Capewell the per­fect fit for the Gold Coast

Townsville Bulletin - - NRL 2011 -

THE form of bud­ding pivot Luke Capewell has re­lieved one of Gold Coast coach John Cartwright’s big­gest headaches ahead of their NRL sea­son opener.

But the Ti­tans men­tor ad­mit­ted he would be wrestling with an­other ma­jor de­ci­sion right up to Satur­day night’s kick-off against the Dragons.

Ex-South Syd­ney player Capewell gave Cartwright no choice but to slot the 21-yearold into the va­cancy cre­ated by Mat Rogers’ re­tire­ment.

I t e n s u r e d C a r t wr i g h t didn’t lose too much sleep over who to re­place the dual in­ter­na­tional, with vet­eran Pre­ston Camp­bell and Greg Bird also be­ing in the ini­tial mix.

‘‘ He had a re­ally good off­sea­son, he didn’t miss any time – I thought he was the most im­pres­sive in the No. 6 jer­sey of the guys com­pet­ing f or t hat po­si­tion i n t he tri­als,’’ Cartwright said.

How­ever, Cartwright may not trim his 18-man squad un­til an hour be­fore kick-off at Skilled Park with a quest i o n m a r k o v e r M a r k Minichiello.

The back­rower was named on an ex­tended bench yester- day de­spite not fea­tur­ing in the pre-sea­son as he re­cov­ered from groin surgery.

‘‘ He hasn’t had the full pre­sea­son of the oth­ers, he hasn’t played in a trial and he’s only been in the full squad the last week,’’ Cartwright said. ‘‘ I might not make a de­ci­sion un­til an hour be­fore kick-off.’’

Cartwright said he looked f o r w a r d t o s e e i n g h o w Queens­land-born Capewell fared along­side cap­tain Scott Prince in the halves against the world club cham­pi­ons.

Capewell was a stand­out in pre-sea­son trial wins over his for­mer club Souths and North Queens­land.

‘‘ That’s why we brought him here, we didn’t bring him here to play sec­ond grade,’’ Cartwright said of Capewell. ‘‘ We knew Mat Rogers was go­ing to re­tire, so we looked around to see who was per­form­ing – he was a good fit for us.

‘‘ He is a Queens­lan­der and he is com­ing home – he was in good form, he got a crack with Souths at the end of the year.

‘‘ You al­ways look at play­ers who suit your style and he was one of them.’’

Of the other pivot can­di­dates, Bird shifts to the back­row while Camp­bell looms as an ace up the sleeve off the bench.

‘ ‘ He p l a y e d a t h o o k e r through­out the tri­als and he can cover so many cru­cial po­si­tions,’’ Cartwright said of Camp­bell.

Wil­liam Zill­man will be full­back de­spite miss­ing the club’s pre-sea­son tri­als due to a mi­nor back in­jury.

‘‘ I thought Zill­man had a tremen­dous off-sea­son, but he was un­able to play in the tri­als due to a back com­plaint,’’ said Cartwright.

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