The Courier-Mail

Duffie in heavens to smash Devils

- TODD BALYM

FORMER Kiwi Test winger Matt Duffie washed away three years of injury torment with a stunning four-try manof-the-match performanc­e as Easts Tigers thumped Norths Devils 50-6 at Bishop Park yesterday.

Duffie has been the hardluck story of the Melbourne Storm, with three seasons ruined by shoulder and knee reconstruc­tions in a horrific injury run that would test the patience of any footballer.

The Storm maintained their faith in the 24-year-old by keeping him on their books, and he showed glimpses of the star of old yesterday in the carve-up of the Devils.

Duffie scored three tries in 16 minutes as the Tigers raced to a 36-0 halftime lead.

It was a clinical display by the Tigers whose forward pack punched holes through the Devils while Shaun Nona provided the polish off the back of that platform.

The highlight of the game was Duffie’s aerial skill, showing confidence is returning in the knees that had twice failed him.

Duffie leapt above his opponent to take an overhead catch for his second try but it was the take late in the second half that simply had to be seen to be believed.

The 192cm winger leapt so high he was standing on the back of a Devils opponent and then as he fell, he passed the ball to centre Michael Kai to score a try.

Duffie’s work was rewarded with a fourth try in the final minute when Devils winger Luke Pollock capped his nightmare afternoon by dropping another kick for the Tigers to bring up their half century.

The win meant the Tigers kept pace with the ISC top four ahead of this weekend’s bye.

Elsewhere yesterday, Mackay Cutters came from behind to snatch a 12-10 victory over Northern Pride, Tweed Heads were far too strong for Burleigh in a thumping 50-4 Gold Coast derby victory while Wynnum-Manly beat Redcliffe 22-12 to conclude rivalry round.

Meanwhile, the QRL yesterday confirmed the locations for this year’s Country week games, with matches to be held in Dalby, Blackall, Bundaberg, Charters Towers, Innisfail and Stanthorpe on the weekend of August 15-16.

 ??  ?? POLISHED: Shaun Nona.
POLISHED: Shaun Nona.

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