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Devils praise Bears after tough loss

Norths coach Rohan Smith praised the Burleigh Bears after the defending Intrust Super Cup champions brought the Devils’ unbeaten start to a halt with a 36-0 demolition at Bishop Park today.

The Bears scored twice in the opening eight minutes to set the tone for the Mothers’ Day clash.

A decision to send Devils hooker Danny Levi to the sin-bin in the 17th minute proved crucial as the Bears raced in three tries in 10 minutes including two to Sami Sauiluma, who starred on the Bears’ left edge. After 23 minutes, the former Canberra Raiders centre had three tries.

The Devils made few inroads into Bears’ territory in the opening half and a promising burst metres out from the line in the 35th minute led to an intercept try to Josh Berkers, pushing Burleigh to a 30-0 halftime lead.

That passage of play summed up a day in which the Devils lost their unbeaten record and playmakers Jack Ahearn and Bryce Donovan to injury.

“We saw today just how well Burleigh plays as a team – they were very good and they executed very well,” Devils coach Rohan Smith said.

“We saw in their last match (against PNG Hunters) how they really thrived when the match was turning against them and that’s the type of commitment that we have come to expect from them.

“They’re a very well-coached team and they deserved that win today.”
The Bears rallied against the Hunters in Round 5 despite having no replacements available in the second half. They continued that spirit today in perfect conditions for football.

The visitors took advantage of advantage of almost every opportunity in the first half, including fullback Kurtis Rowe cashing in on a penalty to score in the 27th minute.

The Devils were better in the second half and pressured the Burleigh line but the visitors’ line held tight, sentencing the Devils’ to their first scoreless outing since a heavy loss to Souths Logan almost 10 years ago to the day.

The only try in the second half came through Titans winger Greg Marzhew in the 68th minute.

The Devils will head to Emerald next Saturday night to meet the Capras while the Bears will host the Jets on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier today, the Devils celebrated a win in the Hastings Deering Colts clash, defeating the Bears 34-22.

The Devils led 34-12 before the Bears scored twice late, improving their season record to 2-2.

BURLEIGH BEARS 36 (Sami Sauiluma 3, Greg Marzhew 2, Josh Berkers, Kurtis Rowe tries, Josh Rogers four goals) d NORTHS DEVILS 0 at Bishop Park.

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