Finals footy: Devils just one win away from grand final
RUGBY LEAGUE: In their inaugural season in the Sunshine Coast Maudsley Excavations Women's Cup, the Gympie Devils are just one win away from the grand final.
The Devils were the minor premiers and face second-placed Maroochydore Swans at home on Sunday.
Despite having a full squad listed, the biggest loss for the home side is fullback Caitlin Urwin.
"We have one of our better teams listed this week but we are going to miss Caitlin,” Devils coach Troy Carlson said.
"She will be back by the grand final, if we make it.
"Urwin leaves some big shoes to fill but Kym Waugh is going to try her best.
"She (Waugh) has played one game but she has struggled to play others because of work and family commitments,” Carlson said.
"Kym will be fullback for us this weekend, she has a a good pair of heels on her. See how she goes.”
Finals was the aim for Carlson at the start of the season but he said there was still a job to do.
"I got them to the point I wanted to get them to, so I am happy with that,” he said.
"If we don't win tomorrow we go into a sudden death final next week but I know some of the girls will be wanting to have a week off.”
Carlson said the opposition should not be underestimated.
"They have gone really well this season, I have been very impressed with them,” he said.
"They have gradually improved game to game, gradually getting better and better at their defence and attacking structure where the other teams do lack in it. They are going to be very tough to beat.
"We are pretty evenly matched against them, we have won one and lost one.”
With plenty of talent within the Gympie team, Carlson needs a decent performance from the entire squad.
"I don't need standout players anymore. I need the whole team to fire,” he said.
"We have been trying the whole season to get together and play for each other rather than relying on key players.
"Everyone needs to step their game up and play for each other and get their defence sorted.”
Devils captain and hooker Joelene Scott is no stranger to the finals roster, having played last year, but this year it feels different.
"Last season I played for the Noosa Pirates and there (were) only five teams in the competition and all teams made the semi-final,” she said.
"It is a different concept this year with just four teams going through. But this year is different because we have had to earn our finals spot.”
Scott said the battle was just beginning.
"I think the hardest part is starting now,” she said.
Scott said her side would need to have most of the ball.
"Maintaining possession is what we have done strongly in our games,” she said.
"If we can maintain possession we are going to do a lot better.
"Everyone always steps up for finals.”
Devils v Swans at 1pm followed by Caboolture Snakes and Kawana Dolphins at 2.30pm at Jack Stokes Oval.
1. Kym Waugh
2. Amelia Terare
3. Sophia Fisher
4. Belita Gadd
5. Ann Cleary
6. Ellen Mosby
7. Peta Dray
8. Siehanna Mickelo
9. Joelene Scott
10. Elisha Young
11. Caite Sing
12. Madelaine Blair
13. Lucy Vella
14. Lorrie-Beth Cahill
15. Jemma Lee
16. Lisa Royynski
17. Tiana O'Sullivan
18. Taylor Jardine
19. Cindy Noffke
Coach: Troy Carlson