You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Sunday wrap: Capras advance to first preliminary in 14 years

The Central Queensland Capras have qualified for the preliminary finals for the first time in 14 years, advancing after a commanding victory over the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

The Capras stunned on home turf in front of 3000-plus loyal fans at Rockhampton's Browne Park, claiming the 38-10 elimination semi-final win on Sunday afternoon.

They have now booked themselves a showdown with the Brisbane Tigers at Totally Workwear Stadium next Sunday, in what is their first preliminary final since 2009.

It took 23 minutes for the Capras to get on the board, but once they did they simply could not be stopped, running in eight tries to one, with the Falcons' only points coming through two penalty goals in the opening five minutes and a late consolation try to five-eighth Luke Polselli.

JJ Collins in action against the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL
JJ Collins in action against the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL

After tries to Tom Farr, Cooper Marshall and Blake Moore in the first half, the Capras went into the break with a 14-4 lead and had no trouble holding onto that lead in the second stanza.

Moore crossed again, with Brandon Roberts, Zev John, JJ Collins and Larson Dale-Doyle joining him on the scoreboard.

For coach Lionel Harbin, he was particularly impressed with the second half performance and said his team showed a difference from last week's qualifying finals loss to Burleigh, when their game fell apart in the second forty.

"I'm really happy, actually, really excited," Harbin said after the victory over the Falcons.

"We had a really good turnout here and it was great to get that win in front of a home crowd.

"I just thought the first 10 or 15 minutes, the Falcons had all the running and maybe we let the occasion get to us a bit and we didn't help ourselves and came up with a few silly penalties and errors.

"But once we got into our groove and were able to get into it, it flowed from there.

"We sort of learnt from last week against Burleigh and we just wanted to up the ante with our 'D' in the second half... We were able to really turn the screws with our defence and build pressure and get points on the back of that.

"We just need to be better again going forward."

Hooker Trey Brown continued his strong 2023 form with another standout performance for the Capras - taking home the Hastings Deering player of the match - while Harbin was full of praise for NRL Dolphins affiliate JJ Collins, who set the tone in the middle of the park.

There will be some concerns for the Capras however ahead of next week's meeting with the Tigers, with fullback Moore (shoulder) and forward Lachlan Hubner (ankle) unable to finish the match while halfback Jack Madden suffered a bad cork.


A consistent force all season, Trey Brown has helped the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras qualify for the preliminary finals and took home the Hastings Deering player of the match for his efforts 💪

Posted by Hostplus Cup on Saturday, September 2, 2023

The last time the Capras met the Tigers, they lost by just two points, with Brown missing a conversion in the dying seconds to secure a draw.

Harbin said there was plenty of intensity in that match - played in Round 12 - and he is expecting much the same come Sunday.

"That game, it had a finals feel even back then," Harbin said.

"It was a really good game of footy. We're looking forward to celebrating this one today and then getting ready for next week.

"I'm expecting similar to that fixture (in Round 12)."

Outside of the Capras and Tigers, the Burleigh Bears and Wynnum Manly Seagulls are the only other teams left standing, with the two to meet in the other preliminary final on Saturday.

For a wrap of Saturday's Finals Week 2 action, click here

Full schedule for Finals Week 3 below.

Finals Week 3

Hostplus Cup

Saturday, September 9

Burleigh Bears v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at UAA Park, 2pm (Live and free on and Kayo Freebies)

Sunday, September 10

Brisbane Tigers v Central Queensland Capras at Totally Workwear Stadium, 2pm (Live and free on, Kayo Freebies and 9Now)

Hastings Deering Colts

Saturday, September 9

Tweed Seagulls v Townsville Blackhawks at UAA Park, 4pm

Sunday, September 10

Brisbane Tigers v Redcliffe Dolphins at Totally Workwear Stadium, 12pm

*All Hastings Deering Colts finals matches are live and free on and Kayo Freebies.

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.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners