Execution, intensity Norths’ key to fighting inconsistency after rare loss to Gordon

By Matt Findlay; Photo: Clay Cross/Sportspics Although disappointed his side lost to Gordon for just the third time in the last five years Northern Suburbs coach Nick Hensley didn’t look for excuses, simply saying “the performance deserved the result”. Saturday's 42-34 loss was the first time the Shoremen had tasted defeat at the resurgent Highlanders’ hands since round 10 of 2017 (38-37), and before that round nine of 2015 (23-21). Buoyed by the imposing presence of Waratahs play-maker Karmichael Hunt slotting in at inside centre, the Stags ran in six tries to four - Norths also picked up a penalty try - to claim the 12-point win. It’s a victory that helps the Stags maintain their tenuous hold on sixth spot a fortnight out from the finals, they’re just one point clear of Eastern Suburbs, while the Shoremen stay in fourth. “[Hunt] played really well. He carried the ball really strongly and has a good offloading game, he created some opportunities for them i