ON THE BALL: Gympie's Jacob Groundwater in a previous game against Beerwah.
ON THE BALL: Gympie's Jacob Groundwater in a previous game against Beerwah. LEEROY TODD

Devils gift points to Snakes as season takes toll

RUGBY LEAGUE: Coach Bob Leitch is hopeful Gympie will be able to field a competitive team for the remainder of this year's Sunshine Coast division one competition after they were forced to forfeit against Caboolture on Saturday.

The Devils could not muster the necessary numbers, with just 10 men indicating they could play in the round 17 fixture down the Bruce Highway.

Leitch has been away at the national schoolboys championships but he said it seemed his team's injury woes had worsened in the wake of a recent outing against Nambour.

He's set to speak with club officials and players, hopeful they can field a competitive team for the last four rounds.

"I want a commitment that they're going to be here for home games and playing away games to finish the season ... that's what we're looking for."

Two of their remaining games will be held at Kandanga, one at Caloundra and one at Coolum. They forfeit a match at the latter venue earlier in the year.

When asked if he was confident they could field a competitive team, Leitch said "we're hopeful".

"We need a commitment out of them that they are going to turn up for the last games .. we'll have a meeting and get an indication."

Gympie is seventh of eight teams, having beaten Noosa twice this season.

Leitch said they have benefited somewhat from the services if some players with state league and state colts competition experience.

But injuries have taken a toll, particularly after a mid-season game against Kawana.

"And they have (now) just got to the point that I suppose the injuries have continued and have probably got a bit the better of them," he said.

"They're kids, they're small and some of them are getting knocked around a bit and this weekend there didn't seem to be the numbers."

Leitch said he had asked players mid-season if they would prefer to be in division two and they told him they wanted to persevere.

The Devils have experienced a roller-coaster ride in recent years.

Former contenders, they started to struggle and formed a joint venture outfit with Noosa, the Northern Outlaws, for 2014 and 2015.

They returned to action in their own right in 2016 but battled.

They did not field a side in division one last year before getting back into the competition this season.

Amid other weekend games, Kawana beat Nambour 46-18 at Bokarina, Maroochydore beat Caloundra 26-14 at Golden Beach and Maroochydore thrashed Noosa 46-0 at Tewantin.



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