A double act from one of the most famous names in local football powered the Norths Devils to a 34-26 win over Souths Logan Magpies in the Hostplus Cup Rivalry Round clash at Bishop Park today.
Glenn McGrady made his Cup debut on the left wing for the Devils. His brother Brayden played his 33rd Cup game on the right wing. They had plenty of family members in the crowd today.
The McGradys are nephews of former Bulldogs star Ewan McGrady and cousins of Tweed Seagulls captain Lindon McGrady.
They brought their proud history to Bishop Park today as the Devils delivered six tries in front of a strong school holiday crowd before the Magpies raced in two tries in the final four minutes to trim the margin.
The Devils go into the Easter bye weekend in third place with three wins from their first four matches. Coach Rohan Smith has fielded 23 different players in the opening month as the premiers build into the new season.
“It was good to get that win today before our home crowd and it’s been positive that we have been able to give some game time to different players,” Smith said.
“We are always trying to improve so we’ll come back from the weekend off and get ready for our next game.”
Brayden McGrady scored one of the Devils’ tries today, sprinting and barging over in the corner in the 26th minute.
That brought the score to 16-4 in favour of the Devils in a game featuring some missed opportunities for the home team.
The Devils had tries disallowed in the 37th and 45th minutes as the referee ruled the ball had been knocked from the players’ grasp over the tryline.
Brendan Frei crossed in the 57th minute – his third try from four matches this season – while grand final tryscorer Leivaha Pulu posted a double in his first home game for 2022.
Captain Jack Ahearn, with a 23rd minute try, was dangerous throughout the match as the Devils made inroads in the middle for their seventh win from their last eight home games.
This game featured a host of Brisbane Broncos squad members – Tyson Gamble and Rhys Kennedy for the Devils and Brenko Lee, Jordan Pereira, Ezra Mam, Ethan Quai-Ward and Logan Bayliss for the Magpies.
The Devils had the Magpies on the back foot from the start. The Devils regained the ball from Tyrone Roberts’ kick to start the game and Liam Horne crashed over beneath the posts in the first set.
Pereira scored a strong winger’s try for the Magpies 14 minutes later before the Devils cranked into gear when big men Kennedy and Sam Lavea handled well in a movement that sent Ahearn sprinting 40m for a trademark Devils try.
Three minutes later, Gamble’s perfect pass found Brayden McGrady charging down the right touchline as he withstood three defenders to score.
Gamble and McGrady went within centimetres of another try but the touch judge ruled McGrady had touched the sideline as he planted the ball.
After next weekend’s Easter bye, the Devils head to Ipswich to take on the Jets before travelling to Toowoomba to meet PNG Hunters.
NORTHS DEVILS 34 (Leivaha Pulu 2, Liam Horne, Jack Ahearn, Brayden McGrady, Brendan Frei tries, Tyrone Roberts 6 goals) bt SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 26 (Jordan Pereira, Benaiah Bowie, Brad Frith, Fe’ao Maka, Ezra Mam tries, Mam 2 goals, Harradyn Wilson goal) at Bishop Park.
Photo by Alan Drinnen