Devils lament 'big loss' after skipper's departure
UPDATE: The Gympie Devils' Colts side were the stars of the club's 2019 Sponsors Day show, thrashing Beerwah 68-12 at Jack Stokes Oval.
The news wasn't so good for the A-grade side or their finals hopes, with a 50-12 loss to the Bulldogs pushing them out of the competition's top four sides.
More to come.
Tomorrow at Jack Stokes Oval shapes as a crucial but special day for the Gympie Devils' 2019 season.
Attempting to bounce back from a tough 32-10 loss to Stanley River last weekend which sees them clinging to a finals spot, the Devils return home to celebrate their dedicated sponsors, and face the task of knocking over the league-leading Beerwah Bulldogs.
And they'll have to do it without skipper and influential halfback Jake Harney, who has departed the club and moved north to Mackay. Coach Michael Buckley said Harney had left big shoes to fill but maintained he was confident the young Devils will rise to the challenge.
"Jake is a big loss, that's for sure, but we've got people to step in and take on his role,” Buckley said.
"Joe Curran has stepped up from lock and slotted in the halves very well, and Damian Forde-Hurrell came in as the halfback.
"Joe Chapman will be back in this week, which will allow Damian to go back to the nine (hooker).
"I've got a lot of faith in those boys to lead us well, we've got a few boys out with work commitments but we're not making any excuses.”
This weekend's round of games will see the finals race well and truly heat up as the Devils wrestle Nambour, Kawana and Noosa for fourth spot. The Devils women have almost certainly secured the minor premiership after Beerwah/South Burnett were forced to forfeit Sunday's contest.
The Gympie Devils Sponsors Day action begins with the colts at noon, followed by reserve grade at 1.30pm and A-grade at 3pm.