Troy Dargan says it’s been an “honour” to wear the Norths jersey for two years as he prepares for his most important match with the Devils when the Intrust Super Cup finals begin tomorrow.
The Devils will host Easts Tigers in an elimination final at Bishop Park, where Dargan and his teammates enjoyed a special moment last month.
After the Devils’ toppled the Central Queensland Capras in their final home match of the regular season, they walked on to the hill to sing the team song with hundreds of former Norths players gathered for the annual Old Boys’ Day.
That moment reinforced to Dargan the pride in a Devils jersey that he will hand over at the end of the season after signing a two-year deal to join South Sydney’s NRL squad.
“I came to Brisbane from New South Wales so I didn’t have too much knowledge of the Norths Devils or the Queensland Cup but (coach Rohan Smith) and the coaching staff have driven a lot of the culture in the club,” Dargan said.
“It was awesome after that Capras game to mix and mingle with the Old Boys because you can tell what this club means to them. It’s been an honour to put on the Norths jersey.”
Dargan will play his 41st match for Norths tomorrow, fewer than Cooper Cronk when he was learning his trade at Bishop Park in the early 2000s.
Dargan has been in strong form and will tomorrow reunite in the halves with his Broncos colleague Sean O’Sullivan, who has featured in the last two NRL rounds.
Dargan and O’Sullivan have been part of the Devils’ 15-8 win-loss record in the regular season, cementing fifth place and leaving them in line to host the eighth-placed Tigers.
The Devils’ four-game winning streak through August was broken by a loss to Wynnum Manly at Kougari Oval last Sunday.
“We were disappointed with last weekend but sometimes losses can teach you a lot,” Dargan said.
“We had set ourselves up well for the finals with those four wins but this game against Easts is going to be very tough. Just look at their squad – there are some quality players there and we know that they are always difficult.”
Tomorrow marks Dargan’s return to finals football for the first time since he featured for Parramatta in the NRL’s former Under 20 competition.
The Eels qualified for the grand final in Dargan’s year although a broken arm in the finals series prevented him from playing in the decider.
“You play footy so that you can play in the finals and I have a lot of good memories from that time with Parramatta,” Dargan said.
“At Norths, a lot of new players came together last year and we’ve made it through to finals now in the second year and we can’t wait for it.
“We play so that we can play in finals so we’ll be giving it everything we have.”