By Liam Emerton
The Rockhampton Leagues Club Central Queensland Capras will remain embedded in the top three during the Origin break thanks to a come-from-behind draw with the Redcliffe Dolphins.
It all started perfectly for our Capras when a Jack Madden kick was knocked back by centre Jonus Pearson into the arms of fullback Blake Moore who scored untouched in the fourth minute.
Trey Browne slotted his conversion attempt to give the Capras a 6-0 lead but the Dolphins were quick to strike back through Edward Kosi, making the score 6-4.
The NZ Warriors’ signed winger managed another try eight minutes later to put Redcliffe ahead 8-6.
On the 24th minute mark Curtis Dansey-Smaller crossed for his sixth try of the season, taking the Capras back into the lead with the scoreboard reading 10-8.
But with just 10 minutes left in the half the home side scored a long-distance try with the power of former New Zealand rugby union player and NRL Dolphins recruit Valynce Te Whare too much for the Central Queenslanders.
Another strong run by Te Whare set up the next scoring opportunity for the Capras where a sharp step from fullback Trai Fuller stumbled two Capras defenders and gave the Dolphins a healthy 18-10 lead at the break.
Needing another big lift at the half, the Central Queensland squad found the opening second-half try through Jedidiah Simbiken.
A quick switch from Madden to the short side saw a Moore grubber cause two Dolphins to collide which gave Simbiken the easiest put down of his career and brought the Capras to within an unconverted try of their opponents.
And it wouldn’t be a Capras match without winger Brandon Roberts crossing for a meat pie.
A mid-air catch and pass from Dansey-Smaller set the high-flying winger free to score his 10th try of the season.
Roberts’ try also tied the match at 18-18 with 18 minutes remaining in the contest.
But, despite the Capras’ second half dominance, it was the Dolphins who struck late through Kosi.
Kosi’s third try of the afternoon regained the Dolphins’ lead in the 75th minute with a Daejarn Asi conversion making the score 24-18 with just minutes remaining.
But that Capras spirit, which has been so evident in every match this season, was brought to the forefront again.
No surprise it was the connection of Roberts and Dansey-Smaller that came up with the leveller two minutes later.
Roberts went down the short side and drew and passed by the fullback to give his centre an easy try.
Browne’s boot found the mark for the second time in the match, levelling the scores at 24-24.
And that’s how the match finished, a big effort from the Capras to maintain their third-place positioning as they look forward to the Tweed Seagulls in two weeks.
The Hostplus Cup competition will break for the Origin period before returning on July 2 with a Capras home match.
For our Hasting Deering Colts they were knocked off 28-16 against the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Herman Seumanufagai scored a double for CQ while the returning Jye Marriott also bagged a try.
That loss meant the under-21s dropped from first place down to the third position on the ladder.