12 June, 2021

Last minute heroics by Bowen and Steadman clinches the win

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. That was the reality for the Northern Pride’s winger Shawn Bowen and five eight Tom Steadman.

By Peter McCullagh

Northern Pride celebrating the win - Photo Peter McCullagh
Northern Pride celebrating the win - Photo Peter McCullagh

The Northern Pride were chasing their sixth win for the season against an Ipswich Jets team sitting in near the bottom on the Intrust Super Cup ladder.

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

The Ipswich Jets 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, Northern Pride’s hooker, Jayden Hodges broke the Jets defence to cross mid- field, allowing Pride’s kicker and five eight, Tom Steadman to add the extra two.

The Ipswich Jets were never going to be an easy mark, sitting 12th on the ladder with a less than glowing defensive record, they came to play and they showed early aggression and free-flowing attacking punch.

A professional penalty against the Northern Pride’s full back, Grant Anderson resulting in 10 minutes in the sin bin, opened the way for the Ipswich Jets to step up.

In the space of 5 minutes the Jets piled on two tries, the first to flying winger Ratu Jope Rotavisoro, minutes later Jets’ 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.

The Jets went to the half-time break leading 10-6.

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

Three minutes into the fresh half, Pride’s hooker, Jayden 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.

Grant Anderson playing his first full game as full back crossed for his fourth try of the season. Northern Pride’s 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 Jets’ 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, when second rower Hugh Sedger for the Jets crossed 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 lifted the Pride as they scrambled to build attacking momentum.

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

After the game, Northern Pride’s man of the moment Tom Steadman described the moment as unreal. “Once it came off the boot, I knew it was going over.”

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.

“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,” William said.

The Northern Pride head to Brisbane next weekend to play North’s Devils.

The Ipswich Jets are on the road to play the CQ Capras at Browne Park.


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