An old friend returned to break Norths’ hearts today as Souths Logan Magpies delivered an Intrust Super Cup upset at Bishop Park.
Sam Tagataese played five seasons for the Devils, scoring 26 tries in a popular stint for the international forward at Nundah.
Wearing the black and white of the Magpies today, Tagataese was instrumental as the visitors recovered from a 0-16 deficit after 13 minutes to surge to a 29-22 win.
Winger Matt Soper-Lawler was excellent with four tries including an 80th minute try after Magpies five-eighth Guy Hamilton had delivered a dagger of a field goal two minutes earlier.
Tagataese and his forward teammates laid the platform for the Magpies, who worked through the Devils’ middle during some key downfield bursts.
He scored shortly before halftime to edge the Magpies back within six points of the Devils at the break. They claimed the front as they reeled off four consecutive tries to lead 20-16.
But the Devils, bouncing back from last weekend’s successful trip to Papua New Guinea, showed their class to regain the lead in the 64th minute.
Skipper Jack Ahearn scored a valuable try for the Devils and it seemed the 22-20 lead and the momentum it created would be enough to keep Norths within touching distance of the top four.
They had started with a rush of points as Luke Pollock, Moses Noovao-McGreal and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown scored early tries. The Devils looked in fine touch and set for their 12th win of the season.
But the Magpies fought back, pouncing on a lost ball close to the Devils line late in the match. They soon gained a penalty that Hamilton converted in the 76th minute to tie the scores.
Tagataese again featured in the drive downfield that led to the field goal that would give the Magpies only their fourth win in a disappointing season.
The Devils will travel to Nanango next week to take on the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Country Week while the Magpies will take on the in-form Redcliffe Dolphins at Pittsworth.
Picture: Luke Pollock scores an early try. (Photo by QRL Media)
In the end, Zach Strasser found his way to the Norths Devils – the club where the Strasser name first became known in Brisbane’s rugby league circles.
It took Zach a long time to get to Bishop Park. He started at Holy Spirit, Bray Park, in the Under 6s before moving to Brothers, Albany Creek, Redcliffe and the Broncos around his school days at Wavell State High School.
Strasser played more than 80 Intrust Super Cup matches for the Dolphins before moving to Brisbane’s northside and opting last year to play closer to home with the Devils and then new coach Rohan Smith.
Strasser, 26, joined his cousins Jake and Joel, who feature in the Devils’ Under 20 and Under 18 teams, while his father Ziggy proudly watches from the Bishop Park Hill.
Ziggy broke into Brisbane football as a centre for the Devils before moving to Valleys where, as a backrower, he was part of the Diehards team that broke Norths’ hearts in the 17-16 grand final result in 1990.
The Devils’ faithful who watch the games with Ziggy are glad to see the Strasser name back at Nundah.
Zach will tomorrow play his 101st ISC match when the Devils host Souths Logan Magpies after reaching a milestone in last Sunday’s spirited win over the PNG Hunters in Port Moresby.
“I’ve really enjoyed it here and it’s been good to be at the club where dad first started,” Strasser said.
“I was going to have last year off just to have a break from the game but then I decided to come to Norths and have a look and I’m glad I did.
“This is a really tight-knit club – it really is a one-club feel across the grades – and it’s been good to play with some good mates and to keep developing my football.”
Strasser mixes his work as an electrician with his training schedule. He admits to not being a gym junkie but his pure footballing smarts in the halves have enabled him to carve out an excellent career against players with more size.
He has rejoined Redcliffe teammates Jack Ahearn and Brandon Lee at the Devils while also teaming up with Connor Broadhurst. All four of those players featured in the 2016 grand final when Broadhurst’s Burleigh Bears claimed the premiership.
Strasser’s versatility in the backline has been valuable for coach Smith, who has used several halves combinations this season through minor injuries and call-ups to the NRL.
Strasser was too young to remember his father’s career but he knows he won’t be following him into the backrow.
“Looking at it, 100 games is a lot of games but it’s taken me a long time to get there,” Strasser said.
“I’m not focusing on playing NRL anymore – that’s something I left behind after I finished with the Broncos – so I’m just focusing on enjoying my footy again. I’m really in it to play with my mates.
“But I’d love to win a grand final. We got close a few years ago and it’s something I’d like to do.”
This week the Devils take on Souths Logan at Bishop Park on Sunday at 3PM. The HDC U20s will kick off at 11:30am with the BRL match between Valleys and Souths kicking off at 1:15PM.
Intrust Super Cup Team List
Hastings Deering Colts Team List
In the Intrust Super Cup Indigenous Round the mighty Norths Devils will take on the Souths Logan Magpies at Bishop Park. Don’t miss all the action Sunday July 14 at 3PM!
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The Norths Devils have revealed their first ever Indigenous Jersey to be worn in the Intrust Super Cup Indigenous Round match against Souths Logan at Bishop Park on Sunday 14th July.Continue reading “Norths Devils Indigenous Jersey Revealed”
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