30-6 courtesy of tries to Rockhampton product Kobe Hetherington and halfback Tyson Gamble, who finished with a personal tally of 16 points.
The Capras Sione Vekuso scored to make it 30-12 before the Broncos found their sixth through Josh James to lead 36-12.
The home side kept pushing and was rewarded when Fijian flyer Maika Tudravu crossed with three minutes to go to complete the scoring.
Faiumu said it was a great team effort, with the halves pairing of skipper Jack Madden and Blake Moore one of the highlights.
“It was a really good learning curve for our boys that if you want to match it with Wynnum-Manly, Burleigh Bears, that’s the intensity you’ve got to play at week in, week out,” he said.
Hetherington, son of Maroons legend Jason Hetherington, played at hooker for the Broncos in the second half.
Seibold said the young utility could draw confidence from his game time, which featured some good runs out of dummy half and some solid defence.
Seibold was excited to be back in his home town of Rockhampton.
“It was really important to bring some significant names to the region,” he said.
“We’re big supporters of the Capras. We want to see them do well.
“The young Capras team were outstanding, very enthusiastic and energetic, so I’m sure they got a great experience and should get a lot of confidence out of that.
“It was a really good game, fantastic crowd.”