The Sunshine Coast Falcons had a chance to notch three wins in a row for the first time in the Intrust Super Cup competition since 2010, but turned in an ill-disciplined performance.
Sloppy defending, dropped balls and reckless fouls handed the Northern Pride a comfortable 28-6 round 13 victory at Sunshine Coast Stadium yesterday.
The Falcons started the season poorly, but in the past two weeks had started to turn their season around and build momentum leading into the second half of the season.
Sunshine Coast centre Travis Robinson said it was a disappointing performance.
“In the second half, I don't know where our game plan went, it went down the drain,” he said.
“I think it was just a mental lapse and the boys not working for one another.”
The Falcons were under pressure for most of the first half and struggled to gain possession as the Pride completed set after set.
The defence eventually cracked and the Pride crossed twice before halftime but poor converting kept the Falcons in touch.
Sunshine Coast responded immediately in the second half with a classic opportunist try from winger Suliasi Vunivalu after a Northern Pride fumble.
Trailing 8-6, the Falcons looked poised to mount a comeback but the Pride turned defence into attack to score tries in quick succession and break the hearts of home fans.
Robinson praised Vunivalu's starring performance in a lacklustre day for the Falcons.
“He's big, strong and hard to tackle,” he said.
“Shining light, but like I said, there were a lot of tries scored on the edges so you can do what you like in attack but the main thing is defence in our game.
“We've got to get back to our structures next week.
“Keep them out and you win the game.”
NORTHERN PRIDE 28 (Linc Port 2, Brett Anderson 2, Luke George, Semi Tadulala tries; Linc Port 2 goals) def SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 6 (Suliasi Vunivalu tries; David Oakes goal) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Sam Wright 2. Sam Young 3. Rueben Baillie 4. Travis Robinson 5. Suliasi Vunivalu 6. David Oakes 7. Jake Turpin 8. James Ackerman 9. Jay Lobwein 10. Ryan Hansen 11. Jye Ballinger 12. Jake Samoa 13. Tom Murphy (c) 19. Paul Ivan 15. Johnny Vuetibau 16. Mboya Adams 20. Jon Platt
Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Luke George 5. Semi Tadulala 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11. Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 12. Regan Verney 13. Ben Spina 14. Cameron King 15. Tom Hancock 16. Sheldon Powe Hobbs 17. David Murphy 18. Alex Starmer