A try that featured five Norths players across 55 metres ignited the Devils’ crucial 17-10 Hostplus Cup win over the third-placed CQ Capras in Rockhampton today.
Connor Broadhurst’s dummy-half dart, five metres short of halfway in the 23rd minute, led to two offloads, a burst from Liam Horne, a cut-out pass from forwards leader Michael Sio, a kick and finally a grab from winger Jayden Corrigan for a slick try in the corner.
It was the type of attack that fuelled the Devils’ 2021 premiership season and it lifted Norths to fifth on the ladder – one point behind third place – with two matches until the finals.
“We’re trying to build at the moment so it was pleasing to get that result today against a good team,” Devils co-captain Jack Ahearn said.
“It’s never an easy place to play and we were focused on playing well in our last away game before the finals.”
Today’s match ended the Devils’ stint of four away games, finishing with two consecutive wins, before a return to Bishop Park to close the regular season.
The visitors gained a handy break today when Ahearn’s 56th minute try established a 16-10 lead.
Ahearn played the ball and then took a pass from dummy-half Kierran Moseley, throwing two dummies before planting the ball over the line.
Ahearn slotted a one-point field goal 20 minutes later to close the door on a brave Capras team that fought hard with a limited bench due to injury.
It was the Devils’ 19th consecutive win over the Capras – the streak stretches 11 years – and the second time this season they finished with 17 points against the much-improved team after May’s 17-12 home victory.
Devils co-coaches Kevin Neighbour and Ben King named a new-look team today with Broncos-contracted Tyson Gamble and Tyrone Roberts returning to the halves. Ahearn moved to fullback and Broadhurst returned to the centres on the ground where he once played for the Capras
The Devils also fielded Broncos-contracted forwards Xavier Willison and Brendan Piakura while the starting front row of Jayden Stephens, Horne and Sam Lavea helped to keep the visitors rolling.
The return from injury of Moseley and Viko Puliuvea has provided King and Neighbour with options in the forward pack which features premiership forwards Sio and Leivaha Pulu.
Another premiership player in Matthew Milson was injected off the bench today, assisting when Gamble left the field as a precaution after his return from injury.
Corrigan has four tries from his last two matches. He opened the Devils’ scoring in the 20th minute before his second try three minutes later. Tony Tumusa started on the left wing with Jacob Gagan in his usual role in the centres.
Norths will be cheered on by former players next Saturday night when the annual Old Boys Day brings retired Devils Trevor Gillmeister and others back to Bishop Park.
Earlier today, the Devils’ Hastings Deering Colts team showed more bright moments but they were unable to hold back the finals-bound Capras, who won 44-22.
The Devils Colts are two wins adrift of eighth place with two matches until finals.
NORTHS DEVILS 17 (Jayden Corrigan 2, Jack Ahearn tries, Connor Broadhurst 2 goals, Ahearn 1 point field goal) bt CQ CAPRAS 10 (Tyler Szepanowski, Lachlan Hubner tries, Trey Browne goal) at Browne Park.