Souths Logan Magpies beat Norths Devils 29-22 at Bishop Park this afternoon, in a win described by Magpies coach Jon Buchanan as "our best win of the year".
Old friend Sam Tagataese returned to break Norths’ hearts. He played five seasons for the Devils, scoring 26 tries in a popular stint for the international forward at Nundah.
Wearing the black and white of the Magpies, Tagataese was instrumental as the visitors recovered from a 16-0 deficit after 13 minutes to surge to a 29-22 win.
Winger Matt Soper-Lawler was excellent with four tries including an 80th minute try after Magpies five-eighth Guy Hamilton had delivered a dagger of a field goal two minutes earlier.
Tagataese and his forward teammates laid the platform for the Magpies, who worked through the Devils’ middle during some key downfield bursts.
He scored shortly before halftime to edge the Magpies back within six points of the Devils at the break. They claimed the front as they reeled off four consecutive tries to lead 20-16.
But the Devils, bouncing back from last weekend’s successful trip to Papua New Guinea, showed their class to regain the lead in the 64th minute.
Skipper Jack Ahearn scored a valuable try for the Devils and it seemed the 22-20 lead and the momentum it created would be enough to keep Norths within touching distance of the top four.
They had started with a rush of points as Luke Pollock, Moses Noovao-McGreal and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown scored early tries. The Devils looked in fine touch and set for their 12th win of the season.
But the Magpies fought back, pouncing on a lost ball close to the Devils line late in the match. They soon gained a penalty that Hamilton converted in the 76th minute to tie the scores.
Match: Devils v Magpies
Round 17 -
Venue: Bishop Park, Brisbane
Tagataese again featured in the drive down field that led to the field goal that would give the Magpies only their fourth win in a disappointing season.
"We were down 16-0 I think after 15 minutes. We probably made it a bit tough on ourselves early on," Buchanan said.
"Today we played for 80 minutes and we did what we wanted to do. Sometimes you make your own luck if you can hang in long enough. Really good result.
"I thought Guy Hamilton did some terrific stuff, particularly in the second half. He put himself in the game and come up with some great results for us.
"Sam Tagataese, that's his best game for us this year. He was outstanding.
"The last six weeks of footy we've played, our effort have been enormous... we just haven't got all the results we'd like." Until now.
The Magpies face in-form Redcliffe Dolphins in Pittsworth in Round 18, as part of the Intrust Super Cup 'Get in the game' Country Week.
Match: Dolphins v Magpies
Round 18 -
Venue: Club Pittsworth, Pittsworth
The Devils will take on Sunshine Coast Falcons in Nanango.
Match: Falcons v Devils
Round 18 -
Venue: Bernie & John Cronin Memorial, Nanango, Nanango