A burst of five tries in 17 minutes helped the Norths Devils to a win over Wynnum-Manly in the opening match of their pre-season campaign last night.
The 42-36 win marked the Devils’ first appearance at Bishop Park in 12 months – they hadn’t played a game on their home ground since a trial match against Redcliffe 364 days earlier.
Coach Rohan Smith called on more than 30 players for the trial, mixing together combinations in the first of three matches for the Devils before the Intrust Super Cup season begins on March 20.
“We wanted to give time to plenty of players last night and we were able to do that,” Smith said.
“It was our first trial so we were able to provide more time to our less experienced Intrust Super Cup players including some players who are new to Norths.
“Our players came through the game unscathed which is always positive at this time of the year.”
The Devils’ led 10-0 after 10 minutes through tries to Piki Rogers and Sam Fa’apito before the Seagulls fought back to lead 30-14 minutes into the second half.
The Devils then surged to a match-winning lead when Moses Noovao-McGreal (50th minute), Danny Levi (54th), Rogers (57th), Jack Ahearn (64th) and Harry Freebairn (67th) crossed for tries in the third and fourth quarters.
A strong pre-season crowd at Bishop Park was treated to four trial matches.
The Devils also won the Under 16, Under 18 and Colts trials as both clubs took the opportunity to use large squads in the humid conditions.
Players began adjusting to new rules including the six-again law that began in last season’s NRL competition and the return to one on-field referee.
The Devils will again play at home next Saturday when they host the Redcliffe Dolphins in Under 18, Colts and Cup matches. The Devils and Dolphins’ Under 16 teams will meet at Dolphin Oval.