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September 25, 2023

Big battle for finals footy in local rugby league

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The last charge: The Mullumbimby Giants had their final game for 2023 last weekend. Photo Elna Nelson

The Byron Bay Red Devils have a must-win away game against the Ballina Seagulls this Sunday as they try to maintain a place in the top six, to go on to play finals football in the NRRRL first-grade competition.

The Red Devils had a bye last weekend and sit in fifth position on the ladder with 17 competition points.

But three other teams, Evans Head, Cudgen and Lower Clarence, are all just one point behind and share sixth place on the ladder.

They could all leapfrog Byron Bay if they have wins this weekend, the final round of the regular season.

The battle for the minor premiership is also wide open with Bilambil sitting on top with 28 points, but Ballina and Northern United are both within striking distance sitting on 26 points.

‘It’s tight, it could go either way. It’s been a bit like that all season, there just hasn’t been any easy games,’ Red Devil’s coach Sam Saville said.

‘Every time we play its like the opposition grows an extra leg’.

There is no fancy game plan for taking on one of the season’s top teams, rather its about Byron Bay doing the  basics well for the whole of the game.

‘It’s about us playing the way we play and doing that for a full 80 minutes. We have been doing that more in the last few weeks, and if we can keep it up this weekend, we should be OK,’ he said.

It is also an important weekend for Tweed Coast who are in fourth place on the ladder with 18 points, but have a poor for and against.

They could still find themselves fighting for a place in the top six if they don’t win this Sunday’s game against Cudgen.

The Mullumbimby Giants played their final game for 2023 last Sunday when they went down to Northern United 44–0 playing away.

The Giants sit in 11th place and have a bye this weekend.

The Red Devils take on the Ballina Seagulls at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina,  across four grades with the Ladies League Touch kicking off at 10.50am. First grade takes to the field from 2.45pm

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