Home Ground: Barlow Park, Cairns
Coach: Joe O’Callaghan
Last Year: 6th – 14 wins – 9 losses –0 draw
The Northern Pride were unlucky to miss out on finals action in 2015 when for and against kept them out. This year, the 2014 Premiers will not want to leave some of the closer results on the table as they look to match up against their Southern competition in the Blackhawks.
Put it simply, the Pride wants to take the Blackhawks down a few pegs, from their homepage you can see this with their listing of the season table and they are keen to take back the mantle of the best team in Northern Queensland.
For me, I would like to see Luke George, the Englishman with the best hair in the ISC continue on his way after scoring 16 tries last season. The Pride have a number of weapons and they want to work on their consistency and look to provide George with some scoring support as they were the eighth ranked in offence and whilst they were fifth in wins, the dropping of games cost them as East snuck in with two draws and more points on the board.
They should provide some serious competition for every team and will be motivated after their close run elimination from the post season. Impressive performances in the preseason has them heading in the right direction.
Round 5: Away to Ipswich Jets: Games against the Jets, Hunters and Blackhawks have featured heavily as they are the three clubs that set the level for excellence last season. This away game after a bye and relatively soft start will be the eye opener for the Pride this year.
Round 8: Away to Blackhawks: Local Derby between the brash minor premiers and the previous seasons Grand Finals winner will be a blockbuster and should be on every television at 1pm that Sunday afternoon.
Round 22: Home to the Blackhawks: Return match and at a key point of the season. Four rounds from the end of the season and the top of the table could be decided by this outcome.