Jonathan Reuben shattered a tryscoring milestone as the Norths Devils again mixed sharp attack with tough defence in a 40-22 dismantling of Northern Pride at Bishop Park today.
Reuben’s 18th minute try was his 100th in the Intrust Super Cup in just his 98th game. The previous record for 100 tries was held by Nat Barnes who took 121 games to reach the mark.
Reuben has charged to his century in stints with Townsville, Sunshine Coast and now at Norths where the Devils have moved into top spot with a 10-1 win-loss record heading into next weekend’s bye.
He was always on track for 100 tries in a Devils team that has unleashed 30 tries in its last four matches for coach Rohan Smith.
Reuben cashed in on a perfect pass from fullback Kyle Van Klaveren to race away for a try that put the Devils ahead 10-6.
The Bishop Park crowd let out a huge roar for Reuben’s 100th. His sister Pel’e, girlfriend Rebecca Williams and the family of Reuben’s close friend Jack Ahearn were among those to applaud the try.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing with so many good players on the field with me from the Blackhawks and Falcons and now here,” Reuben said.
“It’s special to do it with the Devils and with Jack (Ahearn) here. We go a long way back and we’ve been through a bit together. I’ve really enjoyed being at the club and there’s still a lot of work for us to do so that’s the focus now.”
The Devils defence was also a feature today against a Pride team that came to Bishop Park in fifth place and with hopes of a win after almost toppling the Devils in the rain in Cairns in Round 5.
The Devils stole the game with four consecutive tries to end the first half, including one of two to forward Leivaha Pulu just two minutes before halftime to put Norths ahead 28-6.
The Devils lamented two tries to the Pride to close the game – an intercept and then a try in the final minute to narrow the margin.
The Pride showed their intent early when they responded to Dale Copley’s try in the third minute with Bernard Lewis’ try eight minutes later down the right-hand touchline.
This Pride team has made a habit of taking teams deep into game, including the Devils in their first clash two months ago, but the onslaught of four tries in 20 minutes to close the half made this a rare day when the Cairns team trailed by a wide margin.
The Devils led 40-10 with 16 minutes to go when hooker Danny Levi finished a superb try from the kick re-start. That passage of play showcased the attacking potential that has the Devils on top of the ladder – Wynnum are two points behind with a game in hand – past the halfway mark of the season.
The Devils travel to Townsville to meet the Blackhawks in Round 11 while the Pride return to Brisbane to meet Wynnum Manly.
NORTHS DEVILS 40 (Leivaha Pulu 2, Dale Copley, Jonathan Reuben, Bernard Gregorius, Ethan Bullemor, Tony Tumusa, Danny Levi tries, Connor Broadhurst 4 goals) bt NORTHERN PRIDE 22 (Bernard Lewis, Jayden Corrigan, Shawn Bowen, Joshua Stuckey tries, Tom Steadman 3 goals) at Bishop Park