Category: News

Son of a gun ready for Devils debut

Kobe Hetherington’s rugby league journey reaches a milestone tomorrow night, following in the footsteps of a father who was “as tough as a two-dollar steak”.

Jason Hetherington started his career in the halves before going on to play hooker in an NRL grand final win and later for Queensland and Australia.

Kobe was too young to remember much of his father’s career but he’s seen enough video footage of the hard nut from the Banana shire who became a league topliner.

“I don’t remember much about him playing but I’ve seen him play. He was tough. As tough as a two-dollar steak,” Kobe said with a wit almost as dry as his father’s renowned sense of humour.

Kobe makes his Intrust Super Cup debut for Norths Devils tomorrow night when they host the Central Queensland Capras at Bishop Park.

He’ll start in the halves and he’ll run out with centre Connor Broadhurst – another player from Baralaba.

Hetherington played his first game for the Baralaba Panthers before he and twin brother Zac began their paths to senior football, earning recognition as part of The Cathedral College’s Confraternity Carnival team.

Zac made his NSW Cup debut this year for the Canterbury Bulldogs – father Jason’s premiership club.

Kobe has made his path to senior footy through the Devils’ Under 20 system, leading the club to a memorable premiership win last September as starting hooker.

He opened this year in Colts and played for the Queensland Under 20s before being moved into the senior ranks with Valleys in the Brisbane Rugby League competition ahead of tomorrow’s Cup debut.

Norths coach Rohan Smith said Hetherington’s form and persistence had secured his place as Devil No.1290 in front of a crowd that will be stacked with former Devils on the club’s Old Boys Day.

Hetherington was told of his selection at training on Monday night, a few hours after he knocked off another shift as a third-year carpentry apprentice.

“I’ve really enjoyed being at Norths – the Colts premiership last year is a really good memory,” Hetherington said.

“I started the year in Colts but moved into the BRL which has been a great experience and has got me well prepared to play Cup.

“Making the Cup team has been one of my goals since the start of the year so I’m looking forward to it.”

Jason and his wife Kym will be in Brisbane this weekend but only one of them will be at Bishop Park.

Kym which watch Kobe play while Jason sneaks across to Ipswich to join in the Jets’ Old Boys Day.

“Dad has some great footy memories so he’ll be out at the Jets but I know he’ll be keen to hear how things go for Norths. I gave him a call on Monday night (after learning of his Cup selection).”

New Devil Kobe ready for Old Boys’ Day

Norths will welcome a new name to their famous list of first-grade players on Saturday night as hundreds of former Devils gather at Bishop Park.

Kobe Hetherington will become Devil No. 1290 when he makes his Intrust Super Cup debut at five-eighth in the clash with Central Queensland Capras.

He will be watched on by many who went before him as the annual Norths’ Old Boys function is held to coincide with the Devils’ last home game before the finals.

Hetherington, the son of former Queensland State of Origin hooker Jason, has made his way through the Devils’ Under 20 system and into a team that is making steady progress towards the club’s first finals appearance since 2012.

He will move into a halves role vacated by Sean O’Sullivan, who has been recalled to the Broncos’ NRL team after strong appearances for the Devils in their comfortable away wins over Northern Pride and Mackay Cutters in the last two weeks.

Hetherington will feature in the halves with the experienced Troy Dargan, whose strong form for the Devils has been rewarded with a two-year deal with South Sydney from 2020.

Dargan was among the Devils who stoked a combined 94 points in the last two matches. But the defence has also been building towards the finals with seven tries conceded across the last three games.

Four of those tries came in the final 10 minutes of those matches, providing the Devils with room to improve as the finals loom.

“There’s a lot of pride for our players in how we defend and we’ve done that well in our last few games,” coach Rohan Smith said.

“We’re looking forward to playing at home this week, particularly with so many former players who will be at the game and who have worn the jersey across many years.

“Our players know it’s their time in the jersey now and the next generation will come along after them. We’re all part of a long journey at this club that goes back many years.”

Hetherington will become the 13th new Devil in 2019 and the 35th new player since Smith was appointed for the 2018 season, rebuilding a club that has missed the last six finals series.

 

 

 

 

Skipper hits 100 and signs for 2020

Jack Ahearn will be a Devil for another year yet.

The Norths captain has signed for the 2020 season, ensuring he will add to an Intrust Super Cup milestone that he will reach in Mackay tonight.

Ahearn will play his 100th ISC match when the Devils take on the Cutters at BB Print Stadium.

It’s a milestone that means something to a Canberra boy who has now acclimatised to Queensland.

“It’s been a bit cold the last month, hasn’t it?” Ahearn said with a grin this week.

It’s been a good winter for the Devils, who have sealed their first finals berth since 2012 with a 13-7 win-loss record.

Ahearn has been central to the Devils’ success but he admits he almost didn’t come to Bishop Park.

In late 2017, the Devils had signed new coach Rohan Smith, who had coached against Ahearn during his days in the NRL Under 20 and NSW Cup competitions.

Smith wanted Ahearn to be part of his rebuilt Devils team but Ahearn expected to stay at Redcliffe. It took a meeting at the Bracken Ridge Tavern to convince Ahearn to move to Bishop Park.

“We met at the pub but we both had a water and Ro told me about what he wanted to do at Norths. I liked the sound of it,” Ahearn said.

“I’m really pleased that I did it. I’ve really enjoyed playing at Norths and that’s why I wanted to re-sign for next year.”

Ahearn has not missed a game since he joined the Devils. Ahearn and forward Jamayne Taunoa-Brown have played each of the 43 games under Smith.

Ahearn was appointed captain this season, following the likes of Clive Churchill, Cameron Smith and Mark Murray as Devils skippers.

It was a long way from Ahearn’s first taste of Intrust Super Cup when he played for Souths Logan as part of the Canberra Raiders’ feeder system. His teammates at the Magpies included Jordan Rapana, Kurt Baptiste and Mitch Cronin.

Ahearn remains a humble player who leads through his actions and seeks advice through a wider leadership group at the Devils.

Away from football, Ahearn remains engaged in his work as a chaplain at Clontarf Beach State High School. He is one of several Devils involved in youth work including Oshae Tuiasau, Brandon Lee, Jordan Mago and Calum Gahan.

A win in Ahearn’s 100th match tonight depends on how the Devils handle back-to-back northern trips. They were impressive in a 62-14 demolition of the Northern Pride in Cairns last week but a disappointing trip to Mackay in last year’s penultimate round has the Devils on notice.

“They’re always a tough team to beat, especially in Mackay, so we know that we have to come to play tonight. It’s not going to be easy,” Ahearn said.

Norths Devils Under17s and Under19s Trials

This September the Norths Devils will be hosting trial days for current Under 17 and Under 19 players. These trials are recruiting for our 2020 Under18 MMC and Under20 HDC teams.

Application close Monday 9th September 2019.

Trial evening will be the week of the 24th September 2019 – TBC.

You can apply to be a part of the trials using the links below. This is for players in the Northern Brisbane area. If you are not in the area but are interested in trialing, please email us at football@northsdevils.com

Under17s Application Link

Under20s Application Link