DEVILS BACK IN WINNER'S CIRCLE
SIMPLE errors have left Isis Devils sitting fifth after the first round of Bundaberg Rugby League fixtures.
The Devils enjoyed a hard-fought 18-14 win over Easts Magpies in Sunday night’s game at Salter Oval, which improved their record to 3-3.
That is at least two less wins than coach Simon Ricciardi said he would have preferred at season’s start, but it still keeps Isis in touch with competition pacesetters Hervey Bay Seagulls and Brothers.
Ricciardi pointed to the losses against Wallaroos and Wests Panthers as two that should have gone the other way.
“I still don’t know how we threw that one away,” Ricciardi said about the 26-24 loss to Wallaroos earlier this month.
“I thought the first 10-15 minutes against Wests was great and we could’ve had them.
“Then we did a few silly things in defence and allowed them to score points. You can’t afford to do that against Wests as they can put a lot of points on in a short time.”
A-grade depth, player availability and injuries have all played their part in undermining Isis’ start, but Ricciardi shifted the blame to what happened on the paddock.
“Completing sets, making tackles – the basic stuff has let us down,” he said.
“Stuff like field position and pressure which you need to win a game.
“You can’t do that unless you complete your sets, and that’s something we haven’t been doing.”
Sunday’s four-point win was a much-needed boost for the Devils after they lost three on the trot.
While Ricciardi was happy his troops returned to the winner’s circle, he still lamented some simple errors.
“We handed the ball over quite a bit and were on the wrong end of the penalty count,” he said.
“I’m happy for the boys after they toughed that game out.
“We were missing a few players and had about five guys back up from reggies, so we did well.”
Reserve grade continued their poor run in a 30-6 loss to Easts earlier in the day.
The Devils sit sixth on the reserve grade table with only a win and a draw to their name so far.
Both sides have this weekend off due to the representative footy weekend.
PLAYMAKER: Tim Cole shapes to pass during the Devils’ game against Wests at Childers earlier this month.