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Devils clinch second spot

Halfback Nick Swan puts the Devils on the front foot.
Halfback Nick Swan puts the Devils on the front foot.

A MAN of the match effort by Gympie Devils’ half back Nick Swan has helped the Devils defeat Nambour 34-16 at Jack Stokes Oval Saturday night.

Swan was in scintillating form, scoring four tries and converting five goals for a massive 26 point haul.

The win puts the Devils back into second spot on the Sunshine Coast Gympie rugby league ladder, three points behind Caloundra and one in front of Nambour.

Devils’ coach John Greensil was happy with the way his team played.

He said the Devils dominated the ruck early on and jumped out to a nearly unbeatable 24-0 lead at half time.

He heaped the highest praise on Swan, saying his game was top drawer and that it was his best of the season.

“His speed and step around the ruck carved them to pieces.”

Swan got the votes for player’s player after the game, but was followed closely by 18-year-old rookie Shaun Wilson.

Wilson played in hooker for the Devils instead of his usual five eighth position.

“He was outstanding,” Greensil said.

“His passes were sharp and he completed nearly 50 tackles.”

Greensil also made special mention of Darren Burns who had another huge game for the club.

“Burnsie was outstanding in the second row – everyone was good, but those three really stood up,” he said. “We got back to our physical game both in attack and defence.”

The Devils experiment of playing Fijian flyer Tobs Viravu in fullback instead of wing worked well too.

“He was really nervous before the game,” Greensil said.

“But he played really well, his kick returns were good and he didn’t make a mistake,” he said.

The only downer for the Devils was the loss of in form prop Brad English with a broken hand.

English had x-rays on his hand Sunday night and the coach said he should be out for only four weeks and be back in time for the finals.

Next week the Devils play cellar dwellers Maroochydore at Jack Stokes on Sunday.

It is a game they must win to hold on to second spot.

“Caboolture were bottom of the table too, and they beat us,” Greensil said.

“We can’t take any team lightly, any team can win on the day,” he said.

Ex Bronco Barry Berrigan will be back on deck for the Devils next week and Greensil said a couple of other players will be returning from injury.

Scorers: Nick Swan 4, Shaun Wilson, Darren Burns tries. Nick Swan 5 goals.

LADDER

 Caloundra ..........................21

 Gympie ..............................18

 Nambour ...........................17

 Kawana .............................16

 Noosa ...............................10

 Caboolture ......................... 4

 Maroochydore .................... 2

Gympie Times