Northern Pride playing for final five miracle
NORTHERN Pride coach David Maiden says Saturday night's 44-10 win over Easts Tigers at Barlow Park exemplified the professionalism of his players as they chase a miracle finals berth.
The Pride moved to within one point of the top five after the victory and remain a slim chance of featuring in the play-offs.
Saturday night’s game, the Pride’s last at home this season, had the potential to be an emotional affair as Maiden and retiring players Chey Bird and Rod Jensen farewelled the Barlow Park faithful.
But the Pride put all that aside as they went about demolishing the Tigers in an eight tries to two romp.
To make the five, the Pride have to beat minor premiers Redcliffe on Sunday and rely on the Tigers losing to the Capras and the Norths Devils going down to Ipswich.
Maiden said the Pride proved on Saturday night they had not given up on their
"It’s the sign of the professionalism of the guys that we still have a job to do," he said.
"We still have a game to win next week. We still want to do that and finish on a high. We still have aspirations of playing finals.
"We’ve done our job tonight and now we’ve got to roll up through the week and do the job again."
The Pride set up their victory over the Tigers by racing to an 18-0 lead after 16 minutes – thanks to converted tries from Ethan Lowe, Alex Starmer and Brett Anderson.
The Tigers hit back through lock Leon Kanapa, but the Pride went to the break 22-4 in front after winger Wayne Ulugia raced nearly 90m late in the half after snaffling an intercept.
Encouragingly, the Pride went on with job in the second half, with further tries to Kalifa Faifai Loa, Ulugia, Anderson and Ryan Ghietti sealing the win.
Whether it will be enough to save the Pride’s season remains to be seen, but Maiden said his team could not have done much more.
"It’s very pleasing. We had possession, position, pressure and patience and showed that for most of the time," the coach said.
"I think we only played footy for 60 minutes this week, but we did enough to get the result."
Maiden said the performance was also the perfect way to send off Bird and Jensen in their last home match.
"It’s nothing less than what they deserved," he said.
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On the burst: Northern Pride's Ben Laity attempts to break the Easts Tigers defence during Saturday night's Intrust Super Cup clash at Barlow Park. Pride recorded an impressive 44-10 victory. Picture: STEWART McLEAN