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Devils Atone For Huge Loss
YOUNG Bronco Joel Moon has made an eye-catching return to the Wizard Cup, piloting the Norths Devils to a 22-14 win over the Mackay Cutters in Mackay.
Moon, who normally plays five-eighth for the Devils, wore the No. 7 jersey following the late withdrawal of halfback Jacob Fauid to a hamstring complaint.
“Joel had more of a leadership role to play and he did that,” Devils coach Mark Gee said.
Gee also had the luxury of having the NRL experienced Reece Robinson on the wing.
Robinson, who started the year on the flanks with the Broncos before succumbing to injury, had a solid night in Mackay.
Even with the inclusion of Moon and Robinson, the Devils were the underdogs in the eyes of many Wizard Cup followers.
That underdog status was most warranted after Norths collapsed to an embarrassing 60-10 loss to the Ipswich Jets the previous week.
In contrast, the Mackay Cutters were on top of the word after beating Redcliffe 24-22 in a thriller.
But the Cutters will have to wait another couple of weeks before they get another chance to press for their first win on home soil.
Mackay led Saturday’s round six match 10-6 at half-time but all the momentum was with the slick Devils in the second half.
The visiting side skipped to an 18-10 lead before the Cutters clawed their way back into the contest with their third try.
In a tight finish, the Devils had the final say when Troyden Watene Edwards crossed to secure an eight point win.
Gee was rapt with the “attitude and effort” of his young team and knows a similar performance is needed against the Redcliffe Dolphins next week.
The Dolphins are struggling after recording just one win from their opening five matches.
“But we know Redcliffe, everyone knows Redcliffe,” Gee said, wary of the Dolphins’ fighting qualities.
“They’ve had the bye so they’ve had two weeks to stew on it and get things together.”
QLD Cup Preview - Round 5
NORTHS V IPSWICH
Where: Bishop Park When: Sunday April 13 - 3pm
Referee: Justin Eastwood
Preview: JETS hooker Michael Ryan plays his 100th Queensland Cup game in this match. Ryan, an Ipswich Brothers and West End junior, is in his second season with the Ipswich Jets. He played the majority of those Queensland Cup games with the Toowoomba Clydesdales. Ipswich enters the Bishop Park clash on the back of an impressive win over the Redcliffe Dolphins. The 24-0 win over Redcliffe was their biggest margin against the Dolphins, surpassing the 14 point margin in their 32-18 win in round 20 last year. The Devils haven’t been in the best of form, but the young side did show patches of brilliance in last weekend’s 26-14 loss to Wynnum Manly. Although the Devils have only recorded one win this season, they trail fifth-placed Wynnum Manly by just three competition points.
SOUTHS LOGAN v NORTHERN PRIDE *Live on ABC TV
Meakin Park, Saturday April 12 – 2pm
Referee: Michael Wise
THE most highly-anticipated match of the round brings the two form teams of the competition together for the ABC TV blockbuster. Both sides are undefeated after four rounds, although Souths Logan did have the bye in round one. Northern Pride five-eighth Stephen Sheppard has been named to make his return from injury after missing the Pride’s last two wins through injury. Providing he passes a late fitness test, Sheppard will reunite with brother Chris in the halves. The classy pair will go head to head with in-form Magpies halves Michael Dobson and Marc Herbert. Yarrabah product Hezron Murgha makes his debut for the Pride after displaying some impressive form in the local Cairns competition. Murgha may cross paths with Souths Logan winger Chad Grintell, who last weekend became the 10th Magpie to score a hat-trick in the Queensland Cup.
