Fullback out of grand final
DEVILS’ fullback Ray Ioane will miss the club’s first ever grand final after receiving a two match ban from the Sunshine Coast/Gympie Rugby League tribunal on Monday night.
Ioane was charged with a grade three high tackle in the Devils win over Caloundra two weeks ago.
Ioane was sent from the field at the start of the second half after hitting Sharks centre Chris McGill in a high tackle in wet conditions.
Gympie coach John Greensil said it was disappointing to lose Ioane for the final, but was quick to point out the Devils had the player depth to fill the role.
“It is disappointing for Ray, he has played nearly every game for us this year,” Greensil said.
“We need to focus on ourselves, Rays loss may be a way of getting the boys up for the game.
“We need to do it for Ray,” he said.
The Devils will now play ex-Bronco Barry Berrigan in fullback.
Greensil said Berrigan was at home playing fullback after playing 50 odd games for Canterbury in the NRL and Super league as fullback.
Greensil spoke to Berrigan earlier in the week about the move into fullback and Berrigan said he was excited about the change.
“He has played there at the top level,” Greensil said.
He said Berrigan’s communication would be a positive for the team and would allow rookie Shaun Wilson to remain as hooker.