Northern Pride: Will Partridge return presents Ty Williams with a big decision

A longtime Hostplus Cup player could be close to returning to the helm of Northern Pride if there is at least one late move into the squad called up for the Capras.

Northern Pride forward Zane Knowles will spend the next two weeks on the sidelines, with a veteran State League player among those working towards a return.

Knowles was tasked with the Class 2 breaker tackle from the win over the Cutters at Mackay.

Faced with a three-week suspension if he challenged the charges but lost, the club decided to make the early objection and take on the two-week ban.

It’s a blow to Knowles, who was among the better players in FNQRL last season and earned his spot at the top of the Pride.

His loss could be an opportunity for Denzel King to return to the Hostplus Cup.

King has endured a frustrating career in which he always seemed to be on the verge of choice.

Since 2015, King has played 21 games with Pride (18 games from 2015-16, 19-23) and Ipswich Jets (three games, 2017-18).

He last played for the Pride in 2021 but this could be the week when trainer Ty Williams hands the faithful Rake a recall to the side after he was part of the 22-man squad named earlier this week.

King was the 18th man for the game against the Cutters, further increasing his chances of a recall.


THIS is the year Ewan Moore looks to take his rugby league career to the next level.

The Northern Pride second-rower has secured a spot on Ty Williams’ 17, with his dedication to improving the defensive aspect of his game already being rewarded with a spot on the Cowboys preseason testing team earlier this year.

But he wants to go further with Moore seeking a train and trial deal with an NRL club.

“I just want to keep doing well,” Moore said.

“There’s performance-specific things – a number of carries and yards per game, low missed tackles and things like that.

“I want to keep playing good football and at the end of the year apply for a draft and testing spot, hopefully with the Cowboys.

“If that comes up it’s going to be great, but I want to focus on playing well at Pride. I hope to get a shot there but time will tell.”

Moore was among the better players in the Pride’s season-opening win at Mackay and will be tasked with taking out Dolphins playmaker Anthony Milford should he start for the Capras at Rockhampton this Saturday.

He already has experience playing against Milford thanks to that pre-season process in Cairns.

He was solid on that occasion, coming off the bench for the Cowboys against the Dolphins and save for a moment that made him wince afterwards, it was a solid performance that got his name in the minds of North Queensland staff should hold.

“It was unreal, something you dreamed of as a kid, putting on an NRL jersey,” he said.

“I have to do that. It was a great experience.

“I’ve found that you can’t switch off at all.

“Everything is so fast if you miss something it comes back for you. You will be discovered if you take a second off.

“It was also revealing what fitness level he was at.

“It’s been great to be part of an NRL team, even if it’s just for the weekend.”

At that moment, he appeared to have capped off a dream Cowboys performance by scoring a try at Barlow Park.

But as he pounced on a cultivator his hands didn’t fit and he spilled it with a four-pointer that begged – and when it’s shown live on Kayo Sports there aren’t many in rugby league who miss it have.

“I’ve been drinking a lot,” he said, laughing.

“I couldn’t believe it, all my Christmases rolled into one, it was right there when I looked up and saw the crowd then it fell through my hands.

“Many saw it”

He more than made up for it with the Pride’s win at Mackay as Moore lunged at a cultivator to score the club’s first try of the Hostplus Cup season.


The return of prolific Northern Pride flyer Will Partridge may not be so clear-cut as the Norfolk Islander remains outside the 17 in this week’s clash with the Capras.

Pride manager Ty Williams has left Partridge in an initial 22-man squad on the bench, but there’s no guarantee the 25-year-old will get the nod when Barlow Park Club take on the team that won last season finished dream finals .

Partridge is generally a safe starter for the Pride when fit as his scoring and experience puts him at the top of the pecking order.

But the men who were set to take the park in Pride’s 16-12 win over Mackay last week have not shown much reason to be sidelined in favor of Partridge, who missed the win over the Cutters due to a suspension last year.

