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Devils set for another Dolphins showdown

The Devils and Dolphins are back at it tomorrow in a grand final rematch of two teams that have changed since the 2022 Hostplus Cup was decided.

Both teams have new coaches, they have swapped players and they have brought in a bunch of new faces for tomorrow’s Bishop Park showdown.

Norths have named seven players from the 17 who took down Redcliffe 16-10 last September to snatch the Devils’ second consecutive premiership.

They have added Dolphins grand final players Bryce Donovan and Sam Elliott while Brayden McGrady, who scored the match-sealing try for Norths, will be in a Redcliffe jersey.

Devils coach Dave Elliott was with Mackay Cutters last year while Redcliffe coach Ben Te’o has graduated from the club’s Colts team.

But this is still the Devils versus the Dolphins and Norths centre Connor Broadhurst knows the fans will again lap up a rivalry that now spans 63 years. The game will again be played for the Kav Cup in memory of former Devils and Dolphins player and coach Steve Kavanagh.

“There’s always something there for the supporters when the Devils and Dolphins play because it’s that battle of the northside and there’s a lot of history there,” Broadhurst said.

“There are new players and new coaches so a fair bit has changed since last year.

“But we know what to expect. It seems we play the Dolphins in the first few rounds of the competition every year and they’re always close games. They’re a good team and they will be hard to beat.”

The Dolphins will play their first full match of the season after their clash with Brisbane Tigers last week was rained out after a few minutes in torrential conditions at Redcliffe. The teams split the points.

The Devils opened their season with a 30-24 loss to Burleigh. The premiers set themselves a task with mistakes as the Bears led by 18 points.

The Devils clicked into gear late in the match and the same 17 players have been named for tomorrow’s match.

“We’re still developing our combinations so we know we’ve got a long way to go this season but tomorrow’s game is another chance for us to make progress.”

Broadhurst has played at five-eighth for the Devils at times, including in the 2021 grand final, but he’ll again be in the centres tomorrow as Donovan and Broncos-contracted Jock Madden play in the halves.

The Devils have won three of the last four games against the Dolphins. In Round 2 last year, the Dolphins scored 13 points in the last 13 minutes to topple the premiers 13-12.

The teams also played at this ground in Round 2 in 2021 when the Devils sprinted away early, holding off the Dolphins 26-24.

“They’re typical of the close games that we seem to have,” Broadhurst said.

“We always look forward to these games.”

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