Cooktown is home to Queensland floral emblem, the Cooktown orchid, and it might be where the Northern Pride season blossomed with a 34-24 win against Ipswich.
The Jets and Pride ventured north to the outpost for ‘Get in the Game’ Country Week.
Both teams went without their halves, with the Jets losing Dane Phillips, replaced by Julian Christian.
Meanwhile the Pride were without Jake Clifford, who was called up for the North Queensland Cowboys.
Marmin Barba needed one try to become the Jets’ second-highest try-scorer and Christian and Jayden Connors made sure he did it two minutes into the game.
Linking across the field, Connors threw in a step and Marmin did the rest for his 65th try for the Jets.
The four points also brought up Barba’s 400th point for the Jets.
Ipswich led 6-0 after five minutes.
The battle of the wingers was alive when the Pride marched down the field behind two penalties and Gideon Gela-Mosby scored his eighth try this season.
he conversion missed and the Jets led 6-4 after 10 minutes
After the early flurry of tries the Jets and Pride settled into the groove.
That was until Connors scooted out of dummy-half and big Nat Neale supported to find Christian, who scored his fourth try this season to get the Jets in front 10-4.
Barba again added two points and the Jets had a 12-4 lead with 10 minutes until half time.
The defence of Ben White was exceptional just on halftime when the Pride had an overlap and spread the ball.
White made a massive hit that stopped the play and led the Jets to half time up 12-4.
It was a scrappy first half with the Jets making three breaks that ended with inside balls to the ground and a missed opportunity.
The second half started with an avalanche of tries, first Mitch Carpenter offloaded to Michael Purcell to score in his 50th game.
Jets were up 18-4 in the first set of the second half, before the Pride answered back off a short kick and Jorden Biondi-Odo scored, grabbing the ball and the opportunity to give the Pride an immediate reply.
The Pride then got the double-blow when Darryn Schonig scored near the posts and the Pride were down by four only eight a few minutes into the second half.
The Pride did not stop there, when three Jets got in the way and forgot about the ball, the Pride’s Shawn Bowen jumped on it and scored to give the Pride the lead after 52 minutes.
All of a sudden the Pride had scored three tries in a dramatic six minutes.
Jack Campangnolo consolidated the Pride’s position with two points from a penalty and with 23 minutes to go the Pride led 24-18.
Connors tried to inspire his Jets with a scoot, but the ball came loose and the Pride went wide for newcomer Jonico Hardwick to score and take the Pride to 28-18.
The Pride’s defence would prove their worth in the second half, forcing a mistake and the Jets back into their in-goal.
From there the Pride would go wide and Hardwick completed a double.
The Jets recorded a late try to Michael Purcell after some great Mitch Carpenter work for his outside backs.
Yet the Pride had scored an unassailable 30 points in the second half and won 34-24.
The Pride will take on the Sunshine Coast Falcons next week while the Jets will travel to Dolphin Oval to meet Redcliffe.
Full scoring details and final team lists available at QRL Live.
NORTHERN PRIDE 34 (Jonico Hardwick 2, Gideon Gela-Mosby, Jordan Biondi-Odo, Darryn Schonig, Shawn Bowen tries; Jack Campagnolo 5 goals)
def IPSWICH JETS 24 (Michael Purcell 2, Julian Christian, Marmin Barba tries; Marmin Barba 3, Wes Conlon goals) at John Street Oval, Cooktown.