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Last minute Steadman kick clinches win over Jets

It’s every footballer’s dream to clinch a win with seconds on the clock or to slot the conversion after the siren to seal the win, and that was the reality for the Northern Pride winger Shawn Bowen and five-eighth Tom Steadman.

The Pride were chasing their sixth win for the season against an Ipswich Jets team whose position near the bottom of the Intrust Super Cup ladder hides the fact they have been in contention in just about every game.

Playing for the second week without their contracted Cowboys players, the Pride showed grit and determination in pulling off a thrilling last-second victory against the Jets.

Ipswich took to the field under gloomy and uncharacteristic weather conditions for winter in Cairns, applying early pressure on the Pride from a short and high kick-off.

Off the back of successive sets of six deep in attack, Pride hooker Jayden Hodges broke the Jets defence to cross mid-field, allowing Steadman to add the extra two.

The Jets had come to play and they showed early aggression and free-flowing attacking punch.

A professional penalty against the Pride fullback Grant Anderson resulted in 10 minutes in the sin bin, which opened the way for the Jets to step up.

In the space of five minutes, the Jets piled on two tries, the first to flying winger Ratu Jope Rotavisoro, and only minutes later hooker Kierran Moseley crossed to wrestle the early dominance away from the Northern Pride.

Moseley’s try was converted, and the Jets had their tails up and the early lead and went to the half-time break leading 10-6.

With the restart, the Pride stepped up a gear, making metres at will and busting the line up the middle.

Three minutes into the fresh half, Hodges picked up his double to level the scores and give Steadman an easy two.

The Pride were back up 12-10 and the pressure was building on the Jets.

The Pride continued to pile on the pressure, rolling down the field and building attacking opportunities.

Anderson – playing his first full game as fullback – crossed for his fourth try of the season, but Pride centre Bernard Lewis was given a stint in the bin after a physical altercation with a Jets player.

The Jets lifted once more against a depleted Pride, with centre Keenan Yorston crossing through the middle and setting up another easy conversion for Josh Cleeland.

The difference was back to two and the Jets were on a roll.

Mistakes were taking their toll on the Pride, with second rower Hugh Sedger crossing for the Jets, again in the middle, allowing Cleeland to continue piling on the points. The Jets were up 22-18 with an increasingly vocal home crowd urging the Pride to lift.

Lewis’ return to the game with three minutes remaining just that as the Pride scrambled to build attacking momentum.

With seconds remaining, Pride winger Shawn Bowen crossed wide to level the scores. Cool under pressure, Steadman kept his record for the night intact and slotted the conversion attempt from the sidelines to see the Northern Pride run out victors 24-22.

After the game, Northern Pride’s man of the moment Steadman described the feeling as unreal.

“Once it came off the boot, I knew it was going over,” Steadman said.

Northern Pride coach Ty Williams praised Steadman for his professionalism and approach to his game.

“Last night he (Steadman) spent an extra 25 to 30 minutes behind (after training), him and Matty Egan just kicking,” Williams said.

“That was the biggest thing, watching it go over, knowing that the hard work he had put in the night before to get a result was exceptional.”

Next week, the Pride will play Norths Devils at Bishop Park in the Kayo Saturdays match.

The Ipswich Jets will travel to Rockhampton to play the Capras.

Main image: Northern Pride celebrate the last-gasp win. Photo: Peter McCullagh