EASTS v TWEED HEADS
Langlands Park, Saturday April 12 – 3pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
EASTS will no doubt be eyeing off back-to-back victories for the first time this season when they host the winless Tweed Heads Seagulls at Langlands Park. Darren Smith’s men cruised to a big 40-4 win over the Comets last Saturday to open their account for season 2008. However the Tigers are likely to find this assignment much tougher, despite the Seagulls’ forgettable start to their title defence. Tweed is yet to register a victory from four matches but coach Michael Woods will field a classy side. Titans players Luke Swain, Matt Cross, Clint Amos and Ian Donnelly have been named in the Seagulls outfit. Premiership-winning Tweed five-eighth Brad Davis was not named in the original Seagulls team on Tuesday night. However, there is a strong possibility the classy No. 6 will make his much anticipated return following a pre-season injury.
REDCLIFFE v MACKAY
Dolphin Oval, Sunday April 13 – 2pm
Referee: Gavin Morris
Redcliffe failed to score for only the second time in their Queensland Cup history last weekend. The 24-0 defeat at the hands of Ipswich brought back memories of the Dolphins’ 22-0 defeat by Burleigh in June 2000. The unwanted record from last weekend should spark the Dolphins into action in Sunday’s 2pm clash against the Mackay Cutters. However, the Cutters have an unwanted record of their own that they would love to set right. Shane Muspratt’s men have yet to record a win in their debut season. The Cutters’ prospects have been boosted by the inclusion of Cowboy Travis Burns in the key five-eighth position. Royston Lightning is also set to make his debut for Mackay in the must-win clash at Dolphin Oval.
WYNNUM MANLY v BURLEIGH
BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday April 13 – 3pm
Referee: Nick Kalpakidis
FOURTH spot on the ladder is up for grabs in this explosive showdown between two of the best supported clubs in the Wizard Cup. Another big and vocal crowd is tipped to get behind the Seagulls in their quest for a third win at home this season. Burleigh enters the match in fourth spot on six competition points, just one clear of Wynnum Manly. Both sides have players occupying spots on the try-scoring leader board. Wynnum’s Luke Dalziel Don crossed for a double against Norths last weekend to take his season haul to five. Not to be outdone, powerful Burleigh centre Adam Fielder also took his tally to five with a neat double against the Northern Pride. The Pride inflicted Burleigh’s first loss of the season last weekend. Bay FM 100.3 will call the game live.
Seagulls Soar At Kougari
WYNNUM Manly has moved into the top five for the first time this season with a gritty 26-14 victory over the Norths Devils at BMD Kougari Oval.
Seagulls halfback Denny Lambert steered the home side around the park superbly in the slippery conditions.
Lambert scored a crucial try in the first half and landed three conversions to consign the Devils to their third loss from four starts.
While Norths remain in the lower half of the table, the rejuvenated Seagulls leapt into outright fifth spot on the back of the 12-point win.
The Seagulls led today’s match 16-0 at half-time following tries from Steve Irwin, Luke Dalziel Don and Lambert.
Irwin scored the opening try of the match when he jumped high into the air to take a pin-point accurate cross kick from Lambert in front of the rowdy “Chook Pen”.
The diehard group of Wynnum supporters roared with great delight when Irwin slammed the ball down over the line.
However, the Wynnum crowd was kept quiet for a large proportion of the second half as the Devils fought their way back into the scrappy contest.
Young centre Luke Samoa stamped his class midway through the second half with two quick tries.
At 16-8, the Devils were well and truly in the match.
However, the young Mark Gee-coached side paid the price for making too many basic handling errors.
The Devils knocked on twice from the kick off and on a further two occasions lost possession on the first tackle while deep inside Wynnum Manly territory.
After a quiet first half, Devils five-eighth Joel Moon led the visiting team’s revival in the second 40 minutes.
But that revival was put to rest when Irwin soared through the air to score from another high kick in the 67th minute.
The spectacular try in the corner put the Seagulls in front 20-8.
Devils winger Rodney Davies showed blistering pace to score a 90m intercept try in the 77th minute.
The try, and quick conversion from Haisley Robson, reduced the deficit to 20-14 with the clock ticking.
But the Devils’ hopes of racing in one last converted try to snatch a draw were dashed when they knocked on from the kick off for the second time in the match.
