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Byron Shire
January 22, 2022

Depleted Red Devils staved off by Papists

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Sunday’s 16–14 loss to Marist Brothers in round eight of the NRRRL might ironically have provided Byron Bay with more positives than you’d normally expect from a defeat.

It was a tough encounter that saw the lead change hands a few times before the home side was able to snatch the victory with a try in the corner as full time loomed. For Byron, who had battled so hard, it was a bitter pill, but given that at least seven regular first-graders were missing from the side, the effort was more than commendable.

With the battle-hardened old-heads missing, the club’s young Turks were given their opportunity and, to a man – Lachlan ‘Corporal’ Jones, Sam ‘Dolly’ Dwyer, Fraser ‘Fletcher’ Jones and William ‘Peppi’ Goldsmith – they didn’t take a backward step in the physical and psychological turmoil of playing with the big boys. Even the likes of Wally ‘Prince’ Andrews, who had already made his usual hard yards with the reggies, put his hand up to be counted. (Wally is the Bay’s resident Nathan Hindmarsh clone, not because he makes 250 tackles in forty minutes, but because he never fails to give the mob a look at his bumcrack as his strides make their inevitable slide towards his ankles. We love him.)

The Bay always looked to have the skill factor working for them, and it was exemplified when centre Chris ‘BB’ King chipped inside his own half and, defying all the laws of physics and gravity, collected the ball at his toes while flying at full tilt and went steaming for the line. Lanky James ‘Mook’ Harrington got it across the chalk in the next set to put the Devils ahead 6–0.

It was a classic war of attrition as the rumble continued for the next hour. When Hemi ‘Sphere’ Mullen, backing up from rep duty the day before, bulldozed over in the second half to put Byron ahead 14–12 it appeared that an unlikely two points would be snatched by the Devils… but fate, and the ref’s whistle, is a cruel mistress.

No footy next weekend, as we celebrate [sic] our foreign head of state’s birthday (which is not even her birthday anyway), but on Sunday, June 15, the Devils are at home to the high-flying Casino Cougars. It should be an absolute ball-tearer – one not to be missed.


Recent stories tagged NRRRL:

Red Devils closing in on the top five

The Byron Bay Red Devils kept their chances of a final’s berth alive last Sunday when they beat the Tweed Coast Raiders 35–26 in round 10 of the NRRRL, playing at home.

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No splendour in the farce for NRRRL

Story and photo John Campbell Every year, the Byron Bay Red Devils ask that their bye be allocated to the weekend of Splendour in the Grass, as they are most drastically affected by absenteeism it causes. And every year, presumably...

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Red Devil women undefeated in new tag-league competition

Shannon Hulbert  A tag rugby league competition started a month ago in the region and the Red Devils have had three wins from three so far. The women follow the Red Devils men’s team around and play the opposition clubs that...

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Byron Devils score big win over Mullumbimby in league derby

John Campbell The Byron Bay Red Devils enjoyed their first win of the 2017 season when they romped home against a lacklustre Mullumbimby side 36–4. As local derbies go, there was a curious lack of intensity when the Red Devils hosted...

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Mustangs prepare for grand final after death of teammate

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So near and yet so far for Devils against comp frontrunners

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Cometh the hour, cometh capitulation

My dad was a man of few words, but he had an expression: ‘what you need is a good kick up the arse’.

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