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McGavin in action. Photo: NRL Imagery

The Northern Pride have sailed into next week's bye on a high, securing a 40-22 victory over the Souths Logan Magpies on Friday afternoon.

With the Hostplus Cup reaching the halfway point of the season next week, the Pride were determined to go into their break with a seventh win under their belt.

And they locked it in a Queensland Country Bank Stadium yesterday, after playing as the curtain raiser for the North Queensland Cowboys' NRL victory over the Wests Tigers.

For coach Eric Smith, there was some disappointment over how many points were leaked to Souths Logan, but overall he is a happy man.

Jake Clifford. Photo: NRL Imagery
Jake Clifford. Photo: NRL Imagery

"It was obviously nice to get the win," Smith said.

"At the back of end of each half, it just felt like we took the foot off the accelerator a little bit and maybe didn’t respect the opposition or the football.

"That left a bit of a bad taste in the coach’s mouth but we’re going into the bye now.

"After 12 rounds - with only three games at Barlow Park - to be sitting where we are and only losing three games, I'm really, really happy with the first half of the season based on that.

"You can’t be too disappointed. It’s just a really good reward for where we sit."

Smith said despite the scoreline, he was left impressed by Karmichael Hunt's men, labelling them a major threat as the season progresses.

McGavin in action. Photo: NRL Imagery
McGavin in action. Photo: NRL Imagery

Within his own team, he felt second rower Dane Aukafolau, winger Nat McGavin and fullback Tom Chester stood up strongly, with Chester putting on two massive try-saving tackles to help the Pride's lead.

Despite his satisfaction with where his team sit at this point of the season, Smith knows there are still a few things to work on if they want to be a finals threat in the back half of the season.

But he still wants the team to enjoy this moment and where they are, saying he didn't know if even he expected to be seven wins and three losses at this stage.

"We need to be more consistent and better," he said.

"We still know that we’re a work in progress. We still have plenty of work to do. None of us are hiding from that fact. But we’ve come a hell of a long way since November.

"It’s always nicer to be working on things you need to improve on or be more persistent with when you’re still finding ways to win and have the two points. It is a pretty handy spot to be in.

"We know we’re going to be playing some bigger games against tougher oppositions at the back end of the year, with teams improving as the season goes on, so we need to evolve our game and get better as well.

"We can’t think what we’re doing now will work in two months.

"If you had said to me that at the halfway point of the season we’d be entrenched inside the top four with a 7-3 record with only three games at home, I would have taken it for sure.

"It’s definitely a nice position to be in and a great reward for everyone involved, not just the players but staff.

"This bye comes at a really good time to take a breath and be happy with what we’ve done so far and then regroup and be ready for another climb into semi-finals."

On Saturday, Townsville and Central Queensland kicked off the action with a stunning effort from the Blackhawks on home turf.

The Capras came racing out of the blocks early with two tries in nine minutes, but it wasn't enough against a determined Townsville outfit, who went on to claim a 34-18 victory.

At Redcliffe, a resurgent Dolphins - boosted by the returns of Trai Fuller and Brenton Baira - claimed a nail-biting 13-4 win over the Burleigh Bears.

And in the final game on Saturday, the Tweed Seagulls returned to the winner's circle with a solid 22-16 triumph over the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

In the final day of Round 11 action on Sunday, the Ipswich Jets will play host to the Norths Devils in the broadcast game.

The Mackay Cutters will hope to get back into the winner's circle against a strong PNG Hunters outfit.

And the Western Clydesdales will return from a bye to take on the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

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