Capras 20s coach: ‘I’m excited for them’
RUGBY LEAGUE: CQ Capras under-20s coach Lionel Harbin cannot wait for the 2020 season to get started.
The Capras will head to Brisbane to take on Easts Tigers at 11.40am on Sunday in the opening round of the Hastings Deering Colts competition.
The team will be captained by hard-working lock Lachlan Hubner.
Harbin said a lot of his players were competing at this level for the first time.
“I’m excited for them that they get to experience this, they get to travel away and play at some iconic grounds,” he said.
“It’s all new for them and I’m glad that I’m a part of it.
“They’re all very enthusiastic. They’ve all trained really hard over the pre-season and the majority of them trialled really well.
“Their willingness to learn and to keep turning up and show that level of commitment to try to get better each week is something that’s really impressed me.
“They’re a good bunch of young men as well so I’m enjoying coaching them.”
The Capras played three trials, their most recent a fortnight ago when they were beaten 16-10 by the Mackay Cutters.
Harbin said while there was still a lot to improve on, he was impressed at how his players aimed up in defence against the Cutters.
They will need to do that again this weekend against an Easts side Harbin knows will pose a serious challenge.
“We’re expecting a tough battle every week, we know in this competition there will be no easy games,” he said.
“We’re not going to be the biggest side but we’ve just got to be able to handle that.
“The main thing is that we focus on ourselves in the first four or five weeks and that’s what we want to do.”
Harbin said the experience of Hubner, who is in his third year in the 20s competition, would be invaluable this season.
“We’ll need our halves James Busby and Laish Salam to guide us around, given we’re a young inexperienced side.
“We also want the players who have had a year or two at this level, like Myles Gal and Riley Shadlow, to lead the way and I’m sure the rest of the boys will follow.”
Harbin has tried to add some variety to his team’s training and on Saturday the players took to the Fitzroy River with members of the Rockhampton Dragon Boat Club.
“It was a lot of fun. It can’t be all footy, footy, footy but at the same time it was about teamwork and bonding,” he said.
“When you’re rowing those big dragon boats if one or two of you are out of sync you feel the effects of it so it helped reinforce the importance of working together.”
Harbin said he wanted his players to embrace this opportunity and enjoy their football.
“I want them to walk away at the end of the year knowing that they all ripped in for each other and played hard but they also enjoyed the experience and had some good times together.
“I want them to leave no stone unturned in their preparation and in the games just give it all their all.”
CQ Capras team for the season opener this weekend:
Intrust Super Cup: Kainoa Gudgeon, Richard Sisifa, Honeti Tuha, Nathan Bassani, Maika Tudravu, Blake Moore, Jack Madden, Josh Johnston, Treymaine Brown, Harrison Leonard, McKenzie Yei, Shaun Ezzy, Ryan Turner, Jacob Esau, Radean Robinson, Chalice Atoi, Ryan Jeffery, Ayden Cooper, Riley Reid
BHP Premiership (women): Keysha Baker, Bree Spreadborough, Jessica Powell, Kelli Dunlop, Krystal Sulter, Chelsea Baker, Reeghyn Beardmore, Emmaley McMurdy, Mackenzie Reid, Mikayla Roe, Mariah Storch, Elle Stitt, Kailah Rogers, Remi Wilton, Abbey Templeman, Rikarra Benjamin, Gemma Brennan, Vassa Hunter, Sophie O’Toole
Hastings Deering Colts: Cooper Marshall, William Bevin, Harlem Russell, Chris Lee, Blayton Youse, Laish Salam, James Busby, Myles Gal, Riley Shadlow, Darcy Hancock, William Kluck, Cassidy Scantlebury, Lachlan Hubner, Tiko Hooper, Kiya Schnabel, Tana Leifi, Jeremy McLachlan, Jordan Mole, Tylen Wallace
Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup: Jake Gehrmann, Kalani Sing, Jye Marriott, Kurtis Farr, Coby Williamson, Brodie Gill, Peyton Jenkins, Liam Kenny, Jai Hansen, Riley Boaza, Jake Baigrie, Ilami Buli, Samuel Strohfeldt, Thallon Peters, Chase Demaine-Beale, Jett Hill, Joseph Callanan, Mitchell Leard-Lamont