Wynnum’s Dalziel Don crashed over to score in the next set of six to the put the icing on the victory.
Photo courtesy of SMP Images
Pride Of The North Belt Devils
NORTHERN Pride coach Andrew Dunemann has credited a strong team bond as the reason behind his team’s stunning unbeaten run in the Wizard Cup.
Dunemann’s charges racked up their third-straight victory with a 46-12 demolition of the Norths Devils in Cairns on Saturday night.
The Pride are sitting pretty at the top of the table again this week, ensuring their moniker rings true.
Dunemann says the Pride’s unexpected success is due to the close bond the team shares.
“We have a great group of guys here and we’re all on the same page and have become quite close. I’m not just saying that either. You ask any of the boys and they’ll tell you the same thing,” Dunemann said.
“Anytime you have a good attitude and great blokes in a football club you’re going to win football games.”
The Pride scored eight tries in their romp over Norths, but Dunemann said there could have been more if his team held onto the ball.
“That was our worst performance of the year by far. We were terrible. We bombed a lot of chances,” he said.
“Credit to Norths though. It would be tough to come up here and they played well.”
Norths lost their best player, Joel Moon to the Brisbane Broncos the day before the game, and lacked direction throughout the match.
The Devils were simply unable to compete with the Pride’s experienced forwards, which included NRL regulars Steve Southern and Matthew Bartlett.
For the Pride, former Ipswich forward Joel Reithmuller terrorised Norths on the edges, but Dunemann saved special praise for Jason Roos, an unheralded hooker from the Cairns local league.
“Roos was great. For a kid to step up from local league to Wizard Cup and play well so early on is a great achievement,” said Dunemann.
The Pride meets the Burleigh Bears in a top-of-the-table showdown next weekend.
A YOUNG Norths Devils outfit has put the disappointment of last week’s opening round loss to the Central Comets behind them, outlasting Tweed Heads 20-12 at Bishop Park.
The Devils led Tweed 16-0 early in the second half and survived a late scare from last season’s premiers to open their account.
“We took a big step forward from what we did last week,” Norths coach Mark Gee said.
“Last week we were pretty ordinary. When the boys reviewed the performance against the Comets they were pretty disappointed.”
The Seagulls put a major fright through the Devils when Brenton Bowen and Dennis Gordon scored converted tries in the second half.
But Tweed couldn’t land the killer blow, despite a glut of possession.
“We got hammered in the penalty count 14-5 which is something we need to address,” Gee said.
“We worked hard all day. We didn’t deserve to lose the game but they (Tweed) still had a few chances to win the game late in the match.”
Hooker Marc Brentnall and classy centre Luke Samoa impressed for the Devils, who face the daunting prospect of playing the red-hot Northern Pride in Cairns next week.
“We’re going to need to be on our game and show the same commitment to test them,” Gee said.
Although his side came up empty handed, Tweed coach Michael Woods described the Seagulls’ performance as a “much improved showing”
“We didn’t control the ball and our last play options were a bit poor,” Woods said.
“We were in the game all the way until the last two minutes when they scored a break away try.”
For the second-straight week, Tweed entered the match without premiership-winning playmakers Brad Davis and Matt King.
But Woods said the Seagulls still had enough talent on the park to win the match.
“We probably lacked a bit of composure,” he said.
“But I’m not going to put that down to not having Brad or Matt there.”
Confident Comets Run Riot
THE Central Comets have kept the visiting Norths Devils scoreless in the second half to secure an upset 28-18 Wizard Cup victory at Browne Park.
The results caught many loyal Queensland Cup followers off-guard but it came as no surprise to Comets player/coach Wayne Barnett.
“We were confident actually,” said Barnett, who took on the player/coaching role this month following the shock resignation of Steve Anderson.
“We had a good week at training and all of the turmoil was behind us. The boys were ready to go.”
The Devils led the home team 18-14 at half-time following tries to Joel Moon, Billy Rogers and Marc Brentnall.
