Capras boys show true fighting spirit
NO ONE said it was going to be easy but no player expected the state competition to be quite so tough.
After strong displays at the Capricorn Capras regional trials, a dozen Central Highlands hopefuls in three grades packed the kit bags for the Queensland Championships in Ipswich.
On the ground, the junior reps found themselves up against complete teams well-drilled from competition in the Cyril Connell Cup.
“We got monstered just by the sheer weight of numbers,” under-16 Capras coach Boyd Vickers said. “But we always knew it was going to be tough with only three players in our team with that sort of experience (from the Cup).
“It was like putting a Q-Cup side up against an NRL side.”
Despite the hefty scorelines, what was pleasing for coach Vickers was the improvement he saw in the Capras troops with each game played.
“It was just flat-out and took most of them 20 minutes to get going,” he said.
“But eventually they started to hold their own and by the end of the week, the boys had noticeably stepped up.
“We had people from the crowd come up to us and say they thought we really stood up to the bigger sides. I was very proud of all Capras players to lift their performances.”
Vickers highlighted the performance of Emerald’s Jack Johnson, who he thought would have come close to selection in the Maroons under-16 side if not for an injury suffered in the final clash.
“Because they go straight into camp after the trials, his injury probably went against him,” Vickers said.
Qld Maroons under-14 Merit Team members Daniel Clayton (Tannum Sands) and Jake Ainsworth (Rockhampton) were the only Capras chosen as state representatives.