by Rhys O'Neill - The Cairns Post
Photo: Northern Pride
IT took nine rounds for the Intrust Super Cup’s sleeping giant to wake, but just 80 minutes to put the Northern Pride out of their misery.
Wynnum yesterday served a reminder they are still around, smashing the hosts 34-6 at Barlow Park.
The visitors, armed with a larger forward back, manhandled the Pride, who most disappointingly had no answers.
Javid Bowen opened the scoring, but from there Wynnum, who entered with a 1-6 record, outgunned a side who will be concerned with the ease in which they were pinned down.
Halfback Brayden Torpy’s kicking game was reflective of that, as Wynnum fullback Greg Eden regularly started sets on his own 40m line.
The rest of the competition could now have a flat Pride performance to thank for lifting an ISC powerhouse back in to the finals picture.
“I didn’t see that coming at all,” coach Joe O’Callaghan said. “(Pride captain Ryan) Ghietti just made the comment that it looked like we played a game this morning and then came back for another one.
“That’s how little energy we showed.
“I told the boys all week that they are a quality side and don’t look at the ladder.
“They were a top-six side and they were playing against a bunch of guys waiting for something to happen.
“We definitely woke them up.”
O’Callaghan conceded the Pride “put the cue in the rack with 20 to go”.
“I take that personally ... and I’d prefer to see us going down fighting,” O’Callaghan said.
“We spoke about trying to move them around. But I think we were going sideways and trying to play around them.”
Despite the most vocal crowd of the season willing them on, the hosts were stuck in first gear as last weekend’s brutal loss to the Blackhawks became a factor.
“We spoke about backing it up this week, but we were flat across the board,” Ghietti said.
“It was definitely slipping away from us the whole time and we couldn’t get out of our own end.”
Lock Tom Hancock was the Pride’s best, though he could have tried repeated chip-and-chases and still been in the mix, such was the wayward showing of teammates.
Wynnum coach Jon Buchanan said his side’s kicking game was the difference.
“We have seen signs of our best in recent weeks and that was the best performance,” he said.
“We probably could have rolled over the last couple of weeks, but we’re too strong for that.”
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 34 (Peter Gubb, Mitchell Moore, Patrick Templeman, Mitchell Buckett, Gregory Eden, Mitchell Cronin tries; Patrick Templeman 5 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 6 (Javid Bowen try; Khan Ahwang goal) at Barlow Park.
*Thanks to The Cairns Post for this story