Devils return for pre-season training

Norths’ 2020 campaign begins at Bishop Park tonight with a burst of pre-season training to welcome some familiar and new faces into the Devils’ fold.

The core group that delivered the Devils’ first Intrust Super Cup finals berth in seven years will return for a pre-season schedule that opens with all grades tonight, tomorrow and Friday.

This group will begin afresh, realising the progress of the last two seasons will not guarantee success when the 2020 season begins.

The Devils will welcome recruits Bryce Donovan and Tony Tomusa while popular forward Carne Doyle-Manga returns to Bishop Park after a season in the UK.

Quality prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown has taken up a pre-season contract with the New Zealand Warriors. His return to Bishop Park will be determined by his pre-season work in Auckland.

Donovan will boost the halves stocks following the departure of Bronco Troy Dargan, who signed with South Sydney.

Donovan captained Redcliffe in 2019 after figuring in the 2018 premiership victory, enhancing his reputation as a quality Intrust Super Cup player as the Dolphins recovered from a slow start to make the finals.

Tomusa played with Donovan at the Dolpins in 2018, showing his speed as an outside back before he signed with a French club.

“We’ve added some players in the off-season but there is a lot of continuity in the group which is a positive for us,” Devils coach Rohan Smith said.

“We’ve got a lot of existing relationships among the group and we have an understanding about each other so we can hit the ground running.

“But this is a new season that we’re preparing for. It will be different to last season so we’re looking forward to starting again.”

With the core of the senior squad intact from last season including 2019 skipper Jack Ahearn, the Devils are also looking forward to Norths junior Hiale Roycroft, Harry Freebairn and Jay Gallagher continuing their development at the club while Stedman Lefau returns to Bishop Park after missing part of last season.

“We’ll be training as a club across these first three days which is always an exciting time to watch the grades come together,” Smith said.

The Devils’ first pre-season matches are scheduled for February ahead of the start of the season in March. The draws for the new season are yet to be released.

 

 

 

Norths Devils POETS Lunch 2019

Join us at our newly renovated leagues club for our premier event of the year as we enjoy live entertainment from our special guests.

For booking call Norths Devils Leagues Club (07) 3266 9811 or email reception@northsdevils.com

The lunch will be hosted by racing legend Bart Sinclair and proceeds will help fund our schools and community well-being programs.

Enjoy an impressive seafood dining experience, along with a drinks package, in the comfort of our brand new function room. The lunch will also include lucky raffle prizes and auction items.

The perfect event to spoil your clients, your hardworking team, or yourself!

Tickets are $170 for individuals or $1,500 for a table of 10.

For booking call Norths Devils Leagues Club (07) 3266 9811 or email reception@northsdevils.com

Devils merch end of year sale

Devils merchandise is now on sale as our Colts head into the finals!

Don’t worry if you can’t find your size – we will have 2020 preseason gear available soon.

The following items are available on sale on our online store:

Norths Devils Supporter Tee

Now: $25.00 Was $30.00

Sizes available: 1 x 3XL, 1 x 4XL, 2 x 5XL

Shop here

Norths Devils Training Shirts

Now: $35.00 Was $50.00

Sizes available: XS, S, 3XL in dark blue. S, 3XL, 4XL in light blue

Shop here

Norths Devils Away Jersey


Now $75.00 Was $90.00

Sizes available: Small and Medium

Shop here

Norths Devils Hoodie

Now $55.00 was $75.00

Sizes available: Medium, 2XL, 3XL

Shop here

Norths Devils Training Shorts

Now $30.00 Was $40.00

Sizes available: Medium, 2XL, 3XL

Shop here

Devils end season with finals loss

The Norths Devils’ 87th season of senior football ended in a way that the superstitious would have feared – an elimination final loss to the Easts Tigers that hinged on two bouncing kicks.

The first kick sat up and ended in the hands of Marion Seve, who dashed 50m to drive Easts back to level scores in the 56th minute.

And the next was a dagger for the Devils – a fifth-tackle kick that the Tigers took in their own half and passed for a superb 70th minute try to Sam Lavea that would seal a 24-20 Intrust Super Cup win.

The Devils had two chances to respond but their season ended in the way that No.87 has been such an unlucky number for Australia’s cricketers.

With attacking options in centrefield and two minutes remaining, Devils half Sean O’Sullivan was wrongfooted and hurt his knee. He was carried off the field in the final and the Devils, without any replacements left, had to make their miracle plays with only 12 men.

