Devils levelled by misfortune
FORTUNES can change dramatically in rugby as the Gympie Devils discovered at the weekend.
The team travelled away Saturday afternoon to tackle Nambour but found little went their way in a gruelling 38-24 loss.
The result was vastly different from a week earlier when the Devils overcame arch rivals Noosa at Pirate Park.
Coach John Greensill said the loss against Nambour was tough but he didn’t feel alarmed.
“It’s still early days in the season and if this kind of result is going to happen, it’s best to happen early on rather than during the business end,” he said.
The Devils were pummelled with a number of last-minute dramas prior to taking to the field.
Included in the list was the loss of Darren Burns due to family considerations, a few players out of action for disciplinary reasons and another player involved in a car accident earlier in the day.
“We had a few things come together that unsettled the team,” Greensill said.
“That said, Nambour is a quality side and played extremely well.”
With players missing, the Devils had just one player on the bench to call upon during interchange.
The lack of fresh legs took a toll on the Gympie side as the match progressed and Nambour took full advantage of the opportunity.
After kick-off, Nambour raced to a shot-gun lead of 16-0 before the Devils returned fire.
Two converted tries later, the Devils trailed 16-12 at half time.
“I felt we were still in touch at this point,” Greensill said.
“We were definitely still in it with a shot.”
The Devils nudged in front to be sitting on 18-16 but the moment was shortlived as the side fell victim to a costly 15-minute lapse.
Nambour ran in four tries before the Devils were able to cross again and by that point, the damage had been done.
Greensill highlighted second rowers Kane Ernst and Riley McDowell as standout players while young gun Nick Swan received praise for having his best game so far.
“Nick had his best game in a losing side unfortunately,” Greensill said.
The Devils are now looking to put the loss behind them and refocus for a week of intense training ahead of their first home game of the season this Saturday against Maroochydore.
Kick-off is at 6.30pm at Jack Stokes with the Under 19 side raising the curtain earlier at 4pm.