GAME ON: Capras to kick off season tonight at Browne Park
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras will line up as named for their Intrust Super Cup opener after forwards Bill Cullen and Jerry Key both passed fitness tests.
Key is one of eight players who will make their top-grade debut for the Capras at Browne Park tonight and can expect a baptism of fire against a skilled Easts Tigers outfit that has firmed as one of the premiership favourites.
NRL star Dave Taylor makes a welcome return to the Capras, lining up alongside Cullen and Key in a forward pack coach Kim Williams believes can match it with any in the comp.
Jack Madden will lead the side from halfback and try-scoring machine Ken Tofilau returns to the wing after getting some international experience representing Samoa at the recent Commonwealth Nines Championship.
Williams said it was vital the Capras got off to a good start against Easts and they could not afford any of the defensive lapses that were evident in their pre-season trials.
"We've had two halves of footy where we've been very poor defensively and then four halves where we've been very good,” he said.
"It seems to be rocks or diamonds in that respect, there's nothing in between.
"Hopefully there's plenty of diamonds this weekend.”
Williams said Easts' line-up was impressive, boasting a number of players with NRL experience, but he believed his team had the ability to "definitely surprise them and hopefully bring home the two points”.
He said the Capras would play expansive footy tonight in a bid to nullify their rival's hulking forward pack.
"It's going to be a pretty simple game plan for Round 1,” Williams said.
"These early games are definitely about high completion rates, good defence and a very good kicking game, so they will be our major focus points.
"We need to play as much footy as we can in their half of the field and put the pressure on them.”
Williams said the depth in the Capras squad meant he had to make a few tough calls, and that was reflected in the decision to go with Zeik Foster at fullback ahead of the experienced Maipele Morseu.
"I think we've got every position covered now with some good depth,” he said.
"There won't be any second chances if someone has a poor game. We'll pretty well be looking at replacing them and giving someone else a shot the following week.
"I guess all players are on notice and that's exactly what we want - strong competition for spots.”
Williams wants his players to let their actions do the talking tonight.
"We're very well-prepared and ready to go,” he said.
"I just want the boys to wear the jersey with pride and make all the hard work we've put in pay dividends.”
The main game kicks off at 7pm, with the Capras under-18s playing at 3pm and the U20s at 5pm.
Zeik Foster, Ken Tofilau, Connor Broadhurst, Nathan Bassani, Chanel Seigafo, Blake Goodman, Jack Madden, Bill Cullen, Billy Gilbert, Phil Nati, Dave Cowhan, Dave Taylor, Jerry Key, Aaron Teroi, Jamie Hill, Brad Lupi, Luke George