Powerful Bears too strong for Pride
Horrific conditions and a Burleigh blizzard undid the Pride on Saturday night, but focus turns immediately to weathering another footy storm in the coming weeks.
The Bears proved in Atherton why they are very much in the Intrust Super Cup premiership mix, finding a way through the torrential rain to land a 24-14 victory.
On a track so wet the players would have been excused for wearing floaties, the Pride were unable to repel the visitors in an arm wrestle custom-made for a giant pack.
They led 18-0 at one stage before the Pride rallied to get within eight, only for a stray Ben Spina offload to gift Burleigh a match-sealing try and a hard-earned two points.
“That was the coldest I’ve ever been in Cairns,” Pride coach Joe O’Callaghan said.
“For this group, I’d say it’s the worst conditions they have played in.
“Both sides had to play in it, but they handled it better.
“They are the most physical team we have played this year and it fell in to their hands to play that power game, so I’m proud of the boys to hang in there.”
The Pride must now regroup to face Souths Logan at Barlow Park on Sunday, a match which on paper should be a formality.
Yet with a widening gap between the leaders and the rest, the Cairns club must find a way to stay in touch.
“Hopefully they learnt a lesson from the Wynnum game not to look at the ladder,” O’Callaghan said.
“I think PNG, Blackhawks, Burleigh, after that the comp is pretty wide open.
“We have proved we can get ourselves up for those top-six games, but we need to do it every week.”
Adding to the mix is the fact Spina and Javid Bowen are all but certain to be lost to Cowboys duties as the Origin squeeze begins.
“We have been getting ready for this period,” O’Callaghan said.
“We have blooded a few guys, but we need to keep winning games, so we’ll have a look at what works best and whether we use a couple of guys for just one week.”
BURLEIGH BEARS 24 (Daniel Schwass, Kurtis Rowe, Waka Wanahi, Olly Regan tries; Jamal Fogarty 4 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 14 (Justin Castellaro, Luke George, Khan Ahwang tries; Khan Ahwang goal) at Roosters Stadium, Atherton.