North Lakes Kangaroos explosive winger Nathan Tunifai was his side’s three-try hero as his lightning speed blitzed a lacklustre Banyo Devils 28-10 in the Northside Open 3 local derby played at Bora Ring, Nudgee, on Saturday.
The blazing pace of the Kangaroos winger tore apart the Devils on the flanks, which propelled the visitors’ upset of the third-place Devils on home soil.
In an important win for North Lakes, the Kangaroos still remain in the finals hunt with this courageous win, sitting on 15 points.
The Kangaroos wasted no time in going in to score early when in the seventh minute halfback Eteuati Fatamai stepped his way through three Devils defenders from the scrumbase to cross beside the posts.
With increasing effect built on hulking Kangaroos prop Michael Siolgo who was attracting three to four defenders with his charging runs, North Lakes calmly shifted the ball out wide to speedster Tunifai who outran three Devils defenders to go in and score.
Straight from the restart though, the Devils supporter’s hearts were in their mouths as Kangaroos winger Aaron Daziel burst down the sideline 80m to score. But he was brought back for a forward pass from the kickoff.
But, as fate would have it, the Devils squandered possession from the penalty and Tunifai was there to pick up the loose ball and race 70m down the sideline, sidestepping the Devils fullback to go in again and score.
With Kangaroos fullback John Teatu Roto bringing his kicking boots, the custodian again slotted the conversion to see the visitors leading 18-0.
In the closing minutes of the first half, that Banyo fullback Al Alefosio showed some fancy footwork and before centre Morgan Cheadle crashed his way over for the Banyo’s first points.
Kangaroo Tunifai again fired the afterburners to sprint another 80m upfield, palming off would-be tacklers to go in again for North Lakes, two minutes into the second half.
At 22-4 though, Banyo needed a miracle and full credit to their forward pack in Napolean S'va, Dale Lyons and lock Jacob Aiono, who aimed up in a tough battle in the middle.
But, behemoth Kangaroos prop Siolgo was unstoppable at close range and with five defenders jumping on him from all angles, he was able to get away a miracle ball to John Teatu Roto who made no mistake in scoring beside the posts.
It was a tale of penalties in the closing stages of the match, during which a North Lakes player dispatched to the sin bin for a head-high tackle and they were reduced to 12 men for the remaining 11 minutes.
As the Kangaroos tried gallantly not to let in a late consolation try, the quick thinking of Devils five-eighth Lote Lualua switched the run of play and fired out a nice cutout pass to find winger Kenson Lui who forced his way over despite being hit in a ferocious tackle.
Final Score: North Lakes Kangaroos 28 def Banyo Devils 10.