A lunge from Ali Brigginshaw ignited Norths BMD Premiership campaign as the Devils took confidence from an opening 28-14 loss to Burleigh Bears at Bishop Park last night.
Brigginshaw brought up the first try for the Devils in a women’s statewide competition when she pressed down a kick from Hayley Maddick that bobbled and bounced away from the visitors’ defence in the 11th minute.
The Devils scored again 13 minutes later when captain Jade Ferguson timed a perfect pass for Georgina Tuitaalili to cross.
The lively start excited the home crowd as the Devils traded blows with the 2021 champions on an historic afternoon for the club in its 90th anniversary season.
But Burleigh kicked into gear with three unanswered tries before the left-foot step of Jillaroos back Shenae Ciesiolka split the Bears for the final try of the match.
“We didn’t get the result that we wanted but we were up against a very good team in Burleigh and we knew they would be tough to beat,” Devils coach Zac Wallwork said.
“We wanted to continue building our combinations and developing into our first season.
“We had some really positive moments out there and some areas we’ll learn a lot from.”
Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells presented the match ball to Ferguson and Burleigh captain Zahara Temara during a brief ceremony to mark the Devils’ entry to the BMD Premiership.
The game began in light rain and testing humidity that made handling a challenge.
Burleigh posted the first points with a cut-out pass that found Felice Quinlan for a try before the Devils opened the scoring four minutes later.
The Devils were well-served across the board with hooker Therese Aiton giving early spark to a forward pack bolstered by Brigginshaw at lock and the likes of Annette Brander and Fiona Jahnke from the interchange bench.
Ferguson, Maddick and Ciesiolka were among the backs who continually looked for gaps through the Burleigh defence.
The Devils will hit the road for the next three rounds with away matches against the Tigers, Wynnum Manly and Souths Logan. The team returns to Bishop Park for the Round 5 clash with the Capras on 15 April.
In other first round matches yesterday, new team Mackay Cutters defeated Wynnum Manly 30-8, Souths Logan toppled the Tigers 24-12 and the Capras won 22-4 at home against Tweed.