That’s why Williams named the same starting squad, with debutants Daniel Woodhouse and Rhy Young on the wings and Bernard Lewis in the middle alongside Rashaun Denny.

Justin Frain is in a similar position. The Pride newcomer joined the club from Townsville but missed the club’s first game of the season due to a suspension.

“That’s the most important thing, it’s a conversation that the coaches have to have,” Williams said.

“We know these guys are coming back but the guys’ performance was good enough.

“It’s part of rugby league. Let’s face it, stupidity in what Willy did at the end of last season got him suspended. Both guys were very good over the weekend, we have to make sure we reward it but we’ll have the conversation.”

Partridge was mainly a winger last year but was tested in the centres, giving Williams some flexibility. But it’s not that easy to just parachute him back into the side.

“The more vision I saw from the weekend, the better off the guys who jumped into those spaces,” Williams said.

“Rhy Young and Woodhouse excelled at the back, Kenneth filled in the right edge well.

“A decision that will be difficult for us, hopefully everything will be clarified shortly.”

Williams has stayed with the same 17 who did the job in Mackay, with Denzel King again being the 18th man.

King could work his way into the lineup depending on if the Pride takes on Zane Knowles’ Tier 2 Attack for a crusher tackle. Knowles will miss two games with an early plea, three if the Pride denies the charge and loses.

Partridge, Frain, Whyatt Barnes (injury) and Dantoray Lui were all listed on an extended bench.

Barnes was unlucky to miss the opening game after suffering an AC joint injury in a trial against the Blackhawks.

The enduring Ivanhoes player needs to get through training this week to have a chance to play.


WILL Partridge is set to return for his first Hostplus Cup game of the season on Saturday, but Northern Pride coach Ty Williams will have to decide which unlucky boy has to make way.

The Pride back five excelled in their 16-12 win over the Cutters in Mackay, but the Capras clash could be missed if Partridge returns.

Partridge is primarily a winger but has spent part of the off-season and Trials at center while his shot on target makes him even more valuable.

His utility in the three-quarters positions will give Williams more options to serve the Norfolk Islander, but that doesn’t make the performance decision any easier.

“The back five was outstanding,” said Williams.

“You took the chance.

“Rhy and Woody did a very good job. I thought they handled it well.

“Bernard is a bit lacking in match fitness having not played any of the trials but he was good too.”

Wingers Daniel Woodhouse and Rhy Young made few mistakes on their debuts and Bernard Lewis produced his best numbers in a while.

Woodhouse ran for 149 yards from 16 carries, including 57 post-contact yards, two tackle busts, but he coughed up the footy four times.

Young ran 81 yards from 13 carries, including 22 post-contact yards, broke two tackles, made one mistake and spent 10 minutes in the Sin Trap for a professional foul (hold down).

Lewis ran 170 m from 14 runs (68 m after contact), broke a line and broke two tackles.

Julian Christian is safe at the back while Rashaun Denny is safe to hold his starting center after a strong club debut.

“It’s going to be tough, we have a lot to talk about,” Williams said.

Justin Frain will also return from his suspension while new signings Lewis Mene and Zac Vella could also be considered in what will be a tough duel.

Vella is a two-time Malta international who will fit into the core of the Pride.

Playing for the Western Suburbs Magpies in the Ron Massey Cup last season, he’s a hard-running, hard-hitting forward who’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves.

Vella traveled to Mackay with the Pride to bypass his new teammates, but it’s unclear if he will be included in the Hostplus Cup squad.

The Capras defeated the Blackhawks 30-22 and went 2-0 up early in the season.

A Dolphins feeder club, the Capras side boast NRL talent such as Anthony Milford, Jarrod Wallace and Oliver Gildart in a strong roster.

Originally released as Pride Back-Rower is on hiatus while players prepare for the action Northern Pride: Will Partridge return presents Ty Williams with a big decision

Chris Estrada

Chris Estrada is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chris Estrada joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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