Hooker Jai Hansen, pictured playing for The Cathedral College in the Aaron Payne Cup, was a standout for the CQ Capras under-18s in their opening trial game last weekend.
Hooker Jai Hansen, pictured playing for The Cathedral College in the Aaron Payne Cup, was a standout for the CQ Capras under-18s in their opening trial game last weekend.

‘Fear won’t get in their way’: Potential NRL talent in squad

Every member of the CQ Capras Mal Meninga Cup squad has plenty to play for this weekend, according to coach Kane Hardy.

The 30-strong under-18 outfit heads to Gladstone to take on the Sunshine Coast Falcons in their second trial game on Saturday.

It will be a big day of rugby league at Marley Brown Oval, with the Capras’ Hastings Deering and Intrust Super Cup teams also in action.

Hardy is in his first year as 18s coach and knows he has plenty of talent at his disposal.

He said every player would get an opportunity on Saturday to press their claim for selection for the 2021 season kick-off on March 6.

“It’s probably one of the strongest 18s squads in a while. There’s a lot of depth and anyone from one to 30 could be picked for Round 1,” he said.

CQ Capras under-18s centre Coby Williamson playing with St Brendan’s College.
CQ Capras under-18s centre Coby Williamson playing with St Brendan’s College.

“They’re all willing and really want to play for each other.

“They’re a gritty little team. One thing with them is fear won’t get in their way, especially the forward pack we’ve got, they’re dominant.”

The Capras 18s had their first hit-out last weekend, going down 6-4 to the Mackay Cutters in Mackay.

Hardy said a focus for the players this week would be capitalising on the opportunities they create after they squandered too many against Mackay.

“The good thing was our defence was very solid and what we did in attack to create those opportunities was good, but we just weren’t good enough to execute it,” he said.

“We’re just looking to rectify the little things that we did not get right last week.

“We’ve just got to learn too that we’ve got to be consistent in what we do.”

Jackson Warde, in action for The Cathedral College, impressed on the wing in the Capras’ Mal Meninga Cup trial against the Mackay Cutters.
Jackson Warde, in action for The Cathedral College, impressed on the wing in the Capras’ Mal Meninga Cup trial against the Mackay Cutters.

Hooker Jai Hansen, winger Jackson Warde and centre Coby Williamson were among the Capras’ best against Mackay.

Hardy coached Norths A-grade men in the Rockhampton Rugby League for four years.

He said he was now relishing the opportunity to work with the region’s rising stars, and he believes some of them have big futures in the game.

“It’s been brilliant, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic journey and I think some of these kids you’ll see playing on the TV in the NRL one day.”

CQ Capras Mal Meninga Cup squad

Blake Cavanagh, Blake Anders, Blayden Dodd, Brayden Duffy, Brock Hinds, Cadel Crawford, Coby Williamson, Darcy Biles, Elekani Suavai, Ilami Bull, Izaak Jackson, Jackson Warde, Jai Hansen, Jaiden Green, Jordon Heke, Joshua Grange, Kalani Sing, Matthew Hill, Mitchell Biddulph, Owen Pattie, Peyton Jenkins, Riley Hall, Seth McGilvray, Tane Kiriona, Tomas Powell, Tyler Conroy, Tyler Keogh-Paladin, Tyreece Johnson, Will Lasker, Kurt Fisher.

Saturday’s program at Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone

1.30pm Saturday: Junior coaching clinic

3pm Saturday: Mal Meninga 18s, CQ Capras v Sunshine Coast Falcons

4.30pm Saturday: Hastings Deering 21s, CQ Capras v Sunshine Coast Falcons

6.45pm Saturday: Intrust Super Cup, CQ Capras v Sunshine Coast Falcons

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