RUGBY UNION: Gunnedah Red Devils First XV compiled a 14-point victory against the hometown Scone Brumbies last weekend, locking down their position at the top of the Central North First Grade competition.
In solidifying first spot on the ladder, the Devils laid on four tries – a fifth from a penalty try for repeated scrum infringements on the back of the Red Devils’ stringent defence.
Penalties littered the contest – at one stage the Devils had two players in the sin bin – in a game marred by the whistle as opposed to the rugby played.
To limit the Brumbies to a solitary five-pointer was testament to the defensive attitude of the Devils’ side, albeit conceding a try early in the match.
It was the defence in face of adversity that laid the platform for the Devils’ hard-fought victory.
Their backline, once a full complement was granted, were then afforded the luxury to shine.
Inside centre Joseph Bridge bagged a brace inside the first half, perpetual in motion in fullback and captain James Perrett was another that helped himself over the stripe in the first stanza.
Red Devils entered the main break ahead by 10 points, the scoreline reading 17 to 10 at half time.
Having opened a 10-point buffer, the Devils were able to drop anchor in the second and keep the Brumbies at bay and limited their influence to a single penalty conversion.
On the back of a penalty try in the 68th minute, the Devils closed the match out as Perrett kicked truly.
The final scoreline reading 24 to 10 by the end of the match – a tough encounter away at Scone which had the potential to be a danger game for the Devils against a side lower on the ladder.
Coach Dan Martin was full of praise for his side.
“It was a huge defensive effort, and credit to Scone who fought hard and showed great character,” he said.
“It was very pleasing to see how deep our side dug to get the win.”
Second XV also ground out a tight 11-point victory, built on the back of strong defence.
Hooker George Toalepai and scrumhalf Josh Ambrose scored a try each for the Devils, providing the difference between the two sides.
Fullback Jaia Richardson-Fowell rewarded those efforts, kicking two goals from as many attempts, rounding out a hard-fought 14 to 3 victory for the Red Devils Second XV.
The Devils women’s side started the treble of wins for the Gunnedah club at Scone as it recorded an impressive 27 to 20 victory, running in five tries to four to complete the seven-point victory.
This weekend all Red Devils’ sides face the Quirindi Lions at Gunnedah’s Rugby Park as each grade has their sights set on maintaining their top four positions of their
respective Central North competitions.