The pre-season is nearing an end for Norths Devils after a steady trial win over Sunshine Coast Falcons at Tewantin last night.
The 20-16 win featured encouraging signs for the Devils two weeks out from the start of their Intrust Super Cup campaign against Brisbane Tigers.
The Devils sped to a 16-0 lead before halftime with Brendan Frei (15th minute), Michael Molo (30th) and Jon Reuben (35th) scoring tries before a solid crowd at the Noosa Pirates home ground.
Reuben’s try was impressive, starting from a play-the-ball 40 metres out from the Devils’ line and continuing into a kick and regather by Reuben from 35 metres out from the Falcons’ line. That followed Reuben’s starring role in a long-range try against Redcliffe Dolphins in the previous week’s trial match.
But Reuben’s effort last night was rivalled by a 66th minute try to young Broncos forward Brendan Piakura, who sprinted to the right corner to pounce on a pinpoint kick from Harry Freebairn.
The try had started with Devils captain Jack Ahearn faking a fifth-tackle kick, instead finding Freebairn racing into a gap.
That pushed the Devils to a 20-10 lead but the Falcons kept fighting with tries in the 44th, 55th and 74th minutes to close within four points.
Norths coach Rohan Smith was able to spread game time across his squad of 20 players, providing valuable fitness before the start to the Intrust Super Cup.
Devils recruits Danny Levi and Leivaha Pulu had key passes in tries last night as Norths delivered a solid team performance, mixing slick ball movement with tough carries.
Norths included five players from their affiliation with the Broncos including Piakura and Tyson Gamble wearing the Devils jersey for the first time.
Earlier in the night, the Devils finished strongly to just fall to the Falcons 28-26 in the Hastings Deering Colts trial match.
The Colts’ season begins on 10 April. Their next trial match will be against Ipswich Jets at Bishop Park on 28 March.