Norths Devils took another new step under coach Rohan Smith when they surged past Northern Pride 32-16 at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
It was the Devils’ fourth consecutive win – the first time they have reached that mark since Smith took over the club for the 2018 season.
The victory pushed the Devils to a 6-2 win-loss record and fourth place on the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
Match: Devils v Pride
Round 8 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The Devils twice had three-match winning streaks last season as Smith overhauled the squad.
They were strong tonight at their home away from home, sprinting to a 32-4 lead before the Pride scored two late tries.
Devils were again positive across the park, adding to their recent wins over Townsville Blackhawks, Ipswich Jets and PNG Hunters.
Tonight, halves Sean O’Sullivan and Troy Dargan caused serious problems for the Pride, pushing Norths to a 14-0 lead.
The Broncos pairing had a hand in the Devils’ first five tries before young prop Ethan Bullemor unleashed another runaway try to follow last Saturday night’s 60-metre burst against the Blackhawks.
Tonight, he only raced 35 metres, but he first had to bend down to pick up an errant pass before steaming to the line away from the defence of North Queensland Cowboys fullback Gideon Gela-Mosby.
Pride also featured Cowboys centre Javid Bowen, but he was held by emerging Devils talent Henry Penn in a key factor in tonight’s performance.
Devils had to re-adjust early in the match when Calum Gahan was ruled out with a concussion after 16 minutes, although the young hooker looked well after the match.
Tireless forward Michael Sio slotted into hooker and continued his strong season, grabbing the first try of the match before crossing again in the 41st minute as the Devils pushed their 14-4 halftime lead.
That try came from O’Sullivan, who kicked ahead, regathered and found forward Brad Lupi whose timely pass sent Sio over again.
Captain Jack Ahearn was again solid for the Devils and his 53rd minute kick found winger Paul Ulberg for a try that sent Norths ahead 28-4.
“That was a solid team effort against a team that has some quality players,” Smith said.
“We’ve got another test next weekend when we travel to Tweed Heads, which is always a tough road trip.”
Match: Seagulls v Devils
Round 9 -
Venue: Piggabeen Sports Complex, Tweed Heads
Pride fought to the end with tries to centre Shawn Bowen and hooker Connor Jones in the final 10 minutes.
The result left Pride with six consecutive losses before they travel to Mackay to take on Mackay Cutters in Round 9.
Match: Cutters v Pride
Round 9 -
Venue: BB Print Stadium Mackay, Mackay