The final efforts typified their improved 2019 season that featured the Devils’ first finals berth since 2012 – they continued to charge at the Tigers’ defence only to have a final-tackle option end over the sideline with seconds remaining.

The match had started well for the Devils with a 6th minute try to Nixon Putt and a 13th minute try to winger Herbie Farnworth pushing Norths to a 10-0 lead. Farnworth collected his 200th point for the season as Norths wen to halftime leading 18-12.

The Devils’ silent dressing room was broken after the match with coach Rohan Smith’s thanks to the players who pushed Norths through their best season in seven years but with the realisation that more is to come in 2020.

Most of the Devils will return but Smith paid tribute to Troy Dargan, who played his 41st and final match in a Norths jersey today before he takes up a two-year NRL contract with South Sydney.

The Devils had joy earlier in the day when the Hastings Deering Colts elimination final went to the home team 40-20 over Easts.

Norths will move into the second week of the finals with hope of defending the cherished Colts premiership from last season.

Norths Devils Top 5 Knock-Out Finals Wins

Number 5

The Devils had won five straight premierships and the rest of the competition was chasing us hard. In 1964, we finished third on the ladder and many judges thought our golden run was over. Redcliffe claimed fourth spot and were tipped to end our record run of premierships in the knockout match at Lang Park.. But one of our great players, centre Henry Hegarty, starred as we overcame Redcliffe 17-12. Hegarty had been battling injury but he was explosive with a try while also setting up a try for our great winger Fonda Metassa.

We were also well served by captain Jimmy Hannam, Les Geeves, Dinger Bell and our lock Elwyn Walters. We signed Elwyn from Tweed Heads and he would go on to play 12 Tests and win five Sydney premierships. Two weeks later, we won our sixth consecutive premiership. #UpTheDevils

Number 4

In 2012, the Devils reached the finals on points differential only, finishing in fifth place and only 19 points ahead of the Tigers on for-and-against. That left the Devils to travel to Ipswich to take on the fourth-placed Jets in front of a parochial home crowd.

The underdog Devils struck early as Jay Aston crossed for a try in the opening minutes. Another two tries pushed us ahead 16-0 after 24 minutes.
The Devils knew the Jets would fight back and they began to find their way and trailed by only two points with minutes remaining but the Devils dug deep as hooker Kurt Baptiste scored the try that broke Ipswich hearts as the Devils won 26-20.

Number 3

We go back to 2002 – It’s hard to believe that a Devils team that included Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater were outsiders for a knockout semi but we weren’t given much hope of beating the Bears at Burleigh.

Seven of our 17 players were eligible for the Colts competition. The Devils had only secured a finals place with a win in the last round of the season to get our win-loss record to 14-8. We jumped out to a handy 22-8 halftime lead at Burleigh as Smith, halfback Marc Brentnall and our captain Wade Fenton were among our best. And we continued to surge away in the second half with a win that put the competition on notice.

We came out the next week to eliminate the Tigers 18-16 at Langlands Park as Cronk was superb in a new role of fullback.

Number 2

In 1980 the Devils finished fourth after the regular-season, pitting them against Wayne Bennett’s Brothers team in a do-or-die clash at Lang Park. Devils coach Graham Lowe attracted attention when he promised before the game that the winner of the knockout semi would win the premiership, claiming that frontrunners Souths and Valleys didn’t “have the same razzle-dazzle” as the Devils.

Kiwi backrower Mark Graham was among the stars for the Devils as they scored six tries to defeat Brothers, beginning one of the most unlikely premiership runs in Brisbane’s rugby league history. Graham, Mark Murray, Ross Henrick, Neville Draper and electric fullback Joe Kilroy played well for the Devils in the win over Brothers.

Number 1

We go back to 1990 for a classic showdown between Norths and Easts at Lang Park.

The Devils reached the finals in fourth place, three points clear of fifth and rated the outsider of the finals series. But coach Tommy Raudonikis had his players primed for the finals series. First stop was the John Lang-coached Tigers, which had been unbeaten against the Devils in the regular season. This match was always tight. The Devils scored tries through fullback Pat Cleary and winger Brad Foster while goalkicking ace Guy Harvey added the extras to have the scores level at 14 with 30 minutes to go.

