Norths Devils unleashed another short barrage of tries to surge back into the Intrust Super Cup top-two with a 24-16 win over Central Queensland Capras in Emerald in their Round 7 match.
Match: Capras v Devils
Round 7 -
Venue: McIndoe Park, Emerald
The Devils scored three tries in nine minutes to overcome a valiant Capras, who threatened an upset when they led 14-6 at halftime.
It was the second time this season the Devils had scored three times in nine minutes to overcome a late deficit.
They did it to Townsville Blackhawks in Round 3 with a Devils team that included five affiliated players from the Broncos’ list of top 36 players.
Only one Bronco was available for this match, as the Devils again relied on their own contract list, including Liam Horne, Tony Tumusa and Rashaun Denny who scored in the 52nd, 57th and 60th minutes.
Norths junior Jack Miers kicked all four conversions in a return to the Intrust Super Cup team.
The Devils rolled out a new-look team with Miers and Connor Broadhurst playing in the halves in the absence of injured regulars Bryce Donovan and skipper Jack Ahearn.
Popular forward Michael Sio captained the Devils for the first time, helping his team to keep a cool head when the Capras got an early jump.
The home team led 12-0 after 15 minutes, ensuring this would be a different challenge to the Devils’ last visit to Emerald – a 48-8 win in 2010.
Coach Guy Williams has the Capras playing with spirit and, outside of last weekend’s collapse to Wynnum Manly Seagulls, the Capras have led in every game this year and have an average losing margin of less than six points.
Williams knew what to expect from Devils coach Rohan Smith – he finished his long Intrust Super Cup career playing under Smith and then became his assistant coach for a season before returning to the Capras.
The Devils began clawing back the Capras when winger Jon Reuben scored in the 22nd minute. Reuben’s 96th career try – from just 96 games – pushed him into equal ninth spot with Shane Neumann for the competition’s top tryscorer list.
The Devils again dug deep on their bench after forward Brendan Frei left the field with injury, ensuring their defensive line held steady to record the club’s 16th consecutive win over the Capras.
After seven rounds, the Devils have a 6-1 win-loss record.
“We came out with a lot of energy in that second half and we played some good, direct football and had some fun out there. It was a good team effort,” Smith said.
“That was always going to be a hard game. The Capras did it tough against Wynnum Manly last weekend but they’ve really been in the fight all season and they have pushed teams.
“Full credit to them because they’re playing well and they came out with a plan that tested us.”
The Devils return home next Sunday to host the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
Match: Devils v Falcons
Round 8 -
Venue: Bishop Park, Brisbane
The Capras will seek their first win in next Sunday’s televised match against Souths Logan Magpies in Rockhampton.
Match: Capras v Magpies
Round 8 -
Venue: Browne Park, Rockhampton
Earlier in the day, the Hasting Deering Colts under 21 team also overcame a second-half deficit with three quick tries to defeat the Capras 30-20 in their clash.