THE Northern Pride remain on a finals trajectory, but proved they are far from a complete package ahead of a daunting trip to face the high-flying Blackhawks.
The Pride yesterday moved to a 4-2 record and sit third on the Intrust Super Cup ladder following an old-fashioned Barlow Park scrap with Easts that they won 30-16 that was low on style, but high on graft.
Leading 10-0 after 16 minutes, the hosts took the foot off the gas and their eyes off the ball in an error-riddled spell which resulted in a deadlock at the break.
Both teams made more mistakes than a blind man typewriting as Easts cashed in to end the Pride’s 142-minute streak without conceding a point.
However, in a stop-start contest dogged by a slow ruck, the Pride ultimately found a way to undo a stubborn Tigers and secure their eighth win over the Langlands outfit at Barlow Park from nine starts.
“It was two top-six sides who got in to a good grind and we showed a bit more patience and discipline to come out the other side,” coach Joe O’Callaghan said.
“I’m a bit disappointed we just switched off a couple of times.
“They asked a lot more questions than Tweed ... and we have got a goal in defence and 16 points is all right.
“We have had three wins in a row now so we’re as ready aswe’re going to be (for Townsville).”
Pride forward Jack Svendsen said halftime came at the right moment against the Tigers.
“We started really well and rolled down the field,” he said.
“From there we made it hard for ourselves.
“It was frustrating, but we talked at halftime about getting back to what we’re good at.”
Tigers boss Scott Sipple conceded the litany of handling mistakes could not be covered up by the defensive resolve in his undermanned side.
“We were our own worst enemy,” he said.
Easts veteran Matthew Zgrajewski also acknowledged the better side won.
“Anyone who watches the Pride play knows they are a grinding team,” he said.
“The Pride are up there ... they are a contender.”
After his two-game sojourn in the NRL, Javid Bowen returned with a brace.
NORTHERN PRIDE 30 (Javid Bowen 2, Khan Ahwang 2, Tom Hancock tries; Khan Ahwang 5 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 16 (Ayden Lee, Whetu Austin, Brentt Warr tries; Billy Walters 2 goals) at Barlow Park.