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14 May, 2021

Paea's Mothers Day Gift

THE minutes before any big sporting contest can be a nervous time for most athletes. For Northern Prides newest recruit last Saturday was particularly tough. A late inclusion into the team, after finally receiving clearance to change clubs, Paea Pua had a week that would test most.

By Peter McCullagh

Having played his entire football career in Sydney, surrounded by a supportive family and potentially his number 1 fan, his mother, Pua had a point to prove that night.

His football journey had taken him away from Sydney and family for the first time. His mum encouraged him to just ‘do what he does best’. It will be ok. “Score a try for me,” was her calming advice. Well for a player used to playing in the front row that was not the outcome result from most of his matches.

Starting from the bench, Pua came on after 25 minutes, and had a few touches in the first half. Not totally happy with his performance but knowing that football is a game played in two halves, he returned in the second half to make amends.

And the rest as they say is history. Paea Pua crashed over to score and give his mum the greatest Mother’s Day gift possible.

“When I scored, I thought mum’s gunna be pretty happy with that.”

“I told her that was her Mother’s Day present.”

Pau is focused now on dropping a bit of weight, training hard and earning his spot on a weekly basis in the team.

“I think I’ve dropped a couple of kilos already in the first week. The humidity and training are tough,” he said.

Obviously, his focus is very much on the Pride each week, but he knows if he does all the little things well, he may one day have a shot at an NRL pre-season.

But for now, Pua wants to get into work here in Cairns as well as training with the Pride.

Pua has been named again in the squad for this Saturday’s game against Tweed Seagulls.

Northern Pride Coach Ty Williams  was impressed with Pua’s performance.

“I thought he was pretty good,” Williams said. “He’s got a lot of improvement in him.”

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