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