Photo: Gordon Greaves
Courtesy of Rhys O'Neill - The Cairns Post
Northern Pride secured their third straight win with a 36-18 triumph over Souths Logan Magpies at Barlow Park yesterday.
The Intrust Super Cup premiers could not have picked a better day to prove they will again be a force, producing a clinical performance over the Magpies.
In front of a growing crowd and TV audience ahead of the NRL fixture at Barlow Park, the Pride made it three wins on the trot against an enthusiastic but outclassed Magpies side.
After a horror start to the campaign, the Pride are now within touching distance of a pack who can chase the seemingly invincible Blackhawks.
Linc Port’s star continues to rise, the winger’s second treble of the season not enough to earn Queensland Residents selection but surely more NRL attention.
Indeed, this was a win that outlined the Pride’s potential as much as their progress.
Suddenly, the passes that weren’t sticking weeks ago are.
Ben Spina and Patrick Kaufusi’s merciless toil in the middle of the park is now reaping benefits out wide.
And Pride coach Joe O’Callaghan suddenly has the look of a man who knows it.
“Over the last three weeks we’re seeing the result of the hard work,” he said.
“We have had our two best performances over the past fortnight and Sunny Coast (next week) will probably be our hardest game.”
Slow starters earlier in the year, the Pride were in no mood to toy with a visiting side feeling the pinch over a lack of NRL personnel.
Anything looked possible when the hosts led 16-0 after an opening blitz that realistically ended any contest.
“As the home team you have to take that advantage and the best way to do that is in the first 20 minutes,” O’Callaghan said.
Souths Logan looked up against it.
“The Pride were obviously the better team,” coach Josh Hannay said. “They took their chances, which good teams do.
“We’re looking for positives at the moment and we felt like we created a few chances.
“The Pride have hit their straps in the last couple of weeks and it’s a credit to them.
“They have had a high turnover of players and they’re doing a good job to go as well as they are.”
Lightweight Magpies backrower Scott Doyle was strong for the visitors, grabbing two tries and three goals.
But it was all about the hosts, who will look ahead to the Falcons game with confidence over a season that looked to be flatlining just a month ago.
NORTHERN PRIDE 36 (Linc Port 3, Dean McGilvray, Ryan Ghietti, Vaipuna Tia Kilifi, Ben Spina tries; Hezron Murgha 4 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 18 (Scott Doyle 2, Aotealofa Tuimavave tries; Scott Doyle 3 goals) at Barlow Park.
Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Javid Bowen 4. Dean McGilvray 5. Semi Tadulala 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 8. Jack Svendsen 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11. Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 12. Graham Clark 13. Ben Spina 14. Cameron King 15. Tom Hancock 16. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 17. David Murphy
Souths Logan Magpies: 1. Josh Damen 20. Ramon Filipine 3. Dallas Anderson 4. Tim Brooks 5. Matt Trnka 6. Jack Joass 7. Oliver Olds 8. Sam Gardel 9. Travis Waddell 10. Andrew Edwards 11. Scott Doyle 12. Dan Tamou 13. Joe Boyce 14. Herschel Gideon 15. Phil Dennis (c) 16. Graham Levu 17. Aotealofa Tuimavave