Rugby League - Gympie Devils vs Maroochydore Swans - Jake Harney
Rugby League - Gympie Devils vs Maroochydore Swans - Jake Harney Leeroy Todd

DEVILS: 25 photos of our red hot 2019 league team

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Gympie Devils has surprised a few teams this season and they will hope their momentum can see them get over the line against Caboolture tomorrow.

After a tough season last year, the Devils' defence has been their strongest asset in the Sunshine Coast Rugby League competition.

"They are defending well and working hard as a unit,” Devils A-grade coach Michael Buckley said.

"Defensively we have surprised a lot of sides with our physicality.”

Gympie Devils new coach Michael Buckley (second from right).
Gympie Devils new coach Michael Buckley (second from right).

Devils beat the reigning premiers the Maroochydore Swans on their home turf 30-22 and the Caloundra Sharks away 34-12.

"We brought a couple results with Maroochydore and Caloundra,” Buckley said.

"It is never easy winning away from home.”

The talented and physical side of the Snakes will be a good test for Gympie.

"They are top of the table and it will be a tough game for us,” Buckley said.

"Caboolture have a lot of good talent and a strong physical side.

"We will give them a run for their money.”

Devils had a busy off season getting their playing group organised and starting off this season with just one loss there are a few players who have stood out for Buckley.

Sunshine Coast Falcons training session. Caleb Daunt
Sunshine Coast Falcons training session. Caleb Daunt Warren Lynam

"Joe Curran (lock) is playing the best football he has ever played,” he said.

"Damian Forde-Hurrell (hooker) and Matt Moessinger (front row) have been strong in the middle.

"Kailum Freeman (second row) has been just whacking people, he is our hitman in defence. He has been really good, I'm really happy for him and he has had a few injuries but he is going well.”

Damian Forde-Hurrell, Falcons. Western Mustangs vs Sunshine Coast Falcons, Hastings Deering Colts. Sunday, 8th Apr 2018.
Damian Forde-Hurrell, Falcons. Western Mustangs vs Sunshine Coast Falcons, Hastings Deering Colts. Sunday, 8th Apr 2018. Nev Madsen

The Daunt name is synonymous with rugby league in Gympie and Caleb, an under-20s Melbourne Storm development player, has boosted the Devils' line-up from five-eighth.

"He has got good strong links to Gympie,” Buckley said.

"All the Daunt family played in Gympie. Barry and Barb Caleb's grandparents, his father Wayne and his uncle Brett.

"He played six Intrust Super games for the Falcons and he is a good kid and will hopefully play this weekend.”

Rugby League - Gympie Devils vs Noosa Pirates - Matt Moessinger Gympie Devils
Rugby League - Gympie Devils vs Noosa Pirates - Matt Moessinger Gympie Devils LEEROY TODD

Devils have a bit of strength with the accuracy of their halfback Jake Harney's kicking, back rower Dan Robinson and halfback/fullback Riley Moore have added a bit of aggression into the side.

"Dan has been solid defensively, probably the highlight is his communication,” Buckley said.

"Jake and Riley have plenty of strike power around the park.”

Gympie has made it a bit hard on themselves; their discipline is where they need to improve.

"Their discipline needs some attention,” Buckley said.

Stephen Buckley and Riley Moore ready for the Falcons Colts match this weekend.
Stephen Buckley and Riley Moore ready for the Falcons Colts match this weekend. Warren Lynam

"It is not bad but we are giving away penalties in the back end of sets.

"We are handing the other teams the football, allowing them to have another crack at us.”

Devils' reserves are hunting for their first win but their player/coach Matthew Smith said the biggest win was getting a squad on the field each week.

"We have not had a reserve team in a few years and our aim for this season was to have 19 men that turn up and have a positive attitude,” Smith said.

"The focus was to have a team. We just want to be competitive this year, stay together and make some friendships and the results will come after that.”

Rugby League Gympie vs Beerwah - Matthew Smith
Rugby League Gympie vs Beerwah - Matthew Smith LEEROY TODD

This is the first time Smith has coached and the biggest reason was to give all players the chance to play.

"Gympie needed to field a second-grade team and have not had two teams for a while now,” he said.

"When Michael (Buckley, Devils A-grade coach) approached me I was excited to take that on.”

With a good bunch of players around him, Smith has found taking on the extra responsibility smooth.

"There are 19 players putting their hand up to play which makes everything easier,” he said.

Devils' four sides in action at Jack Stokes tomorrow from 12pm.

Gympie Times


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