CQ sisters to face off on footy field for first time
A sibling showdown will be a feature of the BHP Premiership Round 3 fixture between the CQ Capras and the Burleigh Bears this weekend.
Rockhampton sisters Sharni and Tamika Upton will face off for the first time in their rugby league careers at 12.10pm Sunday at the Gold Coast’s Pizzey Park.
Sharni will line up in the second row for the Capras, Tamika at fullback for the ladder-leading Burleigh Bears.
It will be a monumental day for the Uptons but Sharni said she was trying to approach it as “just another game”.
“I’m trying not to think of playing against Tamika too much, I just need to focus on my game and the Capras game plan,” she said.
“We play completely different positions; I’m in the forwards and she’s in the backs.
“In the back of my mind, though, I know just how big a threat Tamika can be; she’s one of Queensland’s best players at the moment.”
The Upton sisters grew up playing touch before making the switch to league.
Sharni said it was the chance to play alongside Tamika at the Yeppoon Seagulls that motivated her return to the game after she had her first child.
“I was playing league before Tamika converted and she was the reason I got back to playing after I had my first baby,” she said.
“She said come and play with me at the Seagulls and we played the 2019 season together until I got pregnant again.”
Sharni and Tamika also played rep footy together with the Rocky Rustlers in the same year.
Sharni said the Capras were primed for this weekend’s game, keen to avenge their lacklustre performance at home last week in which they were beaten 36-14 by the North Queensland Gold Stars.
“Everyone was disappointed about that but we’re not going to dwell on it,” Sharni said.
“We’re just looking to improve, focus on doing the basics well and build from there.”
Capras coach Amanda Ohl said the loss was possibly the “shake-up” the team needed.
“The girls were really hurt emotionally by being beaten like that in front of their home crowd,” she said.
“It’s not something they want to experience again and if there’s a positive to come from it, it’s that they’re a lot more focused now.
“We’re definitely up against it this weekend against the competition heavyweights, but I think the girls are up for it.
“We made too many mistakes against the Gold Stars so we have to cut out those errors.
“Everyone’s got to lift, we need to lift as a team and play as a team.
“We’ve got to control the ball; we can’t give it away against the Bears or the game will get away from us far too quickly.”
CQ Capras women’s team for Round 3
Keysha Baker, Bree Spreadborough, Jessica Powell, Emmanita Paki, Krystal Sulter, Chelsea Baker, Reeghyn Beardmore, Annette Brander, Mackenzie Reid, Naomi Clayton, Mariah Storch, Sharni Upton, Kailah Rogers, Meg Neven, Sophie O’Toole, Mikayla Roe, Gemma Brennan.