Debutant Charlice Atoi receives his jersey from former Capras and NRL player Jamie Simpson.
Debutant Charlice Atoi receives his jersey from former Capras and NRL player Jamie Simpson. CONTRIBUTED

Big win in last game 'just reward' for Capras 20s

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Capras under-20s have finished the 2018 season with a bang, scoring a 58-point win over the Western Mustangs at Browne Park on Saturday night.

The home side ran in 13 tries in the 62-4 win, winger Elijah Anderson leading the way with a hat-trick in his first game back from a six-week lay-off with injury.

It was the Capras' sixth win in the inaugural Hastings Deering Colts competition and coach Damien Seibold said it was a fitting way to end the season.

"There hasn't been one week where they haven't given everything that they've got and I think it was a just reward for them to finish up that way,” he said.

"Pretty much straight from the kick-off we were dominant.

"The biggest thing was our completion rate was really high. It's what we've spoken about all year. When it's high, over 80 per cent, we win. Every time it dropped below 80 per cent we lost.”

Seibold said Anderson was great on his return, half-back Jack White produced close to his best game of the year and the team's two big men up front - Roarke Christensen and Zan Tupuono-Pomare - dominated the contest early.

CQ Capras forward Connor McGarry makes a charging run in the Hastings Deering Colts competition.
CQ Capras under-20s forward Connor McGarry stepped up to Intrust Super Cup level a fortnight ago. Leanne Booth

The Capras finished in the bottom half of the ladder but Seibold said he could not be disappointed with the result given the team was plagued with injury.

At one point mid-season, up to 14 players were unavailable for several weeks.

"Early on, when we were full strength, I thought we had a team to put ourselves in a position to make the finals but unfortunately other factors came into it and we didn't get there,” Seibold said.

"It was a learning experience for everyone involved, especially the players. They've never done anything like that before, 24 weeks of tough footy.

"The good thing for us is that 24 members of our squad are still under 20 next year.

"Those core players definitely have learnt a lot as to what to expect, what they can do differently, what worked well and what didn't work for them.”

Seibold said some great talent had been unearthed during the year and it was exciting to see under-20s players Connor McGarry and Charlice Atoi make their Intrust Super Cup debuts in the last two weeks.

"During the year we brought eight under-18s into our squad when their season finished, we had half a dozen of our players training with the top squad and then two guys who debuted late in the year,” he said.

"It's been very rewarding. We've got a good group and they're not only talented footballers but good young blokes as well.

"They're prepared to learn and improve themselves each week and that's really important.”