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Kangaroos jump to next stage of finals

North Lakes Kangaroos lived to fight another day in the Rugby League Brisbane Men’s Open 3 North competition with a hard fought 34-24 win over Banyo Devils at South Pine Sporting Complex.

A determined Kangaroos side booked their place in this weekend's do or die game versus Moreton Bay Pride, to see which team advances to this year’s big dance against Albany Creek Crushers.

Three-try hero Gaugatao Malaetele-Elive was the Kangaroos best on park, putting in a man of the match performance.

The Kangaroos got off to a flying start in the match crossing in the ninth minute through burly prop Mat Hollins.

A see-saw encounter ensued with the Devils firing back, scoring a great try of their own when speedy winger Matt Strike put Banyo on the board in the 15th minute.

However, it was the Kangaroos' big boppers who were causing collateral damage up the middle and in the 20th minute Malaetele-Elive crossed for his first of three tries for the afternoon, barging his way over the line.

The Devils' composure all season cascaded into this game and the cool heads of five-eighth John Collins and Scott Marsh rallied their troops around the ground.

Collins' clever little grubber kick found his partner in crime Marsh lurking out wide, who made no mistake in racing in beside the sticks.

The Devils hit the lead in the 31st minute when Collins again used his experience, putting in another pinpoint grubber finding Marsh yet again, who slid in under the posts to see Banyo go into the break leading 14-12.

As the second half got under way, the North Lakes forwards began their onslaught.

Tearaway lock Viki Nati jagged a try out of nothing and he put the Kangaroos back in front, crossing under the posts in the 41st minute.

Kangaroos’ fullback Ethan Hira then had an opportunity to further increase the lead after a Devils dropped ball, scooping up the pill to race away untouched out wide.

The Devils were starting to slowly tire, however hooker Riley Johannsson, Kade Deeks and Brett Ross were outstanding on a losing side, constantly keeping up a solid workrate in defence.

North Lakes started to capitalize on the Devil’s heroic effort in containing the Kangaroos big men, however the rampaging Malaetele-Elive once again, proved too strong busting his way through four defenders to cross beside the sticks.

The Devils then survived another scare when Bronson Blakemore’s pass to Jordan Philips was fumbled over the line.

However you can never write off the Devils - especially finals time.

Collins superb cross-field kick found his winger Strike, who spectacularly leapt over the line to score a fantastic Devils try.

Kangaroos+' Malaetele-Elive used his brute strength to cross for his hat-trick in the 60th minute pegging the score out to 34-20 giving North Lakes more breathing space.

However, the Devils' replacement Conor Retchless scored a consolation try two minutes from fulltime, but it was to no avail, with the Kangaroos holding on in a thriller in what was a fantastic game of finals football.

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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