Gympie captain Lucy Vella was strong in attack.
Gympie captain Lucy Vella was strong in attack. Warren Lynam

How the Devils fell short in nail-biting grand final

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Gympie Devils women fell just four points short of grand final glory in a golden point thriller on Sunday at Sunshine Coast Stadium against the Maroochydore Swans.

Gympie centre Sophia Fisher had the Devils on the scoreboard from the first play of the game and coach Troy Carlson said that became their undoing as the side went down 16-12.

"We had a few ball handling errors after that and we ended up getting to that grind against Maroochydore,” he said.

Devils centre Sophia Fisher runs down the sideline.
Devils centre Sophia Fisher runs down the sideline. Warren Lynam

"Sophia scored and I think the girls got a bit complacent because she scored so quickly.

"Once we were in that grind with them they beat us.”

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The Swans scored three tries before Devils utility Kym Waugh scored Gympie's second and captain Lucy Vella kicked the conversion to make it 12-12.

Maroochydore Swans coach Jordan Dwyer said Gympie had been a tough outfit to battle.

Devils fullback Caitlin Urwin runs into open space.
Devils fullback Caitlin Urwin runs into open space. Warren Lynam

"They are no easy opponent,” he said. "We were just lucky enough to get the chocolates today.”

Despite the loss Carlson said there were a few highlights from the game and the team would be using this as a foundation to build on for next year.

"The highlight was making the grand final. Apart from losing, the girls enjoyed themselves and it was good to get there,” he said. "They have set a high bar for next season and we will be going back next year to try and do one better. Hopefully we can keep the same playing group. This year was about learning the game but next season we will be able to dig deep and get the defensive structure together.”

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