GAME TIME: Coombe and get me
RUGBY LEAGUE: Former Rockhampton Grammar School captain Stephen Coombe lurks in the shadows of the Norths Devils bench prepared to strike down the CQ Capras.
The Capras junior transferred from Wynnum-Manly after three disjointed seasons at the Seagulls. The change of scenery has him closing in on his best form in a red-hot Devils outfit.
Coombe, also Brisbane Broncos under-20s graduate, has helped the Brisbane-based club to sit in equal first place.
Yet he is wary of Saturday's opponents, having watched their progress closely this season.
"I always keep an eye on the Capras. They are on the right track," the 23-year-old forward said.
"That is a good effort to beat Tweed on the road, I was pretty chuffed to see that.
"They will be a tough match-up this weekend.
"Moving to Norths has been great for me personally. Confidence at the club is high and you feed off that."
Fellow recruit Chris Sandow has hogged the headlines at Norths - both good and bad - but Coombe says his involvement has been all positive.
"He is awesome at training, he always has a smile on his face and helps the younger fellas out," he said.
"Chrissy has a great attitude and brings plenty of energy. He is full of tricks too."
1 Townsville Blackhawks
2 Norths Devils
3 Redcliffe Dolphins
4 Wynnum Manly Seagulls
5 PNG Hunters
6 Sunshine Coast Falcons
7 Easts Tigers
8 Souths Logan Magpies
9 CQ Capras
10 Mackay Cutters
11 Northern Pride
12 Ipswich Jets
13 Burleigh Bears
14 Tweed Heads Seagulls
Sandow is the highest profile but just part of the Devils' cog. Coombe says everyone is on an even keel - even with their allotted Broncos affiliates.
Last weekend the Devils made the toughest road trip in the Intrust Super Cup and won.
"We have a great vibe around the club right now - going to PNG and getting the win was special," he said.
"It was the first time in four trips I have got a win. So that was nice.
"I know it is only early days but as a whole squad we are looking very solid.
"Our halves in Kodi Nikorima and Todd Murphy, with Sandow off the bench is pretty scary.
"And although I would love to be starting, our pack is going really well."
Coombe remains content in Brisbane - currently working as a personal trainer - he has just returned to study.
An exercise physiology degree awaits, before that, he just wants to keep winning, even if it is at the Capras' expense.