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Devils keeping things normal for national stage

Connor Broadhurst says the Norths Devils are keeping things normal this week despite the excitement of back-to-back Hostplus Cup premierships.

The Devils kept their celebrations in check from last weekend’s grand final victory to prepare for Sunday’s NRL State Championship against NSW Cup victors Penrith Panthers at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium.

Broadhurst has been there before with the Burleigh Bears for the 2016 State Championship. Hooker Kierran Moseley (Penrith, 2014) has also played in the match and the pair discussed their experiences with Devils teammates at training on Wednesday night.

“We just spoke about the need to keep things as normal as possible this week,” Broadhurst said.

“We have to prepare mentally and physically the same way we did last week.

“We’re going down there to represent our state, our club and ourselves so we want to play as well as we can.”

Broadhurst said Burleigh learned from its mistakes in 2016 when it suffered a heavy loss to the Illawarra Cutters in the State Championship decider.

“Burleigh went back there in 2019 and you could see how much better prepared they were and they almost won that match,” Broadhurst said.

“We had a good recovery session on Monday and then we trained well on Wednesday night. We’ve tried to stay focused this week just like we were preparing for any of our other games this season.

“If we can go down there and defend the way we did last weekend, then we’ll be in with a good chance.”
Broadhurst will return to the halves with Tyrone Roberts (back) not playing this weekend.

The shuffle from the centres is not a problem for Broadhurst, who wore the No.6 jersey when the Devils overcame minor premiers Burleigh in the first week of the finals.

The Devils will head to Sydney tomorrow morning and train at Leichhardt Oval tomorrow afternoon in their final run of a long season.

They will play the first of three matches on NRL grand final day, followed by the NRLW decider and then the NRL clash between Penrith and Parramatta.

“Everyone wants to play on the biggest day of the year so it’s a real experience to go there,” Broadhurst said.

“It’s an exciting weekend so we’re all looking forward to it and we’re looking forward to the chance of playing against a team of the quality of Penrith.”

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