The Devils have set their sights on old rivals Easts Tigers this weekend as they attempt to hold their place in a traffic jam of teams atop the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
The Devils will visit Easts on Saturday afternoon, hoping to atone for a 30-16 stumble to the Blackhawks in a tough clash in Townsville on Sunday.
The loss bumped the Devils from a share of top spot into fourth on the ladder, with two of the three spots above taken by teams that Norths have beaten this year.
“It’s a reminder of how close this competition is,” Norths coach Rohan Smith said.
“It’s a high-quality league and there isn’t much between teams – which happens in every good competition.
“We learned some more about ourselves in that game in Townsville and we’ll spend this week getting ready for Easts.”
The Norths-Easts rivalry is not the strongest in Brisbane’s rugby league history. But when teams have been playing for so many decades, there are memorable moments.
For Norths, they include a gripping 20-17 triumph in the 1990 knockout semi-final when coach Tommy Raudonikis stirred his unfancied Devils into a clinical win over the Tigers. Two weeks later, the Devils played their first grand final for a decade.
There are similarities this season as the Devils plot their way back towards finals football after a long break. But bookmakers still think Norths’ 5-2 win-loss record won’t last, assessing them as unlikely to make the finals.
“We’ve got a long way to go and we still have to keep developing our combinations,” Smith said.
“The trip to Townsville was never going to be easy but we kept fighting when the margin could have turned against us. The Blackhawks didn’t score for the last half-hour and that was due to the pride our guys had in their performances.”