By Liam Emerton
The Central Queensland Capras have continued their roll on with another monumental win on the weekend.
After knocking off the Townsville Blackhawks at Browne Park on Saturday, the Capras have all but cemented their place as one of the teams to beat this season.
It wasn’t easy for the Capras who went behind after an incredibly athletic effort from Kalifa Faifai-Loa opened the scoring.
But in the 16th minute Brandon Roberts cracked the Townsville defence after picking up a pass that hit the deck and steaming through a gap.
Trey Browne’s successful conversion gave the Capras a 6-4 lead which would be extended 11 minutes later.
A double-pump from fullback Blake Moore put Nixon Putt into some open space and despite the defence getting close to the second rower, he was too strong and helped give the Capras a 12-4 lead.
But just minutes before half-time a cheeky grubber by Shaun Nona bounced off the post and returned to its sender, giving the Blackhawks life and reducing the gap to just two points at the half.
A controversial moment in the opening minute of the second half gave Townsville the lead again, when an on-rushing Nona planted down a grubber seemingly a centimetre away from the line.
The Blackhawks’ half converted his own try to make the score 16-12 with almost a full half to go.
It took the Capras the best part of 15 minutes before they reclaimed their lead thanks to a short-ball from Lachlan Hubner put fellow interchange member Jesse Jennings through a hole.
Browne’s boot put the Central Queensland squad up by two with a quarter of an hour left to play.
The Capras needed the next try to help substantiate their lead and they found it through Roberts again.
Browne threw a bullet out to our right-winger who had nothing to do but fall over the line untouched, giving the Capras a 22-16 lead.
That is how the match remained with the Central Queenslanders holding out the Blackhawks and maintaining their position as third on the table.
That victory also helped the Capras close the gap on the Sunshine Coast Falcons after they were knocked off by the table-topping Burleigh Bears on Saturday.
This weekend the Hostplus Cup side will collide with the Redcliffe Dolphins, an interesting matchup to say the least.
There will be plenty of interest from those at Moreton Daily Stadium with a potential few scouts on the lookout for some fringe NRL talent.
The Dolphins staff will find one of the most in-form teams in the comp taking on their current Queensland Cup representative squad, who sit on the brink of the top eight.
The Dolphins managed a 34-32 win over the Mackay Cutters at BP Print Stadium in round 11, sneaking home despite conceding three very late tries.
The Central Queensland squad will have a chance to extend their lead on the fourth-placed Norths Devils or potentially catch up on the league leaders as the Bears take on the Devils this weekend.
Sunshine Coast also have a tough fixture ahead of them when they take on the Wynnum-Manly Seagulls at Hervey Bay, meaning the Capras could potentially move to second with a win this weekend.