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QUICK WRAP: Devils vs Capras
15 April 2023 - Norths play Central Queensland in round 5 of the BMD Premiership at Bishop Park, Nundah
Was the game worth watching?
A little programming note - I thought, as time allowed, that I would slowly ramp up the coverage of the statewide comps by producing a Quick Wrap each week for the Qplus featured game, being the most easily available to the general public. I’d start with the women’s competition and once that season ends, switch to the men’s comp.
Never has that task felt more like homework than catching up on this game. Somehow, it was still the closest women’s game in this round - and closer than almost all of the men’s - but it didn’t feel like it when the sound was missing for the first 12 minutes and the commentators talked about how much they appreciated the sponsorship of XXXX and their preferred McDonalds orders.
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Did the Devils or the Capras look like the better team?
The Devils were the better team. It was 26-4 at half time and at least half of the Devils are NRLW- or rep-calibre players and the Capras are not.
Were the Devils really the better team?
My broad impression of this game was that the Capras’ pack could theoretically match Norths’, but the disparity in class in the backline makes a world of difference. The stats bear that out with roughly even metres, similar breaks and even the Capras were less careless with the ball, but the scoreline was still lopsided because the Capras’ attack was slow and uncreative. The Capras did win the second half, 12-6, with significantly more possession but I’d think that’s partly because the Devs took their foot off the gas.
Did you notice?
Norths have three Papua New Guinean players on their roster and this was the first game all three have been selected. On the left wing, there's Martha Molowia, off the bench was Bertshiba Awoi and at left centre, Belinda Gwasamun. All three were part of the semi-finalist1 Orchids at last year’s World Cup,
Earlier this year, Gwasamun was presented her Devils jersey by her husband and PNG Hunter, Brandon Nima.
Let’s see how they did.
Strangely, the Capras scored all three tries down the left side, preferring to run at former Rooster, Taylor-Adeline Mapusua, and Jillaroo, Maroon and Bronco, Shenae Ciesiolka, than the two Orchids. Can’t imagine why.
That Norths’ pack was well matched by Central’s might give us some clues as to why Norths have only now just won their first game, a fact that is incongruous with the players at their disposal.
Bree Spreadborough had a nice turn of speed to get through for the Capras’ second try, just after half time.
Queensland Country rep, Mariah Storch, made 121 metres over a full 70 minute shift.
Tyla Mitchell’s production was the same as Bertshiba Awoi, despite having considerably more minutes, and Awoi didn’t stand too far off Maddick to concede the first try to a dummy half bargeover.
This game was pretty close to meaningless, as either team is very unlikely to feature in the finals, but Ali Brigginshaw still slogged her guts out for 70 minutes. She was, at times, too involved but you can’t fault the commitment. She recovered her own short kick off. Class.
I can only assume this almost meaningless fixture was picked as the featured game because it was on Saturday and not, as I first thought, because it was the only game in Brisbane. All four games were in Brisbane and we could have been watching undefeated Souths Logan playing an undefeated Burleigh on Sunday instead but that’s the QRL for you.
There’s two weeks left in a seven week competition but it would still take something very unusual for the finals to not be some combination of Magpies, Bears, Cutters and Wynnum. Souths Logan look like unbackable favourites, so they’ll probably lose the grand final to whoever finishes second.
I’m not at all confident Tweed are getting off the bottom of the ladder, or even winning a game, which is a huge coup for the Tigers and Capras, neither having any legit first graders.
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Admittedly, they were beaten 82-0 by Australia.