THE Norths Devils rode their luck as they broke a two-game losing streak with their 18-14 win over the Easts Tigers at Langlands Park yesterday.
While they had the bounce of the ball go their way; at the end of the day, it was the strong defence from Norths that won them the game – as the Tigers did their best to avoid a two-game losing streak of their own.
Easts scored the first try of the afternoon after fullback Eddie Tautali benefited from a Donald Malone break – who although playing in the unfamiliar position of wing, was able to cause concern for defenders.
However, Norths were the next to score when skipper Brendon Gibb crossed after benefiting from a Krys Freeman bust – with the Devils hooker earning the XXXX man of the match award for his hard work on the field.
Norths went close again when winger Kainga Turner went over – but the referee ruled he lost the ball over the line.
Easts however were the next team to score when half Cody Walker bagged another four-pointer for his already impressive tally this season when the Devils defenders collectively erred in giving him too much room to move.
Malone’s conversion missed to give the home side a 10-6 lead, before Norths fullback Shaun Carney – who was one of the Devils’ best on the day – pulled one back for his team almost immediately.
Todd Murphy’s conversion then saw his team take a slim 12-10 lead into the halftime break.
The seesawing nature of the match continued into the second half, with Melbourne Storm centre Hymel Hunt adding to the Tigers’ points tally to again re-take the lead.
The Tigers also had two tries disallowed after both ‘try’ decisions from the middle were overturned by the video referee after careful deliberation.
In a tight second half – points were at a premium – and when Norths were given the chance to square the ledger after receiving a penalty – Murphy didn’t miss, levelling the scores at 14-14 with the clock winding down.
With the prospect of a draw looking likely, the Devils were able to retake the lead, and ultimately, the match, when winger Michael Lucas crossed to end the match.
With this victory, the Devils have now won seven of their games this season to sit in fourth place on the ladder while the Tigers drop to ninth spot.
This coming weekend, the Tigers will host Souths Logan – who have also hit a rough patch in form, while the Devils will travel to Redcliffe to take on the Dolphins.
NORTHS DEVILS 18 (Shaun Carney, Michael Lucas, Brendon Gibb tries; Todd Murphy 3 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 14 (Eddie Tautali, Hymel Hunt, Cody Walker tries; Donald Malone goal) at Langlands Park
Easts Tigers: 1. Eddie Tautali 2. Donald Malone 3. Shane Neumann 4. Hymel Hunt 5. Jarrod McInally 6. Cody Walker 7. Grant Giess 8. Steven Thorpe (c) 9. Tom Butterfield 10. Felise Kaufusi 11. Dane Hogan 12. Tim Glasby 13. Jacob Ling 14. Liam McDonald 15. Foisa Peni 16. Troy Giess 17. Joel Romelo
Norths Devils: 1. Shaun Carney 2. Michael Lucas 3. BJ Munns 4. Dylan Galloway 5. Kainga Turner 6. Todd Murphy 7. Sam Foster 8. Todd Lowrie 9. Krys Freeman 10. Jared Blanke 11. Brad McKee 12. Brendon Gibb (c) 13. James Sharkie 15. Patrick McPherson 16. Troyden Watene 17. Jamie Muller 19. Dean Sheppard