Pride effort 'atrocious', says Maiden
ONE adjective a coach never wants to use to describe his team%u2019s performance is ''atrocious'', but Northern Pride mentor David Maiden had little option after his team's 21-18 loss to the bottom-placed Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles on Saturday.
The Pride outscored the Sea Eagles four tries to three but were sunk late in the game by a field goal and penalty to opposition halfback Justin Otto.
It was a devastating result for the Pride, who now need a mathematical miracle to qualify for the finals.
The Pride are four points adrift of the top five with four games remaining, which are all against sides above them on the ladder.
Maiden said there was no excuse for the diabolical display the Pride produced in Kawana.
"It was atrocious. It was beyond frustrating what we dished up," Maiden said.
"It’s absolutely heartbreaking. I honestly think we’ve got the talent to win this competition, but we’ve shown we haven’t got the mental tenacity to do it.
"Right now, this is as bad as I’ve ever felt in my three years as coach."
The Pride led 14-12 at the break thanks to first-half tries to debutant winger Justin Castellaro, centre Brett Anderson and Alex Starmer.
When Ryan Ghietti snuck over from dummy-half in the 42nd minute, the Pride looked on their way.
But then the mistakes set in. The Pride were flat out completing a set of six, allowing the Sea Eagles to level through Callum Klein before Otto’s boot finished them off.
It was the continuation of a sadly familiar tale for the Pride, who have this year looked a shadow of the ruthless outfit that dominated opposition teams in past
"We keep sides in matches. We go out there and try to win the match on every set of six," Maiden said.
"We don’t show any patience. We spoke about it before the game, we spoke about it again at halftime, but yet we continually go out there and make the same mistakes week after week."
One of the few positives for the Pride on Saturday was the performance of Castellaro.
The Herbert River junior looked at ease in the top grade, with Maiden planning on blooding more of the club’s emerging talent before the season is out.
"I’ve got to. I’ve got senior players week-in, week-out who are making the same mistakes," he said.
"I’m not doubting their desire to win, but their execution isn’t there."
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Positive: Winger Justin Castellaro scored a try in his debut game for the Pride. Picture: STEWART McLEAN