Devils ready for finals charge

Norths coach Rohan Smith says the Devils are looking forward to playing a team above it on the ladder when their Intrust Super Cup regular season ends against Wynnum Manly at Kougari Oval this afternoon.

The Devils can’t change their position on the ladder today – they will finish fifth regardless of the outcome of the round 23 clash.

But the Seagulls need to win to finish second and secure a semi-final next weekend otherwise they will head to Burleigh to take on the Bears.

The Devils will go into the match on a four-game winning streak against Ipswich, Northern Pride, Mackay and Central Queensland Capras.

“There are no easy wins in this competition but we haven’t played a team above us on the ladder since Round 18 (six weeks ago),” Smith said.

“So this is a very good opportunity for us to prepare for the finals. Wynnum are always a difficult team to beat and their crowd is passionate and wants their team to win. It’s a very good chance for us.”

The Devils have a 15-7 win-loss record this season including victories over top-four teams Burleigh and Townsville. Wynnum Manly outlasted the Devils in a spirited Round 11 clash at Bishop Park when the Seagulls featured South Sydney centre James Roberts.

The Devils will go into the match without backrower Brendan Frei who hopes to recover from a hamstring strain in time for next weekend’s knockout final against Easts.

The Bishop Park match will mark the Devils’ first finals match since 2012.

The Devils’ Hastings Deering Colts team faces a similar opportunity today when they take on Wynnum Manly.

The Devils are locked into sixth place today regardless of the outcome of the clash with third-placed Wynnum Manly.

The Devils will look to build combinations as they head into their knockout final with Easts at Bishop Park next Sunday.

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