Debutants shine as Capras shock title contenders
RUGBY LEAGUE: Emu Park's Gabe Hamson scored a spectacular try on debut as the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras threatened to topple title contenders Norths in a thriller at Bishop Park.
The Capras, who were trailing by eight at the break, stormed to the lead with two quick tries early in the second half.
The first was scored by Hamson, who produced what coach David Faiumu called a "freakish play”.
The winger's incredible 70m effort in the 44th minute included a kick, chase and regather down the sideline.
He made a similar play later in the game to set up the Capras fourth try, which was scored by centre BJ Aufaga-Toomaga.
Centre Nathan Bassani and skipper Jack Madden also scored tries.
Despite the Capras' valiant performance, Norths ran out 26-20 winners.
The Capras 20s finals hopes were dashed by Norths, who led from start to finish in their 44-14 victory.
Faiumu was impressed by his players, who approached the game with a "great attitude and good mindset”.
"It was outstanding,” he said.
"Effort-wise, commitment-wise and attitude-wise it was right up there and I couldn't be prouder but fundamental errors at crucial times was the difference.
"We were leading and we could have had the game but we just didn't put the foot on the throat when we were leading.
"Maybe it's because we haven't been in that situation often enough this season.
"But lessons will be learned again tonight on how to win the little moments in games and how lapses in concentration in parts of the game will be found out by good teams like Norths.”
Hamson was one of three players who debuted on Saturday night. Mitchell Forrest and Jayke Collins were the other fresh faces in the team.
Faiumu said Hamson showed he was a "natural footy player”.
"He did everything that was asked of him and more.
"I asked him to get on the front foot, get us some quick play the balls, run hard and tackle hard and he did that.”
Faiumu also had big raps on Collins, who he said was one of the Capras best forwards.
"He was outstanding. His contact, his will and his commitment was like that of a 50-game Cup player.”
Faiumu said the Capras could take some confidence from the Norths game into their last game of the season against Burleigh at Browne Park this Saturday.
Rockhampton's Kobe Hetherington made his first appearance for Norths, putting in a solid performance at five-eighth.