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Round 5 Saturday wrap: Capras take lead, Clydesdales mark momentous win

Central Queensland Capras have claimed the outright lead on the Hostplus Cup ladder after annihilating Norths Devils at Bishop Park.

Bailey Butler stepped up to nab his second double of the year in the 34-0 win in a physically dominant display from the Capras middle forwards to set the tone for the shutout.

The game turned scrappy and heated late in the match once the result was well beyond doubt, as the Devils grew frustrated at being unable to cross the stripe. A late hit landed Tony Tumusa in the sin bin in the 60th minute.

Going into the sheds at 28-0 up, Capras coach Lionel Harbin set his side a challenge to keep the clean sheet and they answered the call, giving him plenty to smile about heading into the club’s bye.

Tom Farr crosses for the opening try. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL
Tom Farr crosses for the opening try. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL

“Probably the most pleasing thing is we kept them to nil and the boys spoke about that at half-time that was they wanted to do,” Harbin said.

“I was very pleased they were able to do that. They scrambled really well and just kept turning up for each other, which is good.

“There’s just a lot of belief in the group that sort of flowed on from last year and the way we started the season as well.”

Harbin said the simple game plan of winning the physical battle up the middle - even without JJ Collins after his NRL call-up - worked wonders as Bailey Butler and Valentine Richard got their side thundering downfield.

“We wanted to take them on through the middle and I think that worked really well in that first half,” he said.

“The second half wasn’t so good. Norths sort of upped the energy a bit on their side of the ball and we struggled to go with them in the second half.”

Butler said Harbin “put the pressure on” him to be the leader of the pack and he relished the responsibility once again.

“I’m not a big talker so I just lead with actions,” he said.

“I think it was just a big team effort in the end. We just played all our parts and everything worked out pretty well.

“We’re just getting around each other, picking each other up and playing good footy.”

Harbin hoped his refreshed side could bring the same intensity when they return to the park in Round 7 to take on the formidable Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

In Ipswich it was an emotional first win for Western Clydesdales over their Jets adversaries. The newcomers fought back from 22-12 down in the first-half to get on the board in 2023, with Bessie Toomaga chalking up two tries and eight goals in the 44-28 victory.

Sunshine Coast Falcons piled the points on Burleigh in a fiery encounter. Tempers flared just before half time, leading to sin bins for Luke Polselli and Tony Francis, and the 12-on-12 period suited the Falcons who stormed out to a 30-0 before the Bears could sniff the scoreboard.

Northern Pride were far too good in a clash with big-drawing PNG Hunters at Barlow Park. Five-eighth Dantoray Lui notched two tries in the win, putting the side in good company in the top four by the end of Saturday.

Brisbane Tigers were made to fight at home to get the two points against a spirited Mackay Cutters outfit. Centre Solomona Faataape was the star of the show for the home side, scoring a brilliant hat-trick.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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