CHARGER: Gympie Devils under-18s forward Darcy Cartwright will need to fire in the forwards.
CHARGER: Gympie Devils under-18s forward Darcy Cartwright will need to fire in the forwards. LEEROY TODD

How the Devils 18s took a leaf out of the seniors' play book

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Gympie Devils under-18s are taking a page out of the 2018 A-grade book - not giving up and playing for each other.

In its inaugural season, the side has been hampered by injuries, low player numbers and boys playing rep footy; it has not been full-strength but the coach is seeing some positives.

Gympie Devils under-18s - Ben Buggy halfback
Gympie Devils under-18s - Ben Buggy halfback Bec Singh

"They have learnt how to dig in for each other and play for the club and their mate next to them,” coach Jake Harney said.

"It has taught them a lot.”

There were hopes for an Under-18s side last year but due to numbers it was put on hold until this year.

The Devils are a resilient young team and there are a few players who could make an impact when they play the Stanley River Wolves today.

Gympie Devils under-18s - Braydon McClay forward
Gympie Devils under-18s - Braydon McClay forward Bec Singh

"Two forwards Braydon McClay and Braydon McGrath have been really good so far,” Harney said.

"McClay's defence has been really good, and McGrath is one of the best attacking forwards. He is a big strong lad and he can run through a hole really well and has scored a few tries.

Gympie Devils under-18s - Patrick Hoult five-eighth
Gympie Devils under-18s - Patrick Hoult five-eighth Bec Singh

"The halves Ben Buggy and Paddy (Patrick) Hoult have been good, steering the team around and calling the shots as good halves do.

"Front rower Braydon Andersen has been strong and reliable, has been strong in defence and strong through the middle.”

The quick style of the Devils has been their best asset and once they have a full strength team in two weeks with players returning, Harney believes finals footy is still on the cards.

Gympie Devils under-18s - Braydon Andersen forward
Gympie Devils under-18s - Braydon Andersen forward Bec Singh

"We just have to get through this week, then we have a bye and the next game we will have the full team back,” he said.

"Finals is still the aim, every team has that goal. Our boys are up to the challenge, getting better each week and can only go up from here.”

The Devils have a strong benchmark .

Gympie Devils under-18s - Jake Harney coach
Gympie Devils under-18s - Jake Harney coach Bec Singh

"We are not a big team but a fit team and we can outlast a few teams,” Harney said.

"We play a fast style of footy and they don't give up, they go to the end (of the game) and really put in for each other.

"The only thing we need to change is the way we train, having the boys know their job on the field and what needs to be done at certain times.”

Gympie Times


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