Last week’s tough game against the Bega Roosters came to haunt the Narooma Devils when seven changes had to be made to the first grade team due to illness or injury.
These changes also affected the reserve grade team which, after having many reserves to call on found themselves with only one reserve for their match.
With seven changes from last week and ten from the team which took to the field at the Nines Tournament, it was always going to be a day that called on all the toughness the Devils had.
Group 16 premiers Moruya fielded a strong team, scoring first, but the “Georgia Gelignite” Rodrigues Ceasar got the Moruya crowd talking about his speed in scoring a 60-metre try for the Devils to take the lead 6-4.
Moruya piled on the pressure leading 20-6 at the break and ran out winners 42-12 with Tyson Moritz scoring a neat try.
Goals were kicked by Tyson Moritz and Yuin Campbell.
A feature of the game was the duel between half-back Riley Hextell - 70 kg wringing wet – versus Moruya’s Michael Weyman - a former NSW and Australian rep prop.
Riley was bowled around a bit, but never took a backward step and can be proud of his efforts, constantly wrapping himself around Weyman’s ankles.
Congratulations to the reserve grade players Koorin Campbell, John Kelly, Elijah Blair and Stephen Brown, who backed up courageously after a full reserve grade game and played magnificently.
Best for the Devils were the tireless Tim Keegan, never-say-die Neil Graham, ‘Mike’ Tyson Moritz and promoted from reserve grade, the Rampaging Rhys Pearcey, who absolutely killed them.
Sharks overcome Reggies
With only one fresh reserve it was always going to be a big ask taking on the Group 16 reserve grade premiers, Moruya, but they boys withstood early pressure to score first through hard-running centre Stephen Brown.
From there on the boys put in an excellent effort but the Sharks were too strong, winning 40-10.
One highlight was Andrew French’s blockbusting 50-metre try which ensures he doesn’t have to do the nudie run.
A tough game for all, but the Devils never stopped trying.
Well deserved best player and players’ player awards went to the evergreen Jeff Rapley, who defied time to produce a magnificent prop forward’s game, holding the middle and running strongly.
He copped some good whacks, but said later that “it was fun”. What a clubman. Others who excelled were young hooker Joey Scrymgeour and the versatile Elijah Blair.
Sharkettes clip She-Devils
Despite having a strong team on hand, the She-Devils found the Moruya side a little too strong on the day going down 6-16 to the Sharkettes.
Trailing 4-6 at the break the girls were still in the game, but Moruya put on two more tries before speedster Lilly Bennett scored our only try. Best for Narooma were Lilly Bennett, Elise Johnson and Tayla Butcher.
The Devils have a much needed week off next weekend before taking on Merimbula-Pambula on Sunday, May 1.
The league tag girls play both the Merimbula Hot-Doggies and the Candelo-Bemboka Pink Panthers on the day so it will be a top day of footy.