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QCup Rd 18: Big men set platform for front-running Pride

A dominant forward display and a few classy touches from five-eighth Robert Lui helped the Northern Pride register a convincing 38-6 victory over the Norths Devils in Brisbane.
QCup Rd 18: Big men set platform for front-running Pride
by rleague.com

Courtesy of the Cairns Post - Andrew Piva

A dominant forward display and a few classy touches from five-eighth Robert Lui helped the Northern Pride register a convincing 38-6 victory over the Norths Devils in Brisbane.

The win restored the Pride’s three- point buffer on top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder and enhanced their claim on the minor premiership.

While yesterday’s game was scrappy at times, particularly in an almost comical first 15 minutes, there was no denying the Pride were a class above the home team.

The Cairns-based club crossed for seven tries, including a hat-trick to second- rower Blake Leary, with Lui having a significant hand in three of them.

But the Cowboys playmaker wasn’t the only standout for the Pride.

Halfback Sam Obst was back to his scheming best, while Ryan Ghietti had an impact off the bench and set up a try for winger Kyle Feldt with a deft short kick.

Pride coach Jason Demetriou was also quick to highlight the contribution of his forwards, who were forced to play extra minutes after Felise Kaufusi (ankle) and Alex Starmer (knee and ribs) were injured during the match.

Demetriou said the points wouldn’t have flowed as easily if his big men didn’t do the hard work.

"I have to say our pack was outstanding, especially considering we lost Felise Kaufusi and Starmer," he said.

"We lost Kaufusi five minutes into his first stint and Starmer five minutes into the second half, so the boys had to really tough it out.

"(But) we knew once we got in decent field position that we had options on both sides of the field that could cause them problems.

"Overall, our execution was very good."

And not just in attack. As well as boasting the competition’s best offence, the Pride are also the stingiest defensive unit in the league.

After watching his side leak 26 points against Mackay a fortnight ago, Demetriou was glad the only try his team conceded against the Devils was from a kick.

"We just got back to what we’ve been doing well defensively," he said.

"I thought we were a bit erratic in defending our line in isolation against Mackay, so it was good to see us hunting as a pack again.

"This week I thought we were defensively outstanding and that led us to scoring some good points."

Northern Pride 38 (Blake Leary 3, Semi Tadulala 2, Kyle Feldt, Davin Crampton tries; Kyle Feldt 5 goals) def Norths Devils 6 (Namila Davui try; Angus Cameron goal) at Bishop Park.

Courtesy of the Cairns Post - Andrew Piva




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