Devils' second half onslaught delivers win over Capras

What began as an even tussle where the difference was a single try at halftime, ended in a eight tries to 2 blow-out that failed to accurately reflect the effort of the Central Queensland Capras in the first 50 minutes of the game at Browne Park.

Both teams came into their first match-up for the 2019 season off the back of losses in round 11; the Capras going down to Burleigh and the Devils losing to the Wynnum Manly after an impressive fight back in the second half.

The Capras started well, completing their sets and finding themselves in good field position. The home side’s fifth tackle options were somewhat lacking which impaired their ability to translate their field position into points.

It was the visitors who were first to trouble the scorers as the Devils were handed an excellent opportunity with back-to-back sets close to the try line following a penalty against the Capras.

The visitors made quick work of securing the first points of the match, with Herbie Farnworth scoring out wide before slotting the conversion from the sideline to take a 6-0 lead after fifteen minutes.

The home side’s first points came from interchange hooker Eli Noovao, who dived over from dummy half in the 24th minute before BJ Aufaga-Toomaga kicked the conversion, levelling the scores at 6-6 after 25 minutes.

In a possibly game-changing injury blow for the Capras, replacement hooker Noovao, who had made a significant impact in his short stint, left the field with a suspected dislocated kneecap in the 28th minute.

The Devils were in for their second try just minutes before halftime. A deft tip-on from big prop Riley Leota placed the ball in the hands of halfback Sean O’Sullivan who sold a dummy before diving through the resulting gap in the line to score. Farnworth converted sending Norths to the sheds leading 12-6 at the break.

The halftime score was encouraging for the Capras who managed to remain within a converted try of their opposition, but a disastrous kick out on the full to start the second stanza soon put them on the back foot. 

Handing the Devils possession on the halfway line, the Capras were surely feeling a sense of déjà vu a few tackles later as O’Sullivan threw his patented dummy before strolling through the line for his second try of the match. Farnworth slotted his third in a row extending the Devils’ lead to 18-6 just five minutes into the second half.

The next points came right on the back of the first try, this time O’Sullivan linked with Jack Ahearn through the middle of the field before delivering the ball to a fast finishing Connor Broadhurst who scored the Devils' fourth try. The conversion was successful, taking the score to 24-6 after 43 minutes.

The visitors backed it up with further points just minutes later after five-eighth Troy Dargan created some space on the outside before turning the ball back on the inside to Ahearn, who scored under the posts. Farnworth seemingly had the ball on a string, slotting his fifth conversion to take the score to 30-6 with 27 minutes left to play in the match.

The Capras were still counting the costs of the previous two tries when a quick-stepping Broadhurst made a clean break for the Devils before handing the ball off to Dargan to score directly under the posts again. The kick was successful pushing the lead out to 36-6 after an hour of football. 

After finally getting the ball back in their possession following the try-scoring onslaught from the visitors, the Capras were able to hit back with a surprise try. Handy fullback Kainoa Gudgeon scored for the home side after the Devils made a mistake on try line. Aufaga-Toomaga was successful with the conversion, taking the score to 12 for the home side, chasing the visitors' 36.

It was a special solo effort from Devils winger Paul Ulberg who shrugged off plenty of defenders on his way to score Norths' seventh try in the 72nd minute. Farnworth slotted the kick to further extend the lead to 42-12.

The final points of the match were fittingly scored by one of the Devils' best, as O’Sullivan made a break and ran on despite cramp to score his third try for the match. The kick was successful taking the final score to 48-12. The win takes the Norths Devils into fourth position on the Intrust Super Cup ladder, while the Capras remain on the bottom.