Devils’ last chance at finals glory
IN THE space of one week, the Isis Devils have gone from the hunter to the hunted in the A-grade competition of the Bundaberg Rugby League.
Isis made it deep into the season by beating Brothers 34–16. After holding dominance against that club, it’s time for the Devils to play their bogey team, Easts.
And, in the preliminary final at Salter Oval on Saturday, the Devils are calling for reinforcements to urge them on during the game against Easts Magpies that kicks off at 6.30pm.
The Magpies have been flying high this season, and Isis president Bill Trevor hopes as many people as possible can make the short trip to Bundaberg to support the Devils as they fight for a place in the grand final against Wests Panthers on September 21.
Salter Oval can be a lonely place for teams from outside Bundaberg and Trevor hopes the grandstand can be filled with Isis supporters to support the Devils as they fight to keep their season alive.
Supporters from other teams refuse to pick the winner of the game but Isis has plenty of momentum and will be hard to stop.
There is only one certainty this week – the game will be won in the forwards.
If Isis bookends Peter Grant and Royce Blair can hold out Easts’ Reece Maughan and Raymond Zysk in defence while exhausting Magpies halfback Kyle Laybutt, the result will be what captain Simon Ricciardi wants.
Adding to Grant’s and Blair’s potential impact, Isis will be looking to one of the most dangerous hole-runners in competition, Kurt Thompson.
Thompson was on fire against Brothers in the weekend’s final and, if he repeats his two-try effort, Isis will be hard to stop.
There’s no secret Easts’ attacking strength lies with a talented backline filled with young players like Baidon Cooper and Jess Marschke and Isis also needs to limit the way Laybutt sends the ball its way.
HOLE RUNNER: Kurt Thompson of Isis plays against Jake Bauer, of Brothers, in the semi-final at Salter Oval on September 6.
East Magpies player Kyle Laybutt will need to be stopped this weekend in the preliminary final.