The Devils will carry memories of two Norths legends into tomorrow night’s top-of-the-table Intrust Super Cup clash with Townsville Blackhawks at Bishop Park.
The match will begin after a moment’s silence in honour of Bob Duncan and Tommy Raudonikis who passed away this week.
Duncan was Devil #362 – a high-quality backrower who was a crucial part of the Devils’ 1966 premiership squad. Duncan represented Queensland nine times and his son Andrew (Devil #902) also played for Norths.
Raudonikis has been lauded across Australian sport for his remarkable career which included a stint as Norths coach, driving the unfancied Devils within a whisker of the premiership during an unforgettable 1990 season.
“We’ll be remembering Bob and Tommy because we know that we follow on from blokes like these who helped to build the Devils into the club it’s been for so many years,” Norths captain Jack Ahearn said.
“We also lost Billy Champion earlier this year so it’s been a time that we’ve been aware of the history of the club and the contributions of so many people.”
The Devils observed a moment’s silence for Champion before their last match – a round two showdown with rivals Redcliffe.
Champion, a life member and a part of the Devils for 70 years, would have been proud of the way Norths bounced to an early lead against the Dolphins and then weathered a comeback to stay unbeaten after two rounds.
The Blackhawks also won their opening two matches against Ipswich and Brisbane Tigers, setting up a much-anticipated clash with the Devils.
Both teams will bring their NRL-affiliated players into this match after COVID restrictions prevented them from playing in the second round.
That has meant changes to both winning teams as Intrust Super Cup teams continue to adjust to the changed circumstances from COVID.
“These changes create opportunities for our squad and that was a positive point from our match against Redcliffe,” Devils coach Rohan Smith said.
“Every weekend presents a new challenge and this will be no different but it’s good to be playing footy again after last weekend’s Easter break.”
The Devils will feature four home games tomorrow from Cyril Connell Challenge (Under 16), Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup (Under 18), Hasting Deering Colts (Under 21) followed by the 5.30pm kick-off of the Intrust Super Cup.