Gamble ready for grand final dance with the Devils
Tyson Gamble is going for a clean sweep of Queensland’s most senior rugby league premierships on Saturday, but first he must return to his old home in enemy colours.
The cheers Gamble heard winning Colts and Brisbane Rugby League titles for Redcliffe will likely be replaced by boos when he wears the Norths Devils jersey into the Hostplus Cup decider against the Dolphins at Moreton Daily Stadium.
You get the feeling that won’t worry Gamble for a second.
He has established a reputation as one of the NRL’s most competitive players in 25 appearances for the Broncos and Wests Tigers.
Norths fans saw Gamble’s commitment to his new team last year when he unleashed one of the Devils’ plays of the season – a 75-metre sprint in the rain to run down a charging Jake Clifford for the Northern Pride. Clifford knocked the ball on in Gamble’s raid.
This will be Gamble’s farewell to Queensland football as he swaps his Broncos NRL contract for a stint with the Newcastle Knights next season.
“It’s going to be a bit weird because it’s the first time I’ve gone back to play at Redcliffe and I won’t be playing for the Dolphins,” Gamble said.
“But it’s always great to play against a team you’ve played for. It will be fun.”
Gamble has become popular with Devils fans in his seven appearances this season, following on from last year’s performances in Norths’ premiership season.
He delivered perhaps his best match for Norths in last Saturday’s preliminary final win over Sunshine Coast Falcons, playing a role in three of the four tries in front of a strong Bishop Park crowd.
His speed was on show in the opening try scored by Jack Ahearn and his attacking prowess in the last try when a 45-metre kick sat up like it was on remote control for flying winger Brayden McGrady.
It continued Gamble’s happy run at Bishop Park – he won a BRL grand final for Redcliffe at the ground in extra time.
“I’m just really grateful for the chance to finish off my time in Brisbane with a grand final with these guys at Norths,” Gamble said.
“I have loved coming back here to play for the Devils. These are a great bunch of blokes and they love playing footy together. I really enjoy being part of that.”
Gamble’s last appearance for Redcliffe was in the 2019 finals with a team featuring only one Dolphins player named for Saturday’s match.
He said he would not change his approach to the grand final even if the Redcliffe crowd reminds him that he used to be one of them.
“Nothing changes for me,” Gamble said.
“I won’t play well if I try to do things differently. I’ll just compete on every play.”
Gamble, 26, will head for Newcastle after the off-season.
“I’m getting out of my comfort zone again going to the Knights and that’s a good thing,” Gamble said.
“It’s a good opportunity to lock down a starting spot and to just enjoy a new challenge.”
Photo by Alan Drinnen
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