THE Northern Pride used their licence to thrill for the first time this year against a Tweed side that stood back and let it happen.
Barlow Park was treated to a slaughter yesterday as the Pride raced to a 48-0 victory which reaffirmed coach Joe O’Callaghan’s belief they are heading in the right direction.
It was 30-0 at the break as the ruthless Pride, who improve to a 3-2 record, bullied Tweed Heads like they were their younger brother.
With a top-six home clash against Easts Tigers next Sunday looming, Pride skipper Ryan Ghietti hailed the wholehearted performance.
It was the first time this season the Cairns club has held a rival under 20 points, and only the fifth time under O’Callaghan the side has scored more than 30 in a game.
“The last two or three weeks has been about our defence,” Ghietti said.
“We have been able to score points, but to keep them to zero was great.
“You could hear us talking on the line, saying ‘no points, no points’.”
The match was punctuated by endless Seagulls handling errors and defensive lapses, aiding the attacking masterclass delivered by the Pride.
Back three Khan Ahwang, Luke George and Linc Port all clocked up plenty of running metres as the hosts showed they now own the flair to back up the grind.
“Joe has given us the licence to offload,” Ghietti said.
“If you can pop it to Khan and Linc, let those blokes do the work.
“We have definitely got the team to play a bit more expansive footy.”
O’Callaghan hailed it “the best performance this year”, and when asked what was most pleasing he said: “the zero, definitely”.
“I’m not trying to be arrogant, but we don’t have to work on our attack,” he said.
“When it’s 48-0 late and they’re scrambling to hold their line, that’s what you want to see.”
Props Dave Murphy and Patrick Kaufusi were also strong, compensating for Ben Spina, subbed off after 53 minutes after only arriving in Cairns three hours before the match due to serving as Cowboys 18th man.
"A lot of credit has to go to Murph and Fusi for the way they laid that platform,” O’Callaghan said.
“Murph has NRL all over him, but there are still a few little things he needs to keep working on.”
While the Pride are prepring for the Tigers next weekend - the Seagulls will again be on the road and will take on the Magpies at Davies Park.
NORTHERN PRIDE 48 (Luke George 2, Tom Hancock 2, Brayden Torpy, Linc Port, Shaun Hudson, Patrick Kaufusi tries; Khan Ahwang 8 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 0 at Barlow Park.