The Norths Devils showed their class on a sunny Sunday afternoon at BB Print Stadium, downing the QCCS Mackay Cutters 34-10.
In a game where execution mattered, it was the Devils who took their opportunities, while a lack of cohesion and poor last-tackle options saw Mackay stumble to defeat.
Both teams squandered their first chance at points with poor ball handling, but it would be the visitors who would get on the scoreboard first as Cutters fullback Jack Joass spilled a bomb kick, and the ball was regathered by Jack Miers to give Norths the lead.
Mackay pressured Norths line in the hope of levelling the game, but blew their chance with poor play and the Devils duly took advantage, with Michael Lucas extending the visitors lead as a bad defensive read saw him race into clear pasture and beat the cover defence to score in the corner.
Mackay finally showed signs of life midway through the first half when Cooper Bambling split the Devils defence off the back of a scrum win with a crafty show-and-go, but a Norths penalty goal a short time later ensured their lead stayed at six points.
That lead was reduced to two on the stroke of halftime as Mackay struck again; a couple of freakish offloads saw the ball spread wide to Nathan Saumalu on the overlap, and he slid over in the corner to see his team within touching distance, the score 12-10 at the break.
Ill-discipline from Mackay saw their first half heroics quickly come undone, conceding back-to-back penalties which saw Norths march into attacking position. Some quick hands saw Dane Chang cross out wide to start the second half scoring.
The Cutters looked certain to level the game as the potent left edge of Jordan Pereira and Saumalu combined to cross in the corner, only for the play to be called back for a forward pass as the winger overran his inside man.
Adding insult to injury, Javarn White then caught out Mackay’s tiring defence on its try line, scooting across from dummy half for the Devils before Matiu Love-Henry received a pass out the back to muscle his way over a few minutes later, effectively ending the contest.
The Cutters continued to press on with hopes of a late surge, but it was to no avail as another potential try for the home team was overturned by the video referee for an obstruction.
With the deflated Cutters struggling for motivation, Francis Molo had it all too easy as the prop forward bustled his way over for Norths to seal their 24-point victory, while Mackay were left to rue their missed chances as they prepare to face the Redcliffe Dolphins next weekend.
NORTHS DEVILS 34 (Jack Miers, Michael Lucas, Dane Chang, Javarn White, Matiu Love-Henry, Francis Molo tries; Chris Sandow 3, Jack Miers 2 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 10 (Cooper Bambling, Nathan Saumalu tries; Cooper Bambling goal) at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.