‘Fantastic’ first for Capras forward
RUGBY LEAGUE: Josh Johnston will play his 22nd Intrust Super Cup game for the CQ Capras in the 2020 season opener in Brisbane this weekend.
But this one will be particularly special – it’s the first time he has been in the starting line-up.
Johnston, who made his Capras debut in 2015, set his sights on cementing a place in the front row in pre-season.
“It feels fantastic,” he said.
“In November I said that was the goal. There are some really strong and talented players I’ve had to push past.
“I’ll be trying to keep that number eight spot for as long as I can but it’s just one week at a time.”
Johnston has been named in a new-look Capras team that will tackle the Easts Tigers at Langlands Park at 3pm on Sunday.
Coach David Faiumu said selection was well deserved for his 17, each of whom had put a lot of hard work and effort into the pre-season.
He said skipper Jack Madden and the likes of Nathan Bassani and Johnston would need to lead the way against Easts.
“We have a lot of players who have played zero to 10 games.
“They’ll be calling on guys like Bassani and Madden for that experience. When times get tough on the field on Sunday they’ll be looking to them to lift spirits and lead them around, offensively and defensively.”
Faiumu said defence would be the focus for the Capras who were keenly aware that if they wanted to challenge the top sides in this competition they needed to be strong in that area.
Johnston will line up in the front row alongside ISC debutant Harry Leonard, who has come from the Ron Massey Cup.
He said the Capras were feeling “quietly confident” but would need to start with intensity and enthusiasm.
“They’re a very big momentum team and if we can just be some no-names that really give it to them early I think they’re going to just turn to water,” Johnston said.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who they play, it’s just another big body in a jersey and we just have to be ready for it.
“We have our jobs and that’s our focus point.
“Our job is to shut them down in the middle and win the play the ball both ways, in defence and attack.
“We’ve just got to learn to be really competitive at this level and that’s something that we’re going to strive for this season and it starts this weekend.
“Once that belief starts to happen we’ll see a whole new Capras outfit – and it’s going to be good.”
The Capras under-18s play at 10.10am, the under-20s at 11.40am, the women at 1.20pm and the Intrust Super Cup team at 3pm.