It was a debut to remember for rookie half Ezra Mam as he helped lift the Souths Logan Magpies to a 34-20 victory over the Central Queensland Capras at Browne Park this afternoon.
Match: Capras v Magpies
Round 8 -
Venue: Browne Park, Rockhampton
With Anthony Milford a late scratching because of his call-up to the Broncos squad due to Tyson Gamble’s potential suspension, Mam made the most of his opportunity, delivering the try assist for the first try of the afternoon before then scoring a hat-trick of his own.
After supporting through the middle of the field for his first two tries, Mam showed just why he’s touted so highly, as he showed great pace and footwork to burn a handful of would-be Capras defenders to complete the hat-trick in the 63rd minute.
A high shot from Capras centre Caleb Tull midway through the second half saw the home side reduced to 12 men for 10 minutes, only for the Magpies to lose a player of their own when Logan Bayliss-Brow was placed on report and sent to the sin-bin moments later.
It proved to be a costly period for the Capras, with the Magpies piling on three tries in 13 minutes, including a double for hooker Cory Paix with tries in the 54th and 67th minute.
The first half was a close contest, with both sides having their own moments of brilliance, including a great piece of heads up play from Capras skipper Jack Madden as they trailed 10-6 in the dying stages of the first 40 minutes.
With a penalty right in front, many expected Madden to take the two points on offer, but instead the experienced half immediately took the quick tap and it proved a masterstroke, with Caleb Daunt scoring later on in the set to give the home side 12-10 halftime lead.
In a frantic start to the second half, Mam quickly went from hero to zero after scoring his second try of the game in the Magpies opening set of the second half, only to moments later fail to deal with a Radaen Robinson grubber which gifted centre Tull a four-pointer.
With scores locked up at 16-16, the potential for a Capras upset was on the cards only for the Magpies to run-away with the victory much to the disappointment of the local Rockhampton crowd.
Capras head coach Guy Williams credited his team’s continued effort, but said they need to find a way to fight against adversity if they want to turn around their recent run of results.
“We didn’t start the second half well, then they followed it up with a couple of quick tries and then that makes it really tough from there,” Williams said.
“I thought there were periods where I thought our attack was quite good and where we challenged them for certain periods, but we did spend some time down our own end which obviously saps some juice from the tank and that can come back to bite you.”
“These boys turn up and play hard, compete hard each week but it’s about our execution and we just need to be able to find a way out of those tough spots and not let it extend for so long.”
Both teams have next weekend off as Week 2 of Round 8's BHP Indigenous Round takes place.