Red Devils edged out by Mullum Giants in quality derby

The Red Devils in action against the Mullumbimby Giants earlier in the season. Photo Christine Butcher

In a hard-fought encounter the Mullumbimby Giants scored a late try to seal a comeback victory over the Byron Bay Red Devils in rugby league’s local derby played last Friday night.

The Giants came away from Byron Bay with the competition points and bragging rights in their 28–22 victory, but the Red Devils had a storming first half and went to the break 14–4 in front.

The game was locked at 22–22 with just three minutes on the clock when Byron collected a loose ball near the try line and scored.

‘The final result was disappointing,’ Byron Bay coach Nathan Cross said. ‘I felt we were the better team for the majority of the game.

‘There were a couple of 50–50 calls that just didn’t go our way that turned the game. And at the end we were just not good enough,’ he said.

‘In the first half Byron played some good footy. We were physical in defence and we were getting through our sets. We scored a couple of good tries.

‘The team was hungry and really driven to put in a good performance.

‘We seem to be having one of those years and when the close decisions go against you, and that is what happened on Friday night.

‘But all credit to Mullumbimby to get the win. I know they are down on numbers too,’ he said.

The team performance against one of the competition’s best sides was also a big improvement over the previous week’s 64–0 loss to the Ballina Seagulls.

This week the Red Devils travel to Lismore to take on Northern United in a game a full-strength Devils could feel confident of winning, but the coach has more injury concerns to deal with.

‘I’m not sure where I’ll get a side from at the moment. One of our forwards has broken his collarbone so he is out as well,’ Nathan said. ‘At this stage I might have to find my boots’. 

The good news for the Red Devils is that the reserve grade side picked up their third win on the trot by beating the Giants 30–10. 

The Giants women’s league team also lost 18–0 to the Red Devils.

Next week the Mullumbimby Giants play away against the Evans Head Bombers.

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