The Gympie Devils defence, including five-eighth Shaun Marshall, swoop on a Caloundra attacker in their win over Caloundra on Sunday.
The Gympie Devils defence, including five-eighth Shaun Marshall, swoop on a Caloundra attacker in their win over Caloundra on Sunday. David Crossley

Title defence back on rails

A CHANGE of attitude was all it took for the Gympie Devils to knock over the Caloundra Sharks on Sunday.

The defending premiers turned around their horrid loss to the Kawana Dolphins last weekend 56-18 to beat the current competition front-runners Caloundra 36-20.

Last week coach John Greensil accused his players of not having the same attitude as last year’s team.

He said the team needed to prepare better, mentally, for their games.

This week an injury-ravaged Devils switched on for their third win of the season.

“I said to the boys at training on Saturday that we needed to turn things around,” Greensil said.

“We turned it around all right.

“Right from when the boys entered the dressing shed you could tell they were switched on.

“We scored in the first few minutes and went from there.”

Three tries in the first half to fullback Hayden Curran, halfback Jake Harney and Ben Santowski saw the Devils jump out to an 18-14 half time lead.

“It was still pretty close at halftime,” Greensil said.

“After half time we went on with it.

The Devils then piled on an extra 20 unanswered points with tries to Ben Ashford, Tim Wyville and Riley McDowell until Caloundra scored a consolation try in the dying minutes of the match. They (the Sharks) are leading the way.

“They had only lost one game throughout the year.

“To beat them puts us back on the front foot for our game against Bribie Island next week.”

Greensil said if the Devils could beat Bribie Island they would be four from eight in the first round.

“Considering the number of injuries and disruptions we have had, that isn’t too bad.”

Last year’s Sunshine Coast/Gympie Player of the Year Riley Mc Dowell was awarded the players’ player for a huge 80-minute effort.

Greensil said McDowell was good, but Jake Harney at halfback wasn’t far behind him. The seventeen year old was explosive in the position.

Hayden Curran, at fullback, played his best game for the Devils.

Scorecard

Devils 36

Tries: Hayden Curran, Ben Santowski, Ben Ashford, Tim Wyville, Jake Harney, Riley McDowal.

Goals: Craig Marshall, 6

Caloundra 20

Tries: Ryan Stroud, Chris McGill, Scott Brown, James Wheeler.

Goals: Chris McGill, 2

Gympie Times


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