Devils take win and get ready for ti­tle show­down

Isis Town and Country - - Sport -

SEMI-fi­nal rugby league is tougher, faster and more de­mand­ing than most other sports, and at the week­end Broth­ers and Isis han­dled the pres­sure with gritty wins at Sal­ter Oval.

Broth­ers de­feated Wests 38–10 to ad­vance to a ma­jor semi-fi­nal against Her­vey Bay, and Isis ended Wal­la­roos’ sea­son with a 44–16 flog­ging.

It was clear from the open­ing whis­tle that Wests had brought their tra­di­tional hard-hit­ting style of de­fence and there were some sore bod­ies in the Broth­ers camp, but cap­tain-coach Mat Tem­ple­man was im­pressed with the way his play­ers stood up to the test.

He said the 28-point win came through a com­plete team ef­fort that made it hard to pick out any play­ers for spe­cial men­tion.

“We com­pleted our sets and the de­fence was mas­sive – it was the big­gest de­fen­sive ef­fort all year from the boys,” Tem­ple­man said.

“Ev­ery­body was good right across the park.”

Isis coach Si­mon Ric­cia­rdi echoed Tem­ple­man’s com­ments about Broth­ers when he spoke of his own team.

Ric­cia­rdi said the first half was the best by Isis all sea­son, and he, too, could not sin­gle out any player from num­ber 1 to 17.

Isis bat­tled through a bro­ken prepa­ra­tion, with play­ers be­ing un­avail­able for train­ing be­cause of work com­mit­ments and in­jury, but the Devils man­aged to pull it to­gether when the sea­son was on the line.

Zac Dann and Tim Cole were two of the best for Isis, but Ric­cia­rdi spread praise across the team.

Broth­ers have the tough task of play­ing Her­vey Bay for a spot in the grand fi­nal, and Tem­ple­man knows the play­ers will have to lift again.

The Seag­ulls will be com­ing off a two-week break, and that fact could hurt them, but Tem­ple­man isn’t tak­ing the game lightly.

“We need to get out there with the same men­tal­ity this week to have a chance,” he said.

“Her­vey Bay has a big for­ward pack and skil­ful backs. We’ll need to bring the same de­fen­sive mind­set.”

Isis will face a Wests team in­tent on play­ing more games in the fi­nals, and Ric­cia­rdi wants his play­ers to get back to the kind of form that saw them play in the 2014 grand fi­nal.

Isis plays Wests at 1.50pm and Broth­ers take on Her­vey Bay at 3.30pm in not-to-be-missed clashes.

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