THE Norths Devils returned to the winners’ circle yesterday putting on an impressive performance to hold out the PNG Hunters in their 32-24 win.
One of the biggest crowds to be seen at Bishop Park in years was treated to an entertaining match, and it was the Hunters who were on the board first when Wartovo Puara crossed the line.
However, from that point – the rest of the running was with the Devils – who scored the next four tries in an attacking blast that was difficult for the Hunters to handle.
With the Devils surging out to a 22-6 lead at halftime – Hunters fans at the ground were willing their side on, urging them to change their fortunes in the second half.
The visitors responded and started well in the return from the break, and scored the first try in the second half, with a sweeping backline movement resulting in a try in the corner.
Norths however did their best to stifle a potential comeback with another try – before PNG ensured the crowd remained interested, with big prop Esau Siune charging over the top of Devils fullback Shaun Carney to plant the ball. The conversion was successful and the Devils’ lead shrank to 26-18.
Devils five-eighth Kodi Nikorima then scored his second try of the match after capitalising on some good play out wide from Lachlan Maranta with six minutes remaining in the match.
The margin proved too big to overcome – but it did not stop the Hunters from scoring one more entertaining try – with winger Garry Lo finding a gap in the defence to run almost the length of the field to cap off a thrilling match.
This weekend, the Hunters will travel to Gladstone to take on the CQ Capras at Marley Brown Oval, while the Devils will have the weekend off with the bye.
NORTHS DEVILS 32 (Kodi Nikorima 2, BJ Munns, Lachlan Maranta, Michael Lucas, Darren Nicholls tries; Darren Nicholls 4 goals) def PNG HUNTERS 24 (Garry Lo 2, Wartovo Puara, Esau Siune tries; Noel Zemming 2, Roger Laka 2 goals) at Bishop Park.
1. Shaun Carney 2. Michael Lucas 3. BJ Munns 4. Lachlan Maranta 5. Keiran English 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sam Foster 8. Nathan Lowrie 9. Krys Freeman 10. Jared Blanke 11. Chris Faust 12. Brendon Gibb (c) 13. James Sharkie 15. Darren Nicholls 16. Troyden Watene 17. Jamie Muller 19. Brad McKee
1. Adex Wera (c) 2. Garry Lo 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Albert Patak 5. Edward Goma 6. Noel Zemming 7. Roger Laka (c) 20. Dion Aiye 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. George Benson 12. Sebastian Pandia 13. Adam Korave 14. Timothy Lomai 15. Willie Minoga 16. Lawrence Tu'u 17. Tiger Emere