Comets shoot down Northern Pride
THE Northern Pride suffered their first loss at Barlow Park in more than 14 months last night after going down to the Central Comets 30-22.
A diabolical opening 20 minutes that saw the Pride concede three converted tries ultimately cost the reigning Queensland Cup premiers any chance of victory.
Pride coach David Maiden didn’t hold back when it came time to describe his team’s start to the game.
"We threw up absolute rubbish for that first 20 minutes," he said.
"We spoke in our team meeting about getting in front defensively, showing the urgency, showing up for your mates, but we didn’t do that.
"The first 20 minutes were disgraceful and it cost us the game."
The home team seemed to leave their cohesion and enthusiasm behind in the sheds and the visitors took full advantage.
The Comets led 6-0 after two minutes when centre Mitch Zornig pounced on a grubber kick and doubled their advantage soon after through fullback Daniel Bartlett.
On the back of a booming 40-20 kick, the Comets scored their third try in succession when prop Tim Glasby crashed over under the sticks.
The Pride kept surrendering field position by giving away penalties and falling off tackles but managed to score next through winger Mark Dalle Cort.
Any hopes of a first-half comeback, however, were dashed when the Pride let the Comets’ restart bounce over the deadball line.
The Comets scored out wide through winger Dallas Williams in the next set to lead 22-4 at the break.
The Pride needed to score first after halftime and did when Cowboys-contracted hooker James Segeyaro split the defence with a well-timed dummy.
The home team were denied another try two minutes later by the touch judge’s flag and were made to rue the missed opportunity.
Showing some fancy footwork, Comets No.6 Tevita Latu danced through some feeble Pride defence to give his side an 18-point buffer with 17 minutes left.
The Pride quickly hit back through second-rower Mark Cantoni and Chey Bird’s ensuing conversion kept alive hopes of a miracle escape.
When centre Davin Crampton planted the ball under the posts with six minutes left, the Pride were suddenly within a converted try of the Comets.
But it would prove as close as they would get, with Comets halfback Nat Bowman and Ian Webster sealing their side’s victory with late field goals.
Central Comets 30 (Daniel Bartlett, Mitch Zornig, Dallas Williams, Tevita Latu, Tim Glasby tries; Nat Bowman 4 conversions; Bowman, Ian Webster field goals) d Northern Pride 22 (James Segeyaro, Davin Crampton, Mark Dalle Cort, Mark Cantoni tries; Chey Bird 3 conversions).
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Tough stuff: Northern Pride prop Luke Harlen adds some spark to an otherwide lacklustre performance in their Queensland Cup match against the Comets at Barlow Park last night.