Capewell brings 'Walker-ball' to Origin

Ed Jackson
·2-min read

When Kurt Capewell threw the ball onto his right foot and chipped a kick inside to set up Queensland's first try in Wednesday's State of Origin opener, it was a play straight from his days as an Ipswich Jet.

The 27-year-old spent two years playing the Queensland Cup with the Jets under the guidance of former NRL players Shane and Ben Walker.

The brothers took the Jets to the 2015 Queensland Cup title playing a brand of football which was all about trusting instincts and producing off-the-cuff plays.

So it should be no surprise a 189cm, 95kg player like Capewell, who has spent most of his NRL career as a backrower, provided a moment of inspiration to set up AJ Brimson.

Capewell's pinpoint chip, which split the NSW cover defence and bounced perfectly for debutant Brimson to score, started a Queensland comeback from a 10-0 halftime deficit to an eventual 18-14 win.

"We used to practise chip kicks every session," Capewell said, admitting the play was 100 per cent out of the Walker brothers' playbook.

"I'm right footed ... it was a bit of a hard one to kick it at full speed.

"I'm lucky it came off ... if AJ's not on the inside that play's probably not that good. I give the ball back and they might even have split our line. It was a full team effort."

Last Wednesday's win was seen by many as an upset as a Queensland team boasting eight debutants, including Capewell, outplayed a NSW team chasing a third-straight series win.

Capewell, however, said there was never any lack of belief within the Maroons camp and the focus is firmly on wrapping up the series in Sydney on Wednesday.

"After the game we were very satisfied and happy, there were plenty of debutants that were over the moon," he said.

"But we have a lot to fix and get better at and hopefully roll into game two even better."

Queensland will enjoy a day off on Saturday before returning to training on Sunday at their Gold Coast base.