Norths coach Troy Bishop expressed pride in his young Devils after they fell 18-16 to Souths Logan Magpies in a gripping Mal Meninga Cup grand final at Bishop Park.
The Devils led 16-6 at halftime and could not capitalise on several attempts to claim the lead in the final minutes of the Under 18 clash. Tristan Powell was within inches of the tryline when the Magpies stopped him with three minutes remaining.
The Devils had been unbeaten throughout the season but knew they were in for a fight when Magpies fullback Fanitesi Niu scored in the 45th and 47th minutes.
“I’m proud of these young guys – they played hard throughout the season and we only just fell short today,” Bishop said.
“We gave it our all in those final minutes and we looked as though we may get the lead back. But congratulations to Souths Logan on their defence.
“Our players will learn a lot from today. Some of them will play in the Hastings Deering Colts season with Norths.”
The Devils speared to an early lead when centre Jack Paterson scored in the 11th minute. Five minutes later, the Magpies claimed the lead when energetic lock Cruise Ten crossed.
Tries to hooker Ethan Le Blanc and prop Jordan Riki before halftime drove the Devils to a 16-6 lead.
Souths Logan will represent Queensland in the national Under 18 final to be played next weekend at Dolphin Oval.