A firey rivalry ends in defeat
RUGBY LEAGUE: It’s hard to find a greater rivalry in the QRL and Saturday night proved no different as the Central Queensland Capras and the Mackay Cutters went head to head.
The first of many flare-ups kicked off just minutes in as the hard hits progressed almost resulted an altercation.
CQ put up some sturdy walls for the first ten minutes until Cutters full back Luke Polselli crossed the chalk in what would fast become a barrage of Mackay scoring.
Five minutes later the Cutters stacked six more on top pushing out to 12-0 before Nathan bassani backed four for the home side but the try was not converted by CQ full back Kainoa Gudgeon.
Cutters stacked on another six at the 26th minute.
Capra held out for the remainder of the first half retiring to the sheds with a big job to do as the scoreboard read 4-18.
New South Welsh Centre Jack Gibbons, vying for a spot in the side, had been playing a good game, and had put some serious meters under his belt but at the start of the second half, disaster struck.
A crunch tackle just ten metres out from the try line saw the young prospect sustain a dislocated shoulder and was taken to the sheds for a relocation.
Capras’ Honeti Tuha sought retribution, trying just seconds after play resumed.
Gudgeon however was not able to complete the hard work.
With just ten point in it, Cutters responded quickly with a complete score.
In perhaps the Capras’ greatest show of prowess in an otherwise underwhelming match, Maika Tudrava showed he had wheels with a full field try, outrunning multiple Cutters defenders.
Cutters landed their fifth try of the night in the 67th minutes while adding to a flawless kicking game.
Gibbons emerged from the change rooms, arm in sling, to catch the end of the game.
Cutters stacked on six more, finishing the game at 36-12.
A visibly disheartened Capras’ front row forward Harrison Leonard said the game was lost in defence.
“It was a tough trial – it was too patchy,” he said.
“Our defence needs improving, but our attack will sort itself out.”
“We were all looking so good during pre-season, but we need to put it on the park – we’re our own worst enemies.”
Leonard said he hopeful his team (and room) mate Gibbons could make a recovery before round one.
Gibbons also caught the eye of opposition coach Mick Crawley who described him as “aggressive and hard to handle” in the moments of play before his injury.
Capras will have a week’s rest before facing down Eastern Suburbs Tigers at Langlands Park, Brisbane for round one.