11 April, 2021
Northern Pride Round 3: Wynnum Manly overpower Pride to remain unbeaten
The Wynnum Manly Seagulls have inflicted Northern Pride's first loss of the season, keeping their undefeated streak alive with a 36-6 victory in Cairns on Saturday night
What initially shaped as potentially a strong match of the round soon turned out to be a one-sided game, but the end score did not reflect the quality of the footy on the paddock.
An enthusiastic home crowd was on hand to watch fourth playing third at Barlow Park, however things did not go the way as planned for the Pride.
An early shoulder injury to winger Matthew Musumeci forced him the field and unable to return, reducing the options for coach Ty Williams.
The issue was compounded after captain Jayden Hodges was also forced from the field with an ankle injury.
“To lose both players in the first 12 minutes is not ideal,” Williams said, post-match.
“We knew that Wynnum were going to be up there this year, and they showcased that tonight."
The opening 20 minutes saw strong attacking football combined with spirited defence by both teams.
Wynnum Manly took the lead at the 24th minute mark and never looked like allowing the Pride back into the game.
At 18-0 at half-time, the scoreline reflected the flow of play.
Pride five-eighth Tom Steadman controlled the play, combining well with Chris Ostwald at dummy-half and looked to be the main playmaker for the Pride.
North Queensland Cowboy Jake Clifford struggled in his return to the No.7 jersey, failing to make any real impact in attack.
Rod Griffin showed plenty of grit and determination in defence, but will be waiting to see the outcome of a marginal late hit that was placed on report by the referee.
At fullback, Jayden Corrigan had another standout game, combining well when needed with Steadman and producing the only try for the Pride in the 66th minute - cleaning up after a well-placed cross-field kick from the five-eighth. The resulting four-pointer was converted by Clifford, allowing the home side to salvage a degree of pride and avoid a total whitewash at the hands of a stronger and more aggressive team.
The standout for the visitors was their hooker Jayden Berrell, playing great eyes-up footy and gaining easy metres for Wynnum Manly running from dummy-half.
The Seagulls rake combined well with Issac Luke to build attacking pressure on the Pride; scoring in the 29th and 70th minutes and combined to put Luke over in the 32nd minute.
After the game, Williams described their performance as good in patches.
“There were times when we defended three sets, but they then scored an easy try," the Pride coach said.
“Not the best outcome, but plenty of positives to take out of it. The more we play together the better we are going to get."
“36-6 does not reflect the efforts that the lads put in, but at the end of the day, we did not get the result.”
They'll now travel down the Bruce Highway to Townsville to take on rivals the Blackhawks, who will be disappointed with their first loss of the season in Round 3 to the Norths Devils.