By Liam Emerton
The Rockhampton Leagues Club Central Queensland Capras Hostplus Cup side will need to refocus as they head west this weekend on a trip to the country.
The side took a close loss at the hands of the Norths Devils on the weekend, suffering a 75th-minute winner at Bishop Park.
The Capras allowed a soft try in when Broncos’ forward Rhys Kennedy spun away from a tackle and barreled his way over in the 16th minute.
The slippery conditions then played havoc for the Central Queenslanders when a stab-kick from Kierran Moseley was fumbled and Connor Broadhurst was deemed to be the first to jump on it, despite Blake Moore seemingly planting the ball down simultaneously.
That try and the subsequent successful conversion gave the Devils a 10-0 lead before the Capras finally cracked Norths’ defence.
With a quarter-of-an-hour left in the first half Bailey Butler, who has been one of the shining lights for the Capras in 2022, produced an incredible run, taking on three Devils’ defenders before diving over the line.
That was the last big play of the first half, giving Norths the 10-6 lead at the break.
It was the Capras who had the first joy in the second half when a sharp Brandon Clarke run caught the Devils back-peddling giving Radean Robinson the opportunity to deliver a short ball to Ethan O’Neill whose offload found Jesse Jennings, allowing him to cross.
A missed conversion meant the score remained locked at 10-10 before Blake Moore slotted home a penalty goal on the hour mark to give the Capras a 12-10 lead.
Fifteen gruelling minutes passed before a short ball put Leivaha Pulu through a gap and slid into the Capras’ in-goal to give the Devils a 14-12 lead.
The conversion attempt was spot on and, despite the Capras trying hard to reclaim the lead, a field goal on the hooter sealed their fate as Norths snuck home 17-12 winners.
Despite the loss, the Capras remain in fourth place, but thanks to the luck of the draw, the side will have to take on the table-topping Burleigh Bears this week.
Back-to-back top-four clashes is rough for the Capras but they will certainly be uplifted by the tremendous support Emerald provides.
The crowd at McIndoe Park will also witness history as our BMD Premiership women’s side collide with the Bears.
The Capras ladies have already wrapped up the minor premiership and with a final looming, there’s no doubt this is a massive game.
The Bears currently sit second on the ladder, two wins behind the undefeated Capras.
It could even be a sign of things to come with the Capras and Bears set for the finals series.
Burleigh has all to play for with a win securing their position in second and giving them the right to host the semi-final.
A loss could see them technically fall to as low as fourth but would likely see them finish in third place.
If the Capras are to lose they will remain at the top of the table with a home final hopefully on the horizon.
In the Hasting Deering Colts competition, the CQ Capras have continued their grip on top of the table by defeating Norths Devils 42-10.
Matthew Hill and Peyton Jenkins both scored doubles for our young guns as they walked away from Bishop Park with a huge win.
The Capras’ Colts take on Burleigh Bears, who currently sit in 11th place, with our side looking to keep their undefeated start alive.