But Norths were outgunned in the second half, much to the delight of Central’s army of vocal supporters.
The centre pairing of Tyron Haynes and Marty Hatfield caused plenty of problems for the Devils’ outside backs.
But it was big Dave Taylor who was perhaps the most influential player on the field.
Taylor did his chances of a Broncos recall no harm with a strong 80 minute display for the Comets.
“He’s a huge boost to our side,” Barnett said.
“We’re going to miss him when he’s not there.”
Taylor’s desire to roll up his sleeves impressed the Comets.
“We tried to pull him off (the field) and he wouldn’t come,” Barnett revealed.
March 16 - 2008
Lomu Lands In Devils Territory
NORTHS Devils have made their last signing for 2008 their biggest, capturing former Brisbane Broncos’ giant Andrew Lomu, who has returned from Sydney ready to give league another shot.
Lomu, whose cousin is a 'little' rugby union bloke known simply as Jonah, left the Brisbane Broncos late last year, citing a need to be close to his family in the harbor city.
The signing is a coup for the Devils, who will field the youngest team in the Wizard Cup this season.
Lomu turns 29 in two weeks and will be the squad’s “grandfather”, providing valuable teaching to the side’s brigade of colts.
Lomu has had an up and down career.
Born in Tonga but migrating to New Zealand at a young age, he’s played for four NRL clubs, each stint punctuated by injury.
The constant need for bandages has proved frustrating and if the Devils are to succeed this year, coach Mark Gee says they will depend on the man mountain staying fit.
“He’s a guy who has played for many years in the top grade and we need that here,” says Gee.
“We were a bit light on front rowers so he’s a welcome addition.”
Norths CEO Mark Murray says if it wasn’t for injuries Lomu would have spent more time with the Broncos.
“That’s (injury) what has stopped him from getting a regular first grade spot,” says Murray.
However, whether he will play for the Broncos this year received mixed appraisals from Devils officials.
“I think he can get there,” says an optimistic Murray.
“He’s only contracted to us at the moment, but I think he will become dual registered.”
Mark Gee was more cautious in his assessment of the former New Zealand international.
“It’s a possibility,” says a guarded Gee.
“He had a lot of niggling injuries last year which meant he didn’t play much so he will have to stay on the field first.”
Fearsome when he crosses the white line, Lomu is anything but away from the field.
He is regularly involved with the National Aboriginal Sports Corporation Australia (NASCA), an organisation that helps Aboriginal youth use sport as motivational tool.
Lomu assists by visiting remote communities to hand out rugby league equipment and provide coaching clinics.
Norths and Broncos’ officials are hoping he can provide similar assistance to their emerging stars.
Source: www.qrl.com.au by Chris Garry
Injury Time A Godsend
Courtesy of Quest Newspapers/Northside Chronicle
For many young footballers, a 10-month injury lay-off would be unbearable. But for Norths' Jacob Fauid, it has been a blessing from God.
Fauid has spent most of 2007 on the sidelines with osteitis pubis but said his time away from rugby league had opened his eyes to life off the field.
During his enforced absence from football, Fauid began a youth leadership course at the Planetshakers Bible College at Mt Ommaney and is working at Northside Christian College.
"It's really a hidden blessing that I think God put in my life," Fauid said.
"The chance to do this has allowed me to offer more to my football than just play it.
"Hopefully, I can be a bit of a positive role-model to people."
The 19-year-old admitted before the injury he had no idea what he would do if his footballing career had not worked out but his new vocation has not dampened his desire for his original footballing dream, with the halfback having secured a new contract with the Brisbane Broncos.
"I'm looking at starting running again in January. I am ready to play. I've been out for so long," he said.
"I think the last 12 months will really help me.
"My character has grown so much in that time and I think I can bring that to the field a bit.''
Fauid is to start with the Norths Devils in next year's Queensland Cup but said he was also licking his lips in anticipation of playing in the new national under-20 competition.
