CQ Capras' hooker Billy Gilbert has impressed coach David Faiumu with his energy and enthusiasm.
CQ Capras' hooker Billy Gilbert has impressed coach David Faiumu with his energy and enthusiasm. Jann Houley

Capras to launch 2019 campaign against Magpies today

RUGBY LEAGUE: CQ Capras coach David Faiumu is calling for an effort-based approach from his players in today's Intrust Super Cup season opener.

The Capras head to Brisbane to take on Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park at 3pm.

They were dealt an early blow with former Rabbitoh Eddy Pettybourne set to miss five weeks after breaking his foot in a trial game three weeks ago.

Faiumu is trying to stay positive about the loss of one of his key recruits.

"It's not the greatest news but I suppose that the upside is he's done it now rather than the business end of the season," he said.

"It tests our depth a little bit but other people now get an opportunity to show what they've got and the reason why they're here."

 

The CQ Capras at the official season launch at the Rockhampton Leagues Club on Thursday night.
READY TO GO: The CQ Capras at the official season launch at the Rockhampton Leagues Club on Thursday night. CONTRIBUTED

That opportunity has been presented to the "tough, skilful and mobile" Ryan Jefferey, who comes in to replace Pettybourne in the forward pack.

Faiumu said his troops were excited to test themselves against the Magpies, who he believes will be thereabouts come finals time.

The Jon Buchanan-coached Magpies boast a number of skilful players and a huge pack.

Faiumu said the Capras would need to do a job on those bigger boys to be in the hunt today.

He will be relying on his players' speed and power and the mobility of the whole squad, but in particular the back five and the edge back rowers.

"We're looking for a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy in everything we do, and for our back five to get us on the front foot in each of our sets.

 

Experienced NRL player Matthew Wright (left) with Capras head coach David Faiumu.
Experienced NRL player Matthew Wright (left) with Capras head coach David Faiumu. PAM MCKAY

"It's nothing too sophisticated with us - nice and clean, kick long, chase hard and make them work for everything that they get.

"It's about sticking to the plan, sticking to what we've been practising for the last four months.

"We just need to focus on our jobs and execute them well."

Faiumu can't emphasise enough the importance of effort and said hooker Billy Gilbert epitomised that perfectly.

"He's put on some size in the off-season, and when I'm talking about effort and energy and hard work, he exemplifies all that.

"He's just working so hard in everything he does at training and in games."

Faiumu said the experience of skipper and halfback Jack Madden and 143-game NRL veteran Matt Wright was proving invaluable for the younger members of the squad.

Bill Cullen, who will play his 50th ISC game today, and Jamie Hill were also setting a great example with their incredible work ethic and commitment.

 

Capras player Bill Cullen in the QRL game against East Tigers at Browne Park on Saturday night.
Bill Cullen will play his 50th Intrust Super Cup game for the Capras today. Chris Ison ROK110318ccapras5

It is Faiumu's first year as head coach at the Capras and he admits that, just like it was for him as a player, there will be some nerves before kick-off.

"Once the boys have crossed that white line, it's out of your control until you have a chat to them at half-time," he said.

"You just have to trust that you've ticked everything off and you've covered everything that needs to be covered.

"I'm excited for the whole club, not just our team but the Under-18s and the Under-20s and seeing how everything unfolds. Playing a top four/five team will give us a good gauge of where we're at with things."

CAPRAS ROUND 1 TEAM

  • Matt Wright, Kainoa Gudgeon, Bessie Aufaga-To'omaga, Nathan Bassani, Luke George, Maipele Morseau, Jack Madden, Ryan Jefferey, Aaron Teroi, Jamie Hill, William Cullen, Aaron Pene, Billy Gilbert, George Grant, Chalice Atoi, Jack Lote, Dave Taylor, Jack White

LADBROKES ISC ODDS

  • Redcliffe Dolphins $5
  • Townsville Blackhawks $6
  • Burleigh Bears $7
  • Easts Tigers $7
  • Sunshine Coast $7
  • Ipswich Jets $9
  • Souths Logan Magpies $15
  • Wynnum Manly $17
  • Norths Devils $21
  • Northern Pride $34
  • PNG Hunters $34
  • Mackay Cutters $41
  • CQ Capras $51
  • Tweed Heads $51