Connor Broadhurst showed a big Bishop Park crowd tonight why he was among the Norths Devils’ prized recruits for 2019 when his sharp work led to the try that finally sank a valiant Ipswich Jets.
With the scores tied at 12 with six minutes left, Broadhurst jinked and got outside his Ipswich defender, popping a slick pass for Paul Ulberg to score the try that gave the Devils a 16-12 Intrust Super Cup win.
Ulberg scored in front of a noisy crowd for the Devils’ Ladies’ Day, 16 minutes after Brendan Frei had crossed a few metres away to give the home team their first lead of the night.
In a high-quality game with plenty of physical clashes, Ipswich surged to a 10-0 lead after Marmin Barba (16th minute) and Mitch Carpenter (31st minute) crossed for tries after a glut of possession and field position.
The Devils came to life three minutes before the break when skipper Jack Ahearn, playing in the halves, sent a grubber kick to Ulberg who did well to gather and score.
Herbie Farnworth’s conversion made the halftime score 10-6 to Ipswich, setting up for a tense second half with two teams playing for plenty.
Broadhurst – the Queensland Residents centre – and Farnworth were among the Devils’ best in a key part of the second half when the home team began to take control.
Farnworth, who shared some fullback role tonight with the impressive David Fauid, made key metres for Norths as they wrestled back control of the game.
But the Jets find ways to stay in matches and they made the most of a penalty in the 67th minute to level the scores.
The Devils were pleased to grind out a win in a match that meant plenty to them before next weekend’s bye.
They improved their win-loss record to 12-7, cementing their fifth place and inching closer to the finals appearance that has eluded the Devils for six seasons.
The Jets remain in ninth place, outside of the top eight on points differential although Redcliffe have a game in hand on Ipswich.
NORTHS DEVILS 16 (Paul Ulberg 2, Brendan Frei tries, Herbie Farnworth 2 goals) d IPSWICH JETS 12 (Marmin Barba, Mitch Carpenter tries, Barba 2 goals) at Bishop Park.