Maiden urges Northern Pride to maintain intensity
COACH David Maiden is imploring his Northern Pride players to maintain the intensity displayed during their fight-back against the Burleigh Bears on Friday night as they look to ramp up their title
Trailing by seven points with as many minutes remaining, the Pride conjured a minor miracle in front of the home crowd at Barlow Park to salvage a 25-all draw.
Maiden recognised the heightened work-rate and urgency in the dying minutes, but is now calling on his players to be unrelenting with seven rounds remaining in the Queensland Cup.
"We showed some great tenacity to come back," he said.
"I think if we play with the urgency we played with in the last five minutes, for especially the last 40 (minutes), then we win that game by 20 points."
While clearly frustrated by the lapses from his side, Maiden was quick to heap praise on the Pride’s response, which culminated in Hezron Murgha’s last-gasp drop-goal to tie the match.
"I’m looking at it as glass half empty, but I’ve got to applaud the guys in terms of the way they came back," he said.
"We were down by seven points with bugger all to go. It’s a shame we had to fall behind to sharpen up and play with the intensity that we’ve been known to do."
Maiden pointed out that the Bears would be ruing the draw after their superior ball security.
"Burleigh is probably disappointed because they completed about 85-90 per cent, a pretty phenomenal completion rate, and we were around about 60-70 per cent."
Pride forward Ben Laity dispelled any notion the side struggled to deal with the Friday night fixture, after their shock loss to the Central Comets a month ago.
"I thought we prepared a bit better, we got the first points on the board," he said. "I don’t think there’s anything wrong with our preparations for Friday nights, we had a great warm up and a good start."
The Pride will sweat on the fitness of Ryan Ghietti (groin strain) and Brett Anderson (shoulder) before their Friday night clash with bottom-placed Sunshine Coast.
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Key player: The Pride will be sweating on the fitness of competitive centre Brett Anderson for Friday night’s match against the Sunshine Coast. Picture: MIKE WATT