Teenage winger Herbie Farnworth scored three tries as Norths Devils ended their Mackay hoodoo with a 42-18 Intrust Super Cup victory at Bishop Park tonight.
Farnworth sealed the match with an individual try in the 73rd minute, sprinting 40m from dummy half. With five conversions tonight, he lifted his season tally to 78 points and showed why the Brisbane Broncos were keen to wrest the young Englishman from the clutches of soccer giants including Manchester United.
The Devils ended a three-match losing streak against the Cutters, whose twin wins in 2018 impacted on Norths’ chances to end their finals drought.
But the Devils were impressive tonight, blasting into action when second-rower Nixon Putt crossed from the opening set of the match after Queensland Residents centre Connor Broadhurst busted the line.
When Broncos half Sean O’Sullivan dummied and scored six minutes later, the Devils were away.
O’Sullivan was active again close to halftime when he clasped an intercept, surging down the right-hand side where he found Farnworth’s speed to create a 22-6 scoreline.
Three tries in five minutes in the second half pushed the Devils to 38-6 but Mackay kept fighting and grabbed tries in the 64th and 68th minutes. The fightback was expected given the reputation that the Cutters have established for being a difficult team to break down.
The win pushed the Devils to a 7-3 win-loss record, setting up an exciting clash with Wynnum Seagulls at Bishop Park next Sunday.
There was plenty for Devils fans to like tonight, including two tries for Putt who continues to impress his new supporters at Nundah. Captain Jack Ahearn was also rewarded for his energy with a 58th minute try.
Farnworth racked up the points to continue the impressive start to his young career. He made an immediate impression for the Devils as an 18-year-old in round 1 last year but he suffered a broken hand in his debut.
He returned almost two months later, scoring an excellent try against Easts but he broke the same hand in the act of scoring.
Tonight’s team tally of 42 points equalled the highest for Norths since coach Rohan Smith took over at the start of last season. The Devils had defeated Souths Logan 42-16 in round three as their 2019 season began to take shape.
It was an important result for Norths tonight, rebounding from a loss to Tweed Heads Seagulls before the representative break.
Norths welcomed Pride Petterson-Robati as Devil No.1288, making his debut from the interchange bench.
Earlier today, Mackay Cutters fought back late in the Hastings Deering Colts match to defeat the Devils 20-19.
NORTHS DEVILS 42 (Herbie Farnworth 3, Nixon Putt 2, Sean O’Sullivan, Paul Ulberg, Jack Ahearn tries, Farnworth 5 goals) d MACKAY CUTTERS 18 (Carlin Anderson, Brenden Treston, Jayden Hodges tries, Anderson 3 goals) at Bishop Park.