Norths Devils are the Intrust Super Cup champions for 2021 after a thrilling 16-10 grand final win over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium.
Homegrown prop Michael Molo scored the matchwinner in the 74th minute with a try that typified the attack that has propelled the Devils back to the top.
And then followed five minutes of the Norths defensive steel that has been underrated all season.
Wynnum’s final attacking chance was extinguished in the last minute and the Devils fans began to celebrate the club’s first premiership since 1998.
Molo’s try was the difference after scores were tied at 10-all when the Seagulls scored in the left corner with 13 minutes remaining.
Connor Broadhurst kicked to the right touchline for Jon Reuben to catch, spin and pass to Piki Rogers. He made a short pass to Jacob Gagan who again passed to Reuben, who passed to Broadhurst whose short kick found man-of-the-match Molo for a stunning try.
This was the Devils’ 14th premiership since the club was founded in 1933.
And it was built on a four-year journey under coach Rohan Smith, who was the mastermind of a premiership that will live long in the memory of Devils fans.
Captain Jack Ahearn and forward leader Michael Sio were the first two players that Smith signed and they were outstanding for the Devils today.
The Devils built a 10-0 lead in the first half when finals try specialist Leivaha Pulu (8th minute) and Tyrone Roberts (32nd minute) crossed.
But just as the Devils looked to be in control, Wynnum’s Broncos fullback Selwyn Cobbo crossed in the final minutes before halftime for a 10-6 margin.
Then followed an epic second half which was scoreless until Wynnum’s try in the left.
The Devils were well served across the park. Molo won the Duncan Hall Medal while he was surrounded by teammates who were superb.
And this was a team full of players who signed Devils contracts this season.
The Devils value their affiliate relationship with the Broncos but the challenges of Covid this year meant that only forward Brendan Piakura was eligible to play in finals but he was injured last week.
Hooker Danny Levi is also a Broncos-contracted player but he was picked up by the NRL club after signing a Devils contract last summer.
Smith’s squad stormed through the regular season, winning the minor premiership by three wins before taking all three finals.
The Devils finished the season with a stellar 18-2 win-loss record, including a loss in the final match of the regular season when seven players were rested for the finals.
NORTHS DEVILS 16 (Leivaha Pulu, Tyrone Roberts, Michael Molo tries, Roberts goal, Connor Broadhurst goal) bt WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 10 (Selwyn Cobbo, David Mead tries, Jack Campagnolo goal) at Moreton Daily Stadium.