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Devils overcome late scare to secure place in grand final

Banyo Devils were made to work for their spot in this week’s Rugby League Brisbane Open 1 grand final, with a hard-fought 34-30 win over Inala Warriors on Saturday.

With a bumper crowd looking on at Les Hughes Sporting Fields, the Devils got off to a flying start, scoring in the fourth minute of play from dummy half.

Inala were not discouraged by the early points and returned serve in the 12th minute, with exciting fullback Jake Henaway beating three defenders to cross beside the sticks.

Banyo were in a hungry try scoring mood from the get-go and they crossed again through five-eighth Callum Davies, who was outstanding for the Devils.

The game was being played at a frantic pace and with the referee providing an open game of football, it made for an entertaining game of rugby league.

The Devil’s crossed again in the 24th minute through stalwart Samson Hookey, who crashed his way over the line to further increase the Devil’s lead.

With Inala defending for what was an eternity in their own half, the Warriors were caught napping on the blindside, leading to Devil’s winger Isaiah Waigana pinching another four pointer out wide.

However, a few positional changes from Warriors coach and former Brisbane Broncos player Ian Lacey seemed to work a treat, when the Warriors finally got back on the scoresheet through replacement Dwayne Conlon.

In what was probably the try of the afternoon and scored right on the stroke of halftime, the Warriors scored yet again.

Actions for the Devils v Warriors game. Photo: Mike Simpson
Actions for the Devils v Warriors game. Photo: Mike Simpson

Winger Damion Jackson burst down the sideline and chipped in-field for a waiting Des Namok, who raced in and scored under the sticks to see the Warriors trailing 24-18 at the break.

Banyo continued to wreak havoc up the middle in the second half through forwards Jay Manse and Jordan Brown, who were easily the pick of the Devils crop that continued to tire the Warriors out.

It eventually paid dividends when in the 45th minute, when powerful centre Brocco Uhrle, used his brute strength to cross outwide.

Both forward packs were stinging in defence, however it was both sides halves who were providing some quality entertainment.

Inala halfback Henry Pritchard was superb for the Warriors, executing some fine passing and kicking skills that showed why he is one of the premier players in the Open 1 competition.

However, Inala Warriors are not a side to write off easily and their patience paid off in the 53rd minute when they crossed beside the posts.

The Warriors took the lead for the first time in the game not two minutes later, when damaging forward Ashley Williams put his side in front, smashing his way over to score under the sticks.

However, Devils colossus prop Brenton Sefo-Wallace broke Warriors hearts, when he steamed onto the ball and powered his way over the line to secure the Devil’s a well-deserved place in this Saturday's grand final against minor premiers Brother’s Juniors.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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