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Devils show new faces in trial opener

Norths’ first hit-out since their premiership victory in October had a different feel to 2021 as four new faces crossed for tries in the opening trial match against Brisbane Tigers at Bishop Park.

Toby Westcott, Ben Te-Kura and the McGrady brothers Brayden and Glenn each scored in a 30-28 loss to the Tigers that featured more than 30 players in Devils jerseys across the four quarters.

Westcott’s try in the fifth minute put the Devils on the board early in a game that provided plenty of opportunities for players who will figure across Hostplus Cup, Brisbane Rugby League and Colts competitions this year.

Te-Kura, last year’s winner of the Devils’ Mal Meninga Cup Players’ Player award, crossed in the right corner in the 25th minute before Glenn McGrady finished off the try of the night.

In his first start for the Devils since a grand final victory for the Goondiwindi Boars, McGrady completed a 70-metre burst featuring Norths regulars Jack Miers and Bryce Donovan in the 33rd minute.

That gave Norths a 22-6 lead – Donovan had scored three minutes earlier – before the Tigers fought back.

Brayden McGrady brought the Devils within two points on the siren when he scored in the right corner to round out a productive night for both teams.

“It was a good opportunity to see new faces and to give some guys a chance to build on their pre-season efforts,” Devils coach Rohan Smith said.

Devils’ skipper Jack Ahearn and the likes of Connor Broadhurst, Ben Nakubuwai, Moses Noovao-McGreal, Jacob Gagan, Jerome Veve and Liam Horne made appearances among the large squad.

But other squad members including Michael Sio, Brendan Frei and Sam Lavea did not play as the Devils prepare for another two trial matches before the start of the season.

The Devils and Tigers also clashed in trial matches in the Harvey Norman Women’s Under 19s, Cyril Connell Challenge Under 16s, Mal Meninga Cup Under 18s and Hastings Deering Colts Under 21 divisions.

Redcliffe Dolphins visit Bishop Park this Saturday before the Devils head to Noosa to complete their trial matches against Sunshine Coast Falcons.

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