Devils leave Dolphins high and dry
THE Gympie Devils are joint leaders with Nambour after dropping a net on the Kawana Dolphins at the weekend.
Playing away, the Devils won the encounter 28-18.
Coach John Greensill was pleased with his team’s efforts, saying the Devils were able to dominate when placed under pressure by Kawana.
“What we did really well is pull away from Kawana when they looked as though were getting back into the match,” he said.
Kawana drew early blood, taking a 6-0 lead before the Devils woke up and got moving, establishing a 10-6 lead at half time.
Kawana was unsettled when player Jack Noble was controversially sent off after bumping into match referee John Perez.
Noble was running down the field after a play the ball infringement led to a verbal reprimand by the referee for back chat when the physical contact occurred.
Kawana coach Andrew Hinson was furious over the decision, and Greensill joined the chorus of disapproval, saying the contact appeared to be “accidental.”
Hinson believed his player had not seen the referee moments before the minor collision.
But as much as Greensill sympathised with Kawana’s grievance, he was keeping his focus on his troops.
“It’s really an issue Kawana has to worry about,” he said.
After the half time break, Kawana regained the lead momentarily (12-10) but it was short-lived as the Devils dropped into a new gear.
“We scored a couple of tries, established a lead again and that was really pleasing because we shut Kawana out,” Greensill said.
Helping the Devils extend their lead was a series of penalty goals.
Greensill said the Devils opted for the penalty goals rather than shooting for the tries was because of conditions.
A final try 10 minutes out by the Devils put the result beyond Kawana’s reach.
“It was a really windy night so we opted to get the points on the board because playing conditions were tough,” he said.
Meanwhile, the victory came at a cost for the Devils with the loss of Michael Blake for at least the remainder of the season to a broken shoulder.
“It could be career ending,” Greensill said.
Players to cross for Gympie included Barry Berrigan, Michael Dodt, Ray Ioane, Danny McMah and Darren Burns.
Nick Swan also had his eye in with the boot, converting four goals to bolster the win.