CQ Capras 18s can ‘hold their heads high’
The CQ Capras under-18s can “hold their heads high” after their Mal Meninga Cup campaign, according to coach Kane Hardy.
Their stellar run came to an end in Saturday’s semi-final against the Townsville Blackhawks in Brisbane.
The Capras were edged 28-24 after coming back from 12-nil down and leading by six points midway through the second half of the seesawing contest.
Hardy said the loss was “heartbreaking” but praised his talented outfit for their amazing efforts throughout the season.
The Jai Hansen-captained outfit convincingly won their six pool games, becoming the first team in Capras history to finish on top of a QRL statewide competition ladder at the end of the regular season.
“Words probably can’t describe what this bunch of young men have done for the club, for the region and for themselves,” Hardy said.
“They can hold their heads high and be very proud of their achievements.
“It really hurt them losing that game on Saturday and that shows just how much it meant to them.”
The Capras were on the back foot early and were 12 points down at the 20-minute mark.
But they got back into the game and tries to winger Kalani Sing and halfback Peyton Jenkins had the scores locked at 12-all at half-time.
They got their noses in front 18-12 courtesy of the first of centre Elekana Suavai’s two second-half tries.
The teams went try for try before Blackhawks’ winger Jordan Davies scored the decider with just over five minutes left on the clock.
Hardy said 16-year-old Suavai was sensational for the Capras, as were bench players Izaac Jackson and Mitch Biddulph who changed the momentum of the game when they took the field.
Jenkins finished with a personal tally of 12 points after converting all four of the Capras’ tries.
Hardy said it was a spine-tingling moment for him when the team took the lead in the second half.
“Having a team in front in a state league semi-final, that’s probably the proudest moment I’ve ever had,” he said.
“They’re a special group, these boys, and I don’t think we’ll see another one like it for a long time.”
CQ Capras results from the weekend
Intrust Super Cup: Ipswich Jets 40 d CQ Capras 24
BHP Premiership: Burleigh Bears 36 d CQ Capras 16
Hastings Deering Colts: CQ Capras 28 d Ipswich Jets 20
Mal Meninga Cup: Townsville Blackhawks 28 d CQ Capras 24