Photo: Gordon Greaves
Northern Pride produced a second-half masterclass to overpower a brave Central Queensland Capras outfit 42-4 and retain top spot in the Intrust Super Cup at The Jungle last night.
The Pride were overwhelming favourites to post a comfortable victory in their pursuit of a second straight minor premiership, but led just 6-4 after 37 minutes in an error-ridden first half.
The hosts continually dropped ball and gave away penalties as they were frustrated by a gallant Capras side.
But after a half-time dressing down in the sheds from coach Jason Demetriou, the Pride unleashed their full arsenal in the second stanza.
Demetriou’s side posted 30 further points without reply to further strengthen their position at the top of the ladder.
It all looked routine for the Pride as they scored the first try after 12 minutes, centre Javid Bowen finishing off a superb line break by Blake Leary.
But just after the halfway mark of the first half, the Capras hit back through captain Gavin Hiscox, who dived on a loose ball from a neat grubber close to the line.
Mistakes continued to litter the Pride’s attacking game, culminating with captain Jason Roos guilty of spilling the ball with the try line beckoning.
The hosts eventually gave their fans something to cheer three minutes before the break when Pride’s halves combined well as half-back Sam Obst collected a Shaun Nona grubber to dive over and extend their lead to 12-4 at the interval.
It took just four minutes of the second half for the Pride to start to show their full attacking weaponry, with some neat offloading leading to Obst’s second try.
Bowen also collected his double just before the hour mark, barging his way over, with Nona missing his only conversion of the night to leave the score 22-4.
The Pride then further flexed their muscles by scoring three tries in the last 12 minutes against an ever-tiring Capras to put some gloss on the final score.
Winger Kyle Feldt and then Roos got their names on the scoresheet, before backrower Tyrone McCarthy crossed for the Pride’s seventh and last try of the match in the last minute.
There was still time for Feldt to provide the icing on the cake, landing a penalty goal from the halfway line on the siren to seal Pride’s 13th win of the year.
NORTHERN PRIDE 42 (Javid Bowen 2, Sam Obst 2, Kyle Feldt, Jason Roos, Tyrone McCarthy tries; Shaun Nona 6, Kyle Feldt goals) def CQ CAPRAS 4 (Gavin Hiscox try) at Barlow Park.
Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 22. Kyle Feldt 21. Latu Fifita 4. Davin Crampton 5. Javid Bowen 6. Shaun Nona 7. Sam Obst 8. Ben Spina 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Alex Starmer 11. Blake Leary 12. Tyrone McCarthy 13. Joel Riethmuller 14. Ryan Ghietti 15. Jack Svendsen 16. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 17. Semi Tadulala
CQ Capras: 1. Reece Baker 2. Hayden Buckman 16. Hughie Stanley 4. Smith Samau 5. Rhys Williams 6. Mark Johnstone 7. Marlon Doak 8. Andrew Dale 9. Ian Webster 10. Peter Gallen 11. John Clayton 12. Guy Williams 13. Gavin Hiscox (c) 14. Tom McKenzie 15. Joel Marama 17. Sam Madden 18. Tyson White