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Byron Shire
August 9, 2022

Referee stalls Red Devils but Giants get their second win

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John Campbell

In any sporting contest, it’s not always well into a game that the tide might turn. In their NRRRL clash with the Tweed Coast Raiders at Cabarita on Sunday, Byron Bay’s Red Devils were dealt a blow from which they never really recovered in the first five minutes.

Having started the season with a string of defeats, the boys were desperate for a win. Bill ‘the Lion’ King, moved from wing into centre (as many of us had been hoping for), picked up the dregs after a bomb had been lost by the Raiders and crossed for a try near the sticks that lifted the Bay’s spirits immeasurably.

Most who saw it (even the mob in lime green) accepted that it was fair, but the distant touchie, who was standing nearer to Hastings Point, found fault with it and the perfect start was cruelly denied.

To rub salt into the wound, the referee  awarded a penalty to the home side (he blew the pea out of his whistle at a ratio of 4:1 in Tweed’s favour) and soon after the Raiders scored from one of their own bombs.

The Devils were never really likely to get the bickies from then on.

For the record, the Tweed Coast Raiders went on to win by 42–0.

If you were only there to witness the second half, you might have thought that Byron was lucky to get naught, so poorly had their performance fallen away. But the first forty was a different story, with the men in red fighting hard against a bigger opponent who seemed (thanks to that bloke with the whistle) to have a mortgage on possession.

Confidence counts for a lot in any sport.

Without it you can battle as hard as you like, but if Lady Luck is not smiling on you the effort becomes hard to sustain. And when the opposition is awarded a try from a blatant double-movement, as Tweed were shortly after the half-time break, at which point the Devils were still in the hunt, well you might as well give it away as a bad joke.

The Raiders are a strong, well-drilled outfit and they deserved the victory.

What they didn’t deserve was the piggy-back ride to the tryline that the referee seemed hell-bent on giving them.

Next weekend the Devils travel to Kyogle, where that fickle finger of fate will surely begin to favour them.

Giants win

Travelling south to play Lower Clarence, the Mullumbimby Ginats were able to claim their second win of the season, beating the Magpies 36–32.

‘It was awesome to have back-to-back win,’ Giants captain/coach Sam Martin said.

‘We showed a lot of resilience to get the win. Tactically the game wasn’t great because we let them back into it, but then we were able to show a lot of grit.

‘We played with a lot of heart to get the win at the end of the game,’ he said.

Dam Molenaar, Shaun Carney and Jake Wood all had standout games.

This weekend the giants take on Cudgen at their home ground.

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