The Central Queensland Capras have produced a blowout 62-24 win over the SP PNG Hunters at Bycroft Oval, Runaway Bay in Round 15 of the QRL Hostplus Cup. Just a week after beating the then third-ranked side in Wynnum Manly the Hunters couldn’t back it up against another top team over the weekend in the Capras, who ran in 11 tries to four in a dominant attacking display.
Despite how the scoreboard read at fulltime, both teams started the game with a clear defensive mindset as they traded shots at the other’s line.
The Capras would earn first crack, compressing the middle with some hard running settlers before some enterprising play from Jack Madden saw the halfback chip an attacking kick in behind the defensive line for teammate Brandon Roberts, only for the Capras winger to go into touch. The Hunters would reply in kind, marching upfield and setting up for a right edge shift of their own that looked like it would end in points until winger Solo Wane was herded towards the corner and lost the ball diving around the defence.
Both teams seemed to be frontloading their defence to begin the game but as the clock wound down and fatigue entered the contest, the points started flowing.
After both sides failed to capitalise on their first attacking chances, it was the Capras who would adjust quickest. They continued to work into attacking field position courtesy of a dominant forward pack and a good kicking game from both halves, and eventually the momentum began to swing in the visitor’s favour.
The Capras scored on their left edge through Jonus Pearson in the 15th minute and then five eighth Radean Robinson backed him up three minutes later. The PNG side fought to halt the flood of points but as the Capras dominated in yardage the possession count was heavily in their favour and the Hunters were starved of the ball to concede four quick tries with halftime approaching.