"There's a really big hype around it. I can't wait," he said.
"I think if I can handle playing for the (Toowoomba) Clydesdales in the Queensland Cup when I was 17, then physically I'll be ready for the next step.''
Former Devils Live Aussie Dream
WHEN Australia plays New Zealand in Sunday week's Test match, few people will be as excited as Norths Devils CEO Mark Murray.
Through his role with the Devils, Murray has played a big part in the development of some of the game's brightest young stars who have now gone on to become household names.
Much to Murray's delight, former Devils young guns Greg Inglis, Dallas Johnson, Israel Folau, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk were recently named in the Australian team.
Their selection follows the Queenslander's outstanding performances in the Melbourne Storm's NRL grand final victory over Manly.
Adding to the strong Devils flavour in the league international is the selection of Ryan Hoffman and Michael Crocker in the star-studded Kangaroos line-up and Jeremy Smith, Paul Whatuira and Jeff Lima in the Kiwi side.
The Storm's 10-year link with the Devils paved the way for the likes of Crocker, Lima and Jeremy Smith to make the occasional appearance for the Bishop Park club.
While pleased for the group, Murray gets even greater satisfaction from seeing the careers of Inglis, Johnson, Cronk and Cameron Smith take off.
All four came to the Devils in their teenage years.
"It's rewarding when you remember them coming to us as school leavers and when they were breaking in to Colts," Murray said.
Murray still rates Inglis - the 2007 Clive Churchill medallist - as the best 17 or 18 year-old talent he's laid eyes on.
But when it comes to consistency, Murray can't go past new Kangaroos skipper Smith.
"He's the complete player," Murray said of the classy hooker who joined the Devils from Logan City.
"I've never seen Cameron, even in his Colts days, have a bad game."
Murray said the number of players who had soared into elite level rugby league through the Devils-Storm link was "quite staggering".
"It's been good," Murray said.
"You shake your head when it's not still going because it's been so successful but things change."
Out of the 34 players selected to play in the test, an amazing 10 have played with the Norths Devils.
4 Devils in Junior Kangaroos
NORTHS DEVILS graduates Israel Folau, Will Chambers, Joel Thompson and Aiden Tolman have been chosen in the Junior Kangaroos squad to tour the Pacific next month.
Fellow Queenslanders Shannon Walker (Tweed Heads), Will Matthews Lagi Setu, who played NRL with St George Illawarra this year, also made the cut, as did Queensland Under 19 rep Anthony Mitchell (Parramatta Eels).
Brisbane Broncos spearhead David Taylor was not considered due to injury, as were Rodney Davies and Joel Moon.
The Junior Kangaroos will play Fiji and Tonga before taking on the might of the Junior Kiwis in Wellington.
New South Wales State of Origin representative Jarryd Hayne has been selected, as have NRL stars Michael Jennings and Chris Lawrence.
The schedule is as follows:
Friday October 5
Junior Kangaroos v Fiji – Fiji National Stadium, Suva
Wednesday October 10
Junior Kangaroos v Tonga – Teufaiva Stadium, Tonga
Sunday October 14
Junior Kangaroos v Junior Kiwis – Westpac Stadium
JUNIOR KANGAROOS 2007
Michael Brophy (Canberra Raiders)
Will Chambers (Brisbane Norths)
Wade Dunley (Western Suburbs Magpies)
Israel Folau (Melbourne Storm)
Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels)
Trent Hodkinson (Parramatta Eels)
Michael Jennings (Penrith Panthers)
Kris Keating (Parramatta Eels)
Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers)
Martin Lewis (Parramatta Eels)
Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels)
Will Mtthews (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
Anthony Mitchell (Parramatta Eels)
Tim Moltzen (Balmain Ryde)
Lagi Setu (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Joel Thompson (Brisbane Norths)
Aiden Tolman (Brisbane Norths)
Shannon Walker (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
Tony Williams (Parramatta Eels)