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Red Rock Match Report: Devils dry out and prepare for Falcons

Norths Devils will put behind the latest chapter of the Hostplus Cup’s most bizarre statistic as they dry out and head into a bye weekend.

The Devils fell 28-16 to the Brisbane Tigers in the slush and rain at Bishop Park yesterday – it was the 15th consecutive game between the teams that the host has failed to win.

The last team to win at home was the Devils in 2012.

The teams last met in Round 1 in 2021 when a Norths team featuring eight new Devils including Reece Walsh and Danny Levi scored seven tries on a fast track in fine conditions.

It was anything but that yesterday as the endless rain in Brisbane presented challenging conditions similar to the Devils’ win over the Capras eight days earlier.

The Devils only played one match seriously impacted by rain in their 2021 premiership season when they prevailed 13-12 on a bleak night in Cairns. But wet weather has been the constant of a new season in which the Devils have a top-three position with a 6-2 win-loss record.

“The weather has been a challenge but it’s been the same for everyone so it’s never an excuse,” Devils co-captain Jack Ahearn said.

“We’re eight games into the season now and we know we have a lot of improvement in us. We’re always trying to get better and we know what we can do as a team when we play well.”

They will look forward to better conditions in two weeks when they meet the Sunshine Coast Falcons at home but they will do so without Kierran Moseley.

The popular hooker is recovering from a broken arm suffered in a tackle in the first minute of yesterday’s game.

Moseley left the field immediately and received treatment in hospital. The former Penrith and Titans hooker was in good spirits today but he will be absent while the injury heals.

Liam Horne moved into hooker in Moseley’s absence in a Devils pack featuring Broncos Ryan James, Rhys Kennedy and Brendan Piakura.

It was the first time since June last year that the Devils had fielded more than two Broncos in a match.  

They faced a Tigers team with four Melbourne Storm-contracted players and a determination to topple the premiers after a loss to fellow Storm affiliate Sunshine Coast seven days earlier.

The Devils got off to an early start with centre Jacob Gagan collecting a sharp Piakura pass and crashing over after only six minutes.

Gagan’s try was celebrated by his colleagues from Altus Traffic who attended as part of the Devils’ commemoration of National Road Safety Week. The Devils struck special one-off jerseys for the match.

The Tigers scored the first of their five tries 10 minutes later as they capitalised on Norths’ mistakes in the wet while the visitors protected the ball well when on the attack.

Earlier, the Devils observed a moment’s silence for former captain Bill Pearson, who recently passed away.
Pearson’s No.6 jersey was placed on a seat near the Devils’ bench as a sign of recognition of his feats at the club.

Pearson played in five consecutive Devils premiership teams – the first under captain-coach Clive Churchill in 1959 and the next four as captain.

The inspirational Pearson was regarded as one of the greatest Devils ever.

Family members travelled from his home in Bundaberg to attend the game.

BRISBANE TIGERS 28 (Haele Finau, Bessie Toomaga, William Samuel, Bernard Gregorius, Jayden Nikorima tries, Toomaga four goals) bt NORTHS DEVILS 16 (Brayden McGrady 2, Jacob Gagan tries, Tyrone Roberts 2 goals) at Bishop Park.

Photo by Alan Drinnen

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