Northern Pride dose up big on orange for Queensland Cup finals run
THE jersey may be a different colour but the Northern Pride's mission remains unchanged - win at all costs.
The Pride unveiled a very bright and very orange strip at Barlow Park this week for today’s Intrust Super Cup Country Week clash against Souths Logan Magpies in Mt Isa.
Centre and slightly reluctant model Chey Bird does not mind the new outfit, but he would happily wear fluoro pink if it meant beating the Magpies at Alec Inch Oval.
The Pride are two wins outside the top five and need to remain undefeated for the rest of the competition rounds to have any chance of playing finals.
It’s a similar do-or-die scenario to the one the Pride faced when they won their maiden premiership in 2010.
Bird, who was part of that title-winning team, has no doubt history can repeat itself.
"I guess everyone rises to a challenge and we’re definitely no different," Bird said. "Our best footy came two years ago when we pretty much had to win every game after April to make the finals. This year is no different, so hopefully the cream rises to the top again."
The Magpies shape as tricky opponents for the Pride, even though they are no longer top-five threats.
The Brisbane side embarrassed them 32-22 at Barlow Park in round four and also won last year’s corresponding fixture in Bamaga.
Bird said the Magpies had a habit of lifting for the Pride.
"Since our very first season we’ve had a pretty healthy rivalry with Souths Logan," he said.
"This year has been no different.
"I guess we were a little complacent playing them in the first round and they pulled our pants down in front of our home fans.
"We owe them one for that, so we’ll be looking at getting the chocolates down there."
One player who will be excited to run on today is Pride debutant Brent Oosen, who has been named on the interchange bench. Bird is backing the Southern Suburbs second-rower to have an impact.
"He’s a very enthusiastic player, so he’ll be keen to get out there and rip and tear," Bird said. "Probably the biggest thing for him will be just to slow down a little and enjoy the moment."
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Looking good: Ty Williams (left) and Chey Bird model the Pride’s new orange strip as they prepare for today’s must-win clash against South Logan Magpies in Mt Isa. Picture: MARC McCORMACK