16 C
Byron Shire
December 1, 2022

Devils make a rod for their own back in Casino debacle

Latest News

Roller skating, skateboarding and more for Lismore

The ‘Lismore Urban Sports Precinct’ will deliver skateboarding, roller skating, BMX, scootering and sport climbing infrastructure as well as associated recreational infrastructure. 

Other News

Local tennis players bring home Wendy Saville Cup

Local tennis players Lachlan Johnson, Sylvie Peart, Marielou Baudouin and Onyx Cheong represented the North East region in the...

Flogging a petition

In a blatantly political move, the Tweed Chamber of Commerce is flogging an online petition calling for the appointment...

Floodwaters essential for ecosystem rejuvenation say experts

Along with the human, infrastructure and economic devastation wrought by recent floods, come environmental costs and even benefits.

Car drives into side of Byron homelessness cottage

A key homelessness service in Byron Bay is undergoing significant repairs after a car drove into part of the facility last week.

Education shaping up to be a key battleground in NSW election

There is a teacher shortage and both the NSW Greens and Labor are focussing their efforts on highlighting the situation the NSW public education system is in as they campaign for the next NSW election. 

New Murwillumbah pump station to reduce flooding impacts

A new stormwater pump station for Murwillumbah will be built to reduce the effects of flooding to private properties and public infrastructure in the vicinity of Murwillumbah Leagues Club.

Byron captain Ryan O’Connell thought he was playing for the North Sydney Bears when he put his socks on on Sunday morning. He might as well have been. The Red Devils were well off the pace in receiving a 28-6 drubbing. Photo John Campbell.
Byron captain Ryan O’Connell thought he was playing for the North Sydney Bears when he put his socks on last Sunday morning. He might as well have been. The Red Devils were well off the pace and received a 28-6 drubbing. Photo John Campbell.

John Campbell

On Sunday morning, regardless of the outcome of their away fixture at Casino, the Byron Bay Red Devils were almost assured of a top-three finish on the NRRRL ladder. By sundown they had been relegated to fourth after Kyogle defeated the competition’s high-flyers, Murwillumbah, and the Devils themselves put in one of their poorest efforts of the season.

In going down 28–6 to the Cougars – and it was worse than it reads, for the hosts ran in six tries to one – the Bay have left themselves with the daunting task of now beating all four of the other top-five aspirants if they are to claim the champion’s crown. They are capable of doing that, but a mighty improvement on last week’s performance is imperative. 

In truth, it was a pretty awful game of footy, with no player more influential than the ref, who was called upon to blow the pea out of his whistle as countless mistakes and infringements were made. 

After overnight rain heavy enough for the Mullumbimby Giants v Ballina clash to be cancelled, Casino kicked off under a cloudless blue sky. The major attraction for the crowd was the Cougars’ number four, Matt King. The former Storm and Souths centre/winger, star of Origin and tests, was back in his hometown to add a little class to what promised to be an enthralling encounter. His Jimi Hendrix hair looked fab, and he put his winger over in the corner with his first touch of the ball, but Dally Messenger himself could not have made a silk purse out of the sow’s ear that was served up over the ensuing seventy-odd minutes.

In fairness to the Bay, they lost Tyler Blanch, their hooker and dummy-half, in the warm-up and had injured players dropping like flies before they were able to settle. Cameron Green and Hemi Mullen succumbed, while forward leader Simon Kelly soldiered on though as crook as Rookwood. 

Tireless Peter Flannery raked a 40/20 out of the blue to put the Devils on the attack, but no sooner had they got close to Casino’s line than they squandered their opportunity by spilling the pill. Within minutes Casino’s five-eighth was hurtling towards the line with Byron’s defenders hanging off him like he was carrying the Ebola virus. By the time somebody decided to tackle him it was too late and a trend was emerging. The Devils were asleep at the wheel.

Casino scored a third, unconverted try before William King was first to a loose ball after a chip from Ryan O’Connell to put Byron on the board. Billy Goldsmith steered his kick between the posts and the Devils were behind only 12–6 at the break. 

They appeared to be asserting themselves in the battle up front, but it was as close as they were to get. Casino came out hungrier and a little more composed for the second forty and Byron were never really in the hunt. 

The sides meet again on Saturday in the first elimination semifinal. The Devils will win it with your support.

Recent stories tagged NRRRL:

Bombers knock Red Devils out of league finals

Byron Bay have been bundled out of the 2022 NRRRL by a tenacious Evans Head who won last Sunday’s match 22–21 at Red Devil Park.


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.


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...


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...


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...


Mustangs prepare for grand final after death of teammate

The Murwillumbah Mustangs are preparing themselves for a grand final match against Cudgen despite the death of their teammate Grant Cook during the semi-final against the Casino Cougars on Sunday afternoon.


Man dies during rugby league match at Murwillumbah

Police will prepare a report for the Coroner after the death of a man during a rugby league match at Murwillumbah yesterday (Sunday September 11).


So near and yet so far for Devils against comp frontrunners

Winning becomes a habit. The Evans Head Bombers, an honest but not outstanding team, have acquired it. Byron Bay’s Red Devils have gone cold turkey on it.


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’.


Cougars’ composure in wet leaves Devils down but not bowed

All of a sudden, the threat of the wooden spoon looms larger than the prospect of a finals berth for the Byron Bay Red Devils.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Firefighter injured battling large blaze in vehicle scrap yard

Fire fighters battled explosions and large blaze in a vehicle scrap yard at Trenayr, north of Grafton on Monday.

World AIDS Day – time to end transmission

Over 40 million people have died worldwide of AIDS over the last 41 years and ending the transmission of HIV is the aim of a specialist taskforce being set up by the Federal Government announced today on World AIDS Day 2022. 

Climate change a threat to local Gondwana rainforest mountain frogs

A new Southern Cross University study predicts that two species of mountain frogs located on the NSW/Queensland border are on track to be extinct by 2055.

Ballina council to kick-start waste reduction policies and projects

The Ballina Shire Council has voted unanimously to adopt a newly drafted policy aimed at waste reduction.