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Magpies to face Devils in Mal Meninga Cup final

Teen sensation David Fifita will face a handful of possible future Brisbane Broncos teammates next week in the final of the Mal Meninga Cup Under 18s competition.

Fifita's Souths team progressed through to the decider with a flattering 40-22 win over Tweed Heads in the semi-final, while Norths held out Mackay 32-24.

The two fixtures were held back-to-back at Davies Park, highlighting the cream of the crop in Queensland's junior ranks.

Fifita has been the talk of the competition after his starring role for Australia at the Commonwealth Championships this year and several subsequent standout performances.

Many have speculated he is a future Bronco forward in the waiting, and NRL coach Wayne Bennett was an interested spectator at the southern end of the field.

However, Fifita was well contained in the semi by a Tweed side that was big on tenacity and line speed.

Tweed actually led 22-16 with less than 20 minutes left to play, before Souths Logan finished full of running.

Fullback Fanitesi Niu scored two of the last four tries, his second effort capping off an entertaining 75m backline movement.

Tweed was exceptionally well serviced by halves Tom Dearden and Toby Sexton, while fullback Glenn McGrady was a constant threat and prop David Butler took on all comers.

In the absence of Fifita's usual punch, much smaller forward colleague Cruise Ten was a standout for Souths Logan and did not stop trying all game, while half Tanah Boyd was his usual strong self.

In the opening semi, Norths led 26-0 after just 27 minutes in their encounter with the Cutters, but allowed the northerners to score 18 points in eight minutes at the start of the second half.

The Devils team also contained a smattering of Broncos-contracted players, including boom half Cory Paix

Towering Jordan Riki was a mountain of strength for the victors, earning metres not only with his strong charges, but also by drawing the Cutters into a series of penalties as they tried to slow his progress.

Riki's time off the field coincided with Mackay's upsurge in fortunes and they were a drastically better side in the second stanza.

Fullback Rayden Burns was a clear standout for Mackay, catching an array of awkward kicks and taking the line on with awesome acceleration.

The match could have taken a different course had a number of disallowed tries scraped the grass.

Mackay was held up in-goal twice in the first seven minutes before Norths began raining points.

And at the end of the game, the Devils were held up twice as they tried to put the game beyond reach.

Next week's final of the Mal Meninga Cup will be held 3pm Saturday at Bishop Park, with the national final to be held the following week at Redcliffe.

Both the state final and national final will be livestreamed on

NORTHS DEVILS 32 (Brock Diment, Fruean Esthope, Jack Paterson, Jordan Riki, Zak McGuire, Daejarn Asi tries; Cory Paix 4 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 24 (Tom Irelandes, Blake Paskins, Michael Bell, Sean Michael Dalton tries; Michael Bell 4 goals) at Davies Park.

SOUTHS LOGAN 40 (Fanitesi Niu 2, Tanah Boyd 2, Leevai Sutton, Cruise Ten, Jett Trembath tries; Tanah Boyd 6 goals) def TWEED HEADS 22 (Tom Dearden 2, Caleb Hodges, Toby Sexton tries; Toby Sexton 3 goals) at Davies Park.