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Classy Capras beat Easts for first BHP Premiership win

The Central Queensland Capras registered their first win in the newly introduced BHP Premiership competition when they ran out hard-fought 14-6 winners against the Easts Tigers at Totally Workwear Stadium this afternoon.

Both sides demonstrated just why the women’s game has continued to grow, putting on a gritty display in what was their first game for the season.

The Capras showed real fight throughout the match, managing to withstand plenty of pressure from a young Tigers outfit to get the win.

Capras coach Amanda Ohl was pleased with her side’s ability to grind out the win even if they weren’t playing ‘pretty’ rugby league.

“It was a solid showing today. Even when completion sets were down, we fought hard and got the win,” Ohl said.

She commended her team’s efforts considering the lack of preparation the side has had for the upcoming clash.

“We have had two training camps. On Saturday morning, we flew down and had a captain’s run in Brisbane,” Ohl said.  

“Getting used to the travel and being away from family is all new to us and something we as a unit had to get used to.”

There was plenty of anticipation pre-match, with both sides eager to kick off their campaign with a bang.

The Capras side had more experience to draw from and it was star player and captain Chelsea Baker who registered the first points for her side in the competition, when she scored in the 12th minute. Baker then converted the try to give her side an early 6-0 lead.

The Tigers were then left further behind in the first half, with Bree Spreadborough extending the Capras lead when she went over for her a try in the 22nd minute, with Baker’s unsuccessful conversion leaving the score 10-0.

That is where the scoring ended for the first half however, with Capras maintaining their 10-0 lead into the break.

After a tightly contested start to the second half, the Capras were able to break through again when Kelli Dunlop scored her first try for the season in the 44th minute.

The Tigers were not going to be kept scoreless however, and they soon got their 2020 account under way through young gun Keisharn Hala scoring in the 51st minute.

Tayla Eldridge added the extras, bridging the gap to eight points, with the Tigers trailing 14-6 with just under nine minutes to play.

That is where the scoring finished for the match, with the Capras holding their nerve to run out eventual 14-6 winners.

Although the Capras squad is unable to train together throughout the week, Ohl was confident her side would build from today’s win and continue being a force in the competition.

“We are learning as we go, the girls don’t get to train together so we will keep working it out and keep building on those combinations and connections to keep getting better.”

She credited hard-working forward Kailah Rogers who impressed, taking on a very physical Tigers pack, but lauded her entire team’s effort throughout the match.

“Everyone did a great job today, Kailah Rogers got through a mountain of work with no break but it really was a team effort,” Ohl said.

“The team stuck with it and completed in every play, we just didn’t give up.”

The Capras will look to maintain their solid start to the season when they take on the Ipswich Brothers at Browne Park next week.

Meanwhile, the Tigers will need to turn things around quickly as they face the Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park.

FILE IMAGE: Courtesy of Rockhampton Morning Bulletin