Same old story for Capras as Smith battles injury
RUGBY LEAGUE: It was a case of deju vu for the CQ Capras in the wake of last week's 24-point loss against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
For the second week in a row the Capras conceded 38 points after leaking that amount in Round Six against the Mackay Cutters.
They conceded 36 against Norths Devils in Round Five, making their Round Four win over Tweed Heads Seagulls seem like a distant memory.
The 13th-placed Capras will have to deal with the Seagulls again this weekend, but this time it's the boys from Wynnum Manly who they must get past at BMD Kougari Oval at 6pm on Saturday.
Capras coach Kim Williams was blunt when asked where his team needs to improve ahead of the clash against the eighth-placed Seagulls.
"Defend,” Williams said.
"It's getting like Groundhog Day sitting in these press conferences and talking about how many points we've conceded.
"Defence has been an extremely poor aspect of our game, in particular over the last three weeks.
"We've conceded far too many points and far too easily at times.
"I can assure you we're working really hard and (Tuesday) night was probably one of the toughest sessions we've had in months.
"It was really defence-focussed and particularly focussed on our edge defence.
"It's been a bit of an Achilles heal for us.”
Williams had an eye on Gladstone Valleys centre Sam Smith to plug the leaky holes in their edge defence, but the 21-year-old missed out on selection last week due to a knee injury.
"(Sam's) got an injury,” he said.
"He was named last week and I had every intention of playing him,” he said.
"He's got a meniscus injury in his knee and it's one of those ones where it's hard to tell the severity of them other than the pain that you're feeling and Sam's quite uncomfortable with it at the moment.
"He won't be ready this week by the looks of it but hopefully it settles down and he'll be in contention for the following week.”
Cairns product Nathan Bassani will make his Capras debut in the centres in place of Smith.
Bassani plays for Rockhampton Norths in the extended league competition.
Calliope's Bill Cullen was named on the bench.