Why the Gympie Devils want to make Jack Stokes a fortress
The Gympie Devils got the dream start they were looking for in their long-awaited return to Sunshine Coast Rugby League action last week.
Coach Michael Buckley’s men fought out a defensive struggle on their home turf at Jack Stokes Oval against Caboolture, and capitalised on precious opportunities to edge the Snakes 10-4 at the full time whistle.
Star five-eighth Keith Gadd Jr. opened the scoring for the Devils, while Ryley Drayton followed up his own kicking to score the game’s deciding six points.
Buckley credited both sides’ defensive efforts in the lead up to the Devils’ Round 2 clash with Nambour, also at home.
“It’s always good to win the first one. Our defensive effort, especially at the back end of the match we were a bit busted and I thought they just worked really hard at it,” Buckley said.
“It was a big improvement over what we’d been doing in the trials, and I was really happy with it.
“I think we showed a lot more patience than what we have been. Our kicking game was good and we were a lot more patient than what we have been.”
Buckley said the Devils were focused on consistent performances at home in Season 2021, with a desire to make the trip north for Coast opponents a daunting one.
“We want to win at home. We want these teams to make the long trip up here to play and feel uncomfortable knowing they’ve got a tough game of footy to play. Hopefully it continues,” he said.
“We’re expecting a tough game (against Nambour). Last year they beat us twice and we want to get one back on them.”