NORTHERN Pride coach Joe O’ Callaghan pinpointed a poor completion rate and lack of intensity for his side’s lacklustre 17-8 upset loss to South Logan Magpies.
The surprise Round 18 defeat to Josh Hannay’s side on Saturday night in Tully leaves the Pride in seventh place on 20 points, narrowly behind Easts Tigers and Mackay Cutters in a bid to secure a top five finals berth.
“Each game is now an absolute must-win if we’re real about playing in the finals,” disappointed Pride coach Joe O’Callaghan said.
“The next six games are winnable and we’ve proven this season we can win on the road. But it was definitely a wasted opportunity against the Magpies.”
Souths Logan led 10-4 at halftime and extended their buffer to 12 points following a converted try after the break.
The Pride reduced the margin to eight points midway through the half following a much-needed try, but a late field goal from crafty rake Travis Waddell iced the Magpies’ fifth win of the season.
While his side played way below its best, O’Callaghan was full of praise for the opposition’s effort.
“I don’t want to take any credit away from the Magpies,” he said. “They aimed up and had a lot of energy from the get-go.
“In the first 40 minutes they played strongly and that in turn forced us to play poorly.
“In saying that, I’ll probably admit we had our worst completion rate in a match for close to a month.
“Not being able to finish our sets just didn’t give us the chance to get any momentum.
“At the end of the day, I just thought we went through the motions a bit.”
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 17 (Tim Brooks, Rhys Jacks, Travis Waddell tries; Jack Joass 2 goals; Travis Waddell field goal) def NORTHERN PRIDE 8 (Brett Anderson, Justin Castellaro tries) at Tully Showgrounds.
Souths Logan Magpies: 1. Ihaka Watene 3. David Faamita 4. Scott Doyle 5. Tim Brooks 6. Jack Joass 7. Rhys Jacks 8. Tikiko Noke 9. Travis Waddell 10. Andrew Edwards 11. Joe Boyce 12. Dan Tamou 13. Phil Dennis (c) 14. Jack Anderson 15. Ben Thorburn 16. Sam Gardel 17. Leon Panapa 18. Ken Levu
Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Justin Castellaro 5. Luke George 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 8. Jack Svendsen 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11. PJ Webb 12. Graham Clark 13. Tom Hancock 14. Cameron King 20. Alex Starmer 16. Sheldon Powe Hobbs 17. David Murphy