Coach Amanda Ohl says the CQ Capras women are “even more hungry” after they got their first taste of statewide competition last year.
Unfortunately for them, it was just an appetiser with the inaugural BHP Premiership cancelled after just one round in response to COVID.
The Capras did, however, make an impression in their only fixture, scoring a 14-6 win over Easts Tigers in Brisbane.
Ohl believes spirited performance, as well as the abrupt halt to their inaugural season, is fuelling the fire in every one of her players.
“We know we’ve got a good team and a good squad,” she said.
“This time last year it was all ifs, buts and maybes but now they know we can compete.”
Ohl said while she had retained the majority of the 2020 squad, including experienced skipper Chelsea Baker, she had also welcomed several “handy new recruits”.
They include talented ball-playing second rower Sharni Upton, exciting up and comer Emma Paki and aggressive front rower Naomi Clayton.
They had also secured the services of Akayla McQuire, a gifted utility who has played with the Indigenous All Stars.
The players are enjoying a well-earned break after starting their pre-season in November, where the focus was on strength and conditioning.
“We trained for a month, doing a lot of gym work to get our bodies where they need to be and getting a lot of k’s in the legs to up their endurance,” Ohl said.
“We will pick up again in January with a camp in Rockhampton where we will start to concentrate on game play.”
The BHP Premiership starts on the weekend of April 10-11 and will run for seven fixture rounds with the finals to be played across two weekends.
The Capras will open their campaign against West Brisbane Panthers in Brisbane at 3pm on April 10.
Ohl said the season opener would be a good yardstick for the Capras.
“I haven’t seen the Panthers’ roster as yet, but we would expect nothing but a tough game down in Brisbane,” she said.
“We will want to control the ball as best as possible; completion will be key.
“I’m keener than ever to get them back on the paddock and to see how we go.
“There’s a lot of interest around us now. We were something of an unknown but after our trial games and our first fixture last year I think we made people stand up and see what we had to offer.
“We really want to show what we are capable of and to prove that you don’t have to come out of the south-east to be a super star.”