Seag­ulls rated real threat

Isis Town and Country - - Sport - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

ISIS Devils coach Simon Ricciardi is un­der no illusion as to how tough Her­vey Bay Seag­ulls will be when they clash this week­end.

The Seag­ulls un­der­took an ag­gres­sive re­cruit­ment drive in the off-sea­son and in the open­ing round against the Wal­la­roos they un­leashed a tough, phys­i­cal brand of footy.

Her­vey Bay belted the Wal­la­roos 40-14 and most of the dam­age was done in the first 20 min­utes as Seag­ulls set about dis­man­tling their op­po­si­tion.

The for­wards dom­i­nated from the out­set and even the Seag­ulls backs were in­tent on smash­ing their op­po­site num­ber.

Ricciardi is pre­par­ing for a tough en­counter in Satur­day night’s show­down but re­vealed he does not ex­pect his side to be any­where near their best for at least a month.

He said he was fo­cused on see­ing how his troops worked to­gether, and that a win over the Seag­ulls would be a bonus.

Ricciardi said last week’s 50-4 win over Waves Tigers was a “pleas­ing” first hit-out for the Devils.

“There’s a lot to like from that game,” he said.

“It’s go­ing to take a while to get to our best but some of struc­ture was re­ally good.”

Prop Royce Blair (pic­tured) scored a hat-trick while War­wick Fay and Aaron Rat­cliffe bagged braces in the 10-tries-to-one victory.

Satur­day’s block­buster at Childers Show­ground will fea­ture all three A-Grade games as well the three re­serve-grade games.

There are how­ever ques­tion marks over whether the Devils will be able to field a re­serve-grade side.

At time of print it was un­likely but a fi­nal de­ci­sion was yet to be made.

In other games, the pow­er­house Broth­ers side, fresh off a 90-point win over Easts Mag­pies, will take on the Wal­la­roos, while Waves Tigers will face de­fend­ing premiers Wests Pan­thers. Easts have the bye. For­mer Devils will hold an in­for­mal re­u­nion at the ground to mark 15 years since their pre­mier­ship­win­ning 1999 and 2000 sea­sons.

The in­ten­tion is for play­ers to re­turn and sup­port the club 15 years af­ter their break­through suc­cess.

Gates will open at about 9am with the first re­serve grade game to kick off at 10.30am.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

TRY-SCOR­ING MA­CHINE: Royce Blair jagged a hat-trick in last Satur­day’s sea­son-open­ing win against Waves Tigers.

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