Devils defeat Dolphins
AN imposing victory over the Kawana Dolphins away at the weekend has gifted the Gympie Devils a home game semi-final against Nambour this Sunday.
The Devils won 32-10 to enjoy celebrations in the sheds afterwards, but the win was far from easy.
“The score line does not reflect just how hard the game really was,” Devils coach John Greensill said.
“Kawana dominated early on and was very physical.”
The Devils were troubled by a slow start, allowing Kawana to post a small lead (10-8) at half time.
Greensill fired up the Gympie boys during the break and a different Devils’ outfit ran back out on to the field.
“The boys just didn’t have their heads switched on in the first half but we were fortunate to only be trailing by two points,” Greensill said. “It could have been much more.”
The Devils turned up the dial on their aggression in the second half and strung together a number of plays that soon halted Kawana’s momentum.
Wrestling back control, it was not long before the Devils hit full pace and started to pull away from Kawana on the scoreboard.
A key factor in the Devils’ resurgence in the game was Nick Swan, who finished the match with four goals and two tries.
Also having a big influence was Darren Burns, Kane Ernst and second rower Riley McDowall.
McDowall played, despite still having 15 stiches for a wound to his head received last weekend against Caloundra.
“Riley was in great form and he is a tough player,” Greensill said.
“We covered up his stitches but he took a risk to make sure he could play for the team.”
Aside from the importance of the game for the Devils, the match was full of feeling as Kawana sought revenge.
Last time both sides met in Gympie, Kawana felt robbed of a win when a lights failure saw a win handed to the Devils on a technical ruling.
Kawana was unable to let the controversial defeat go, resolving to punish the Devils on their home turf at the weekend.
But a stunning Gympie comeback after early form difficulties saw the Devils justify the earlier result.