Norths Devils underlined their dark horse status with a big defeat of Ipswich on Sunday afternoon, which makes it two wins in a row against the two most recent premiers.
It took the home side to get going in the hot and wet conditions that greeted Brisbane on Sunday, as Ipswich scored first as Nathaniel Neale scored his 50th point for the Jets and led 4-0 for the first half an hour.
From the 30 minute mark it was all about Norths, as off season recruit Delouise Hoeter scored for a third consecutive game, and just three minutes later Dane Chang crossed and it was 10-4 at the break.
The Devils scored just after the break through Luke Pollock to further extend the lead, and steady tries and handy penalty goals kept them in control for the rest of the afternoon. Ipswich bookended the match with the last try of the afternoon, but by then they were too far behind to cause any major worries for the Devils.
Norths now have a handy 2-1 start to the season and will fancy their chances to do more damage to other teams. The win also leaves their opponents with just a first round win over Tweed Heads as their only competition points.
NORTHS DEVILS 32
Tries: Delouise Hoeter (31m), Dane Chang (34m), Luke Pollock (41m), Michael Lucas (59m), Francis Molo (62m)
Goal: Tood Murphy 4 Conv, 2 Pens
IPSWICH JETS 10
Tries: Nathaniel Neale (13m), Tyson Lofipo (67m)
Goals: Wesley Conlon 1 Conv
After spending a few season sliding down the Intrust Super Cup ladder, the Norths Devils have started off 2017 with a great away win over the reigning premiers Burleigh on the Gold Coast last weekend, and got within two points of heavyweights Townsville at home in Round 1.
The Devils welcome the Blackhawks opponent from last weekend – the Ipswich Jets, and another win for the home side will rightly earn them the tag of early season surprise packets.
Having Broncos prospects Kodi Nikorima and Matiu Love-Henry helps, but smart off season recruiting of Javarn White and Delouise Hoeter has also had a positive impact.
Talking of positive, no one plays positive football like the Ipswich Jets.
That positive style helped Ipswich to a big win in Round 1 against the Tweed Heads Seagulls, but were sometimes guilty of over exuberance against the Blackhawks as their mistakes were punished.
As ever Michael Purcell will be one to watch, as the try scoring machine, but there are good battles all over the park, especially in the hales and forward packs. Francis Molo v Billy McConnachie should be high quality.
Norths Devils by 2
1. Javarn White 2. Michael Lucas 3. Delouise Hoeter 4. Luke Pollock 5. Dane Chang 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Todd Murphy 8. Francis Molo 9. Billy Brittain (c) 10. James Taylor 11. David Faamita 12. Matiu Love-Henry 13. Dalton Phillips 14. Gary Riccardi 15. Mattais Heimuli 16. Michael Molo 17. Stephen Coombe 18. Tama Koopu 19. Troyden Watene 20. Michael Pearsall
Coach: Mark Gliddon
1. Wesley Conlon 2. Michael Purcell 3. Marion Seve 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Richard Pandia 6. Luke Capewell 7. Dane Phillips (c) 8. Billy McConnachie 9. Christopher Ash 10. Nathaniel Neale 11. Samuel Martin 21. Jesse Roberts 22. Tyson Lofipo 14. Mikaere Beattie 15. Sebastian Pandia 16. Fakahoko Teutau 17. Mitchell Carpenter
Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker
Ipswich 38 Norths 24
Norths 14 Ipswich 16
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