Norths continue bright start after downing Capras
The Devils called upon a mix of old and new against the CQ Capras last to continue their winning start to the Intrust Super Cup season.
Their 36-16 win at Browne Park last night was built on strong defence and positive steps in attack for a team starting to gel for new coach Rohan Smith.
The Devils stormed to an 18-4 lead after 24 minutes with tries to recruits Michael Sio, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and Jack Ahearn.
The Capras fought back to 18-12 at halftime with prop Phil Nati going over for their first try before Norths scored three in the second half via Paul Ulberg, Sam Tagataese and Gary Riccardi to secure their victory.
All three of those players have been with Norths prior to this season, highlighting the mix of established players and new faces that have driven the Devils to the top of the ladder after two rounds.
“There were some pleasing elements to that win including our attack early in the game when we put together some encouraging sets,” Smith said.
“The Capras came back hard at us particularly late in the first half so we knew we had a fight on our hands.”
The Capras scored after the halftime siren thanks to Maipele Morseau with Connor Broadhurst successful with his second conversion.
However, the Devils skipped away two minutes into the second half when winger Ulberg pounced on a clearing kick from Riccardi, toeing ahead to score a valuable try.
The Capras hit back four minutes later when former NRL player Dave Taylor was involved in a raid that led to Chanel Seigafo scoring to claw back to 24-16.
But that was to be the end of the scoring for the home side as the Devils didn’t concede a point for the final 34 minutes, but were instead able to extend their lead when Broncos forward Tagataese crossed for his second try of the season, with Riccardi rounding of the try scoring in the 74th minute.
Tagataese, Taunoa-Brown and skipper John Palavi were again strong for the Devils while the spine of Sio, Riccardi, Ahearn and Todd Murphy forged an effective combination.
The versatile Sio showed his professionalism, moving into the hooking role after the loss of Alex Bishop and Calum Gahan to injury.
And Murphy showed why he was a Broncos-contracted player with a classy performance, kicking all six conversions while combining well with Riccardi.
The visitors had to contend with the size of Taylor, but he was contained with Smith shifting centre Chevi Ellis in one spot in defence to combine with powerful forward Oshae Tuiasau.
Riccardi also contributed some timely tackles to ensure the former State of Origin forward did not break open the Devils.
The Devils face Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park next Sunday in their XXXX Rivalry Round match, while the Capras will be hoping to recapture their winning spark against the Mackay Cutters.
NORTHS DEVILS 36 (Michael Sio, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Jack Ahearn, Paul Ulberg, Sam Tagataese, Gary Riccardi tries; Todd Murphy 6 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 16 (Phil Nati, Maipele Morseau, Chanel Seigafo tries; Connor Broadhurst 2 goals) at Browne Park.