Pride blast into second place
THE Northern Pride remain unconquered in the Queensland Cup this season after beating the previously undefeated Redcliffe Dolphins 36-28 at Barlow Park yesterday.
The result allowed the reigning premiers to leapfrog the Dolphins and move into second on the ladder behind frontrunners Tweed Heads.
Yesterday’s clash against the former competition pacesetters was arguably the Pride’s toughest of the season and coach David Maiden was pleased to take the points.
But he was also looking at the bigger picture.
"We want to win the Q Cup and you don’t win that in April or May," Maiden said.
"We’re fully aware of that.
"The pleasing thing is that we can still finetune our attack.
‘‘Defensively we were a bit off (today), but with our attack I think we can get a lot crisper.
"When that happens I think we’ll be very dangerous."
Making his Queensland Cup debut, Pride centre Davin Crampton made an immediate impression by scoring with his first touch in the fifth minute.
The Normanton junior fended off his direct opponent before scything through two defenders to plant the ball near the posts.
It was the perfect start for the Pride, but any joy they felt after establishing a 6-0 lead was gone five minutes later when Dolphins second rower Troy Giess crossed for the visitors.
The Pride threatened to break the game open when forward Blake Leary and hooker Jason Roos scored in quick succession, but tries to Dolphins fullback Justin Hunt and playmaker Joe Bond made sure scores were locked 18-all at halftime.
Pride hooker Lancen Joudo muscled his way over early in the second half to give his side the advantage before Dolphins winger Hayden Topliss finished off a backline move to keep his side within two points.
With the contest in the balance, Joudo scored his second try in the space of 10 minutes.
When teammate Brett Anderson plucked a cross-field kick out of the air and fought his way to the in-goal soon after, the Pride were on their way to victory.
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Win: Ryan Ghietti in action for Pride yesterday. Picture: MIKE WATT