Devils get the job done

Isis bet­ter heavy­weight Her­vey Bay in phys­i­cal first clash of the sea­son

Isis Town and Country - - Sport - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

BE­LIEF is one of the most ef­fec­tive yet un­quan­tifi­able val­ues in sport.

Coaches can as­sem­ble elite ros­ters filled with only the best play­ers in key po­si­tions and still go with­out a ti­tle.

Case in point is the North Queens­land Cow­boys, who de­spite hav­ing a ros­ter that should have won at least one ti­tle in re­cent years, have fallen at the fi­nal hur­dle.

But if you can take a team of hard work­ers ded­i­cated to pro­duc­ing their best for their team­mates and make them be­lieve they can achieve, that team can do any­thing.

While not at quite the same level as North Queens­land, Isis Devils’ 26-18 win over Her­vey Bay Seag­ulls reeked of be­lief.

Coach Simon Ric­cia­rdi and cap­tain Peter Grant both dropped the B-word af­ter full-time, with Grant ex­tend­ing praise to the Devils’ pre­mier­ship-win­ning 1999-2000 teams which held a re­union at the game.

“I’ve al­ways be­lieved this side had it in them and they showed it tonight,” he said.

“It is all about at­ti­tude and in­ten­sity and we spoke about that be­fore the game.”

The Seag­ulls are one of the most talked-about teams in Bund­aberg Rugby League.

An ag­gres­sive re­cruit­ment drive dur­ing the off-sea­son nabbed high-qual­ity re­cruits David Lea­pai and player-coach Tye Inge­brigt­sen – and the favourites tag.

Most lo­cal league fans judge the Seag­ulls to be the team to beat this sea­son, but that may change af­ter Isis beat them at their own game.

Spurred on by the Devils’ Old Boys, Isis matched Her­vey Bay’s phys­i­cal­ity, and en­sured the Seag­ulls had to work for ev­ery me­tre.

“It was great to have the Old Boys here to sup­port us,” Grant said.

“They helped us lift.

“We stuck to the game plan and had the right at­ti­tude.

“It’s hard to beat us here and we want to make sure we’re un­de­feated at home.”

Full­back Ja­cob Klaasen was never far from the ac­tion, and played a role in two ma­jor mo­ments in the game. In one he stopped a Seag­ull streak­ing away for a try in his tracks with a spec­tac­u­lar tackle, and the other he got away with a cru­cial dropped ball.

“I got smashed and lost it when I went down,” he said.

“I looked up and the ref was mak­ing sure (Her­vey Bay play­ers) were on­side, so I quickly grabbed it back. He didn’t see me.”

The Devils will en­ter Satur­day’s Sal­ter Oval game against Broth­ers con­fi­dent of re­peat­ing the per­for­mance, while a win could ce­ment Isis as new BRL favourites.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

OLD BOYS SUP­PORT: Devils cap­tain Peter Grant leads his side out flanked by for­mer Isis play­ers; (be­low left) Seag­ulls David Lea­pai and James Lavelle are sent to the sin bin; (be­low right) Devils winger Zac Dann watches on from the right flank.

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