The Tigers hit the front with a field goal to Ken Jackson with 23 minutes remaining. But Raudonikis’ team was full of character and an attacking kick from Cleary bounced for the Devils in the in-goal area, leading to a try by Troy Evans – the father of Daly Cherry-Evans – in the 65th minute. Harvey, of course, converted the try. Easts took a penalty goal to close within 20-17 with 10 minutes remaining and both teams then battled out a stirring finish to the match.

The Devils emerged from that win to defeat Redcliffe in extra time in the preliminary final.

Dargan ready for finals return

Troy Dargan says it’s been an “honour” to wear the Norths jersey for two years as he prepares for his most important match with the Devils when the Intrust Super Cup finals begin tomorrow.

The Devils will host Easts Tigers in an elimination final at Bishop Park, where Dargan and his teammates enjoyed a special moment last month.

After the Devils’ toppled the Central Queensland Capras in their final home match of the regular season, they walked on to the hill to sing the team song with hundreds of former Norths players gathered for the annual Old Boys’ Day.

That moment reinforced to Dargan the pride in a Devils jersey that he will hand over at the end of the season after signing a two-year deal to join South Sydney’s NRL squad.

“I came to Brisbane from New South Wales so I didn’t have too much knowledge of the Norths Devils or the Queensland Cup but (coach Rohan Smith) and the coaching staff have driven a lot of the culture in the club,” Dargan said.

“It was awesome after that Capras game to mix and mingle with the Old Boys because you can tell what this club means to them. It’s been an honour to put on the Norths jersey.”
Dargan will play his 41st match for Norths tomorrow, fewer than Cooper Cronk when he was learning his trade at Bishop Park in the early 2000s.

Dargan has been in strong form and will tomorrow reunite in the halves with his Broncos colleague Sean O’Sullivan, who has featured in the last two NRL rounds.

Dargan and O’Sullivan have been part of the Devils’ 15-8 win-loss record in the regular season, cementing fifth place and leaving them in line to host the eighth-placed Tigers.

The Devils’ four-game winning streak through August was broken by a loss to Wynnum Manly at Kougari Oval last Sunday.

“We were disappointed with last weekend but sometimes losses can teach you a lot,” Dargan said.

“We had set ourselves up well for the finals with those four wins but this game against Easts is going to be very tough. Just look at their squad – there are some quality players there and we know that they are always difficult.”

Tomorrow marks Dargan’s return to finals football for the first time since he featured for Parramatta in the NRL’s former Under 20 competition.

The Eels qualified for the grand final in Dargan’s year although a broken arm in the finals series prevented him from playing in the decider.

“You play footy so that you can play in the finals and I have a lot of good memories from that time with Parramatta,” Dargan said.

“At Norths, a lot of new players came together last year and we’ve made it through to finals now in the second year and we can’t wait for it.

“We play so that we can play in finals so we’ll be giving it everything we have.”

Devils ready for finals charge

Norths coach Rohan Smith says the Devils are looking forward to playing a team above it on the ladder when their Intrust Super Cup regular season ends against Wynnum Manly at Kougari Oval this afternoon.

The Devils can’t change their position on the ladder today – they will finish fifth regardless of the outcome of the round 23 clash.

But the Seagulls need to win to finish second and secure a semi-final next weekend otherwise they will head to Burleigh to take on the Bears.

The Devils will go into the match on a four-game winning streak against Ipswich, Northern Pride, Mackay and Central Queensland Capras.

“There are no easy wins in this competition but we haven’t played a team above us on the ladder since Round 18 (six weeks ago),” Smith said.

“So this is a very good opportunity for us to prepare for the finals. Wynnum are always a difficult team to beat and their crowd is passionate and wants their team to win. It’s a very good chance for us.”

The Devils have a 15-7 win-loss record this season including victories over top-four teams Burleigh and Townsville. Wynnum Manly outlasted the Devils in a spirited Round 11 clash at Bishop Park when the Seagulls featured South Sydney centre James Roberts.

The Devils will go into the match without backrower Brendan Frei who hopes to recover from a hamstring strain in time for next weekend’s knockout final against Easts.

The Bishop Park match will mark the Devils’ first finals match since 2012.

The Devils’ Hastings Deering Colts team faces a similar opportunity today when they take on Wynnum Manly.

The Devils are locked into sixth place today regardless of the outcome of the clash with third-placed Wynnum Manly.

The Devils will look to build combinations as they head into their knockout final with Easts at Bishop Park next Sunday.