Dolphins dance with the Devils and come off second-best
RUGBY LEAGUE: If someone bet you their house that Gympie would beat Kawana the next time they met, following an 82-0 drubbing at Bokarina just one month ago, you’d have taken their money with glee.
Remarkably, the Devils capped a remarkable turnaround in form at Jack Stokes Oval on Saturday night and did just that, downing the second-placed Dolphins 26–18.
It puts the Devils just one win behind fourth-placed Maroochydore and still in with a shot at playing finals footy.
Club stalwart and 2010 premiership player Kurt Fleming put the win down to players turning-up both literally, and in the context of the game.
“We’ve been short of numbers and had plenty of blokes not turning up (this year),” he said.
“It was good to have a full side for once.
“Obviously we’ve been leaking points all year and have been pretty terrible defence wise, but we numbered up and the boys ripped-in.”
Having been through the best and worst of times at Gympie, Fleming revealed it would likely be many of the playing group’s last season in the Caloundra RSL Division One Cup.
While he’s still undecided on whether he’ll kick-on in 2017, he knows the struggle his beloved Devils will face to once more field a side in the Coast’s top-flight next year.
“We were on a high for a couple of years, winning the premiership in 2010 and then making the grand final for the two following years,” he explained.
“It was a good feeling then but we’re struggling numbers-wise. The same blokes keep turning up.
“I’m not saying we won’t be there next year, but it’s not looking flash.”
Fleming is looking forward to potentially playing in front of a bumper crowd at Albert Park this Sunday, following the Sunshine Coast Falcons’ game against Tweed Heads.
The Falcons will play in Gympie as part of the Queensland Rugby League’s Country Week, and a crowd anywhere between 3–5000 is expected to show up.
“I’m really looking forward to that,” Fleming said.
“Albert Park is where our old boys played during the ‘90s. It’s always good to play there and there’s a good buzz in the side after the win.
“Hopefully it’ll be better weather than last night and hopefully the town sticks around to watch us.”
In other matches, the lowly Nambour Crushers managed to snare a 22-all draw with leaders Caloundra. Maroochydore thumped a under-strength Caboolture side 36–8.