NO LOOKING BACK: Ipswich Jets Liam and Kurt Capewell (pictured) have successfully transitioned from the backs to the forwards.
NO LOOKING BACK: Ipswich Jets Liam and Kurt Capewell (pictured) have successfully transitioned from the backs to the forwards. Kate Czerny

Capewell siblings forward thinking

WHEN Kurt Capewell made the move from fleet-footed outside back to hard-hitting second rower in the off-season, big brother Liam wasn't surprised.

Liam, once a flying fullback himself, made a similar move some years ago.

The two brothers would not be the first or last to make the shift, as age thickens muscles and slows the legs.

Not that Kurt is any slouch. But he has size and, combined with his pace, it has made him a handful for defences on the edges of the ruck.

"I've been calling him a second rower since he was about 14," Liam, 27 said.

There is six years age difference between the brothers and Kurt reckons he could catch Liam in a race when he was about 18 and Liam 24.

Liam had been slowed by injuries at that point.

Neither of them can match former Jets half Luke, the middle brother, for pace.

Now the Redcliffe captain, he is only likely to move into the forwards if he becomes a hooker.

While Kurt has had his big brother to learn the ropes from in the forwards, Kurt has also tried to follow the lead of the Jets slab of granite in the middle of the pack, Rod Griffin.

"He's got one of the highest work rates in our team," Kurt said.

Combined with his ability to slip a pass in the tackle Griffin provides the combination of work ethic and high skill Jets coaches Ben and Shane Walker love.

Griffin executed a Jets' season-high nine off-loads in the 52-6 win over Central Queensland last week, to make it 33 from 11 games this season.

It is one thing his former side, Northern Pride, will have to stop if they hope to have a chance against the Jets in Cairns this evening.

"It's basically his strength," Kurt said of how Griffin manages to get the ball away in heavy traffic.

"The way he can carry three men and still get the ball away is incredible."

Kurt plays wider and, with centre DNA still obviously in him, his focus is more on breaking the line cleanly, then finding support.

"My first instinct is to run," he said.

It provides the perfect contrast for the Jets and is a nightmare for opposition defences.

The Pride will have to control both Griffin and Kurt Capewell, among others if they hope to win this evening.

But the Jets have to get over a seven year winless run in Cairns.

"That's the biggest challenge," Kurt said.

"There is a mental hurdle to get over. But the way we have started the season has us in good stead to overcome it.

"This year we're playing better football. We've had time to master the game plan and with that comes confidence."

Ipswich Jets: 1 Carlin Anderson, 2 Marmin Barba, 3 Chris Walker, 4 Nemani Valekapa, 5 Brandon McGrady, 6 Josh Cleeland, 7 Dane Phillips, 8 Josh Seage, 9 Landon Hayes, 10 Rod Griffin, 11 Sam Martin, 12 Kurt Capewell, 13 Keiron Lander (c), 14 Fakahoko Teutau, 15 Kurtis Lingwoodock, 16 Billy McConnachie, 17 Gerico Cecil.


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