It was a one-point thriller down at Bishop Park, Nundah, where the sixth-placed Souths Logan Magpies defeated the Norths Devils, 19-18, on Sunday afternoon.
The Devils got an early lead with hooker Billy Brittain scoring in the 3rd minute. Halfback Gary Riccardi joined in on the Devils action, scoring in the 16th minute, giving the home side a 12-point lead mid-way through the first half.
Despite the Devils early lead, the Magpies regained their confidence when hooker Travis Waddell added his mark on the game in the 29th minute, putting the Magpies on the board. With no sign of slowing down, Magpies debutant Brendon Gibb crossed the line in the 35th minute, sending both sides in the break at 12 points each.
Both sides were determined to get the lead at the start of the second half, but it wasn’t until the 49th minute when Devils winger Dane Chang broke the deadlock giving the 10th-placed Devils a six-point advantage.
Simione Fatafehi once again tied the scoring in the 57th minute, with Matt Minto converting the four pointer.
It wasn’t until the 79th minute, when five-eighth Minto ended the scoring dead lock, slotting through a field goal to end the game driven by momentum.
“I thought we were pretty good to be honest. Norths were really good in the first 60 minutes – I don’t think they made an error in that first bit of the game, so being down 12–nil wasn’t an ideal start,” Souths coach Jon Buchanan said.
“Defensively, the team was great. There was a period when they had a lot of ball down our end towards the end of the first half.
“The boys showed some really good qualities to stay patient when the scoreboard wasn’t in our favour, and really bide their time before making a move.”
Buchanan admits that the team hadn’t prepared for a close game, however drew on the two clubs’ history of tough competition. “The Norths and Souths games are always tight. Both clubs have a really proud history and are always looking for a good game.
“We did a really good job on them in the early rounds of the season, so they were probably looking to get one back on us.”
Round 20 will see the Magpies take on the Tweed Head Seagulls at Kev Bannah Oval, Julia Creek, as part of this year’s Country Week.
“From the itinerary, I don’t think that we get too much time up there, but we always enjoy getting away,” Buchanan said.
“We’ll just be looking to make sure that they boys embrace the weekend, and what it means to be playing up there.”
As for the preparations for the Seagulls game, Buchanan is aware of upsets the team has had throughout the season. “They’ve beaten the Dolphins and PNG who are both really good sides.
“We’re under no illusions that any game is going to be easy or that we are going to get the win, we just need to turn up and play our game.
“Consistency is something that we are definitely look for among the players - especially with the competition being so open to anyone.”
The Magpies v Seagulls game kicks off at 2pm at the Kev Bannah Oval.
The Devils will face the third-placed East Tigers at Archer Park, Mundubbera for a 1.40pm kick off, continuing Country Week in the Intrust Super Cup.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 19 (Travis Waddell, Brendon Gibb, Simione Fatafehi tries; Matt Minto 3 goals; Matt Minto field goal) def NORTHS DEVILS 18 (Billy Brittain, Gary Riccardi, Dane Chang tries; Haydan Lipp 3 goals) at Bishop Park.