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26 May, 2021

Stanley Rivers outgun determined Gympie Devils in fierce league game

THE A GRADE game between Stanley Rivers and Gympie on Sunday, May 23, was a fierce battle as Rivers props Blair Howard and Rowan Winterfield led a Wolves pack into the teeth of a determined Gympie Devils middle.

Played at Gympie, the torrid early exchanges were punctuated when a high Rivers kick by Brett Doherty, to the corner on the last tackle, drew a Gympie dropped ball under intense Wolves pressure.

From the resultant scrum, the ball was moved left to Wolves five-eight Calum Klein, who threw a long ball to centre Rowan Klein. He stepped inside his man, pushed off the cover and scored. Brett Doherty converted and the Wolves led 6-nil.

Eleven minutes into the game Rivers again travelled downfield via some strong running from winger Nathan Saliamungo and then both props Blair Howard and Rowan Winterfield. From good field position Callum Klein threw a long ball to left winger Connor Jackson who came back inside and scored a good try. Brett Doherty converted and the Wolves led 12 nil.

A few minutes later the Wolves went with the high kick again which drew another Gympie error. This time the Wolves searched to the right with a long ball from Brett Doherty to centre Sam Armitage who was too strong for the cover as he held defenders off and scored in the corner. The Wolves led 16 nil.

A good start was now however about to be tested by a determined Gympie outfit. With 16 minutes to go in the first half the Wolves were penalised, allowing Gympie possession on halfway. A few tackles later Gympie moved the ball left and created an overlap for their left winger to score. Rivers lead 16 to 4.

With only a few minutes to go in the half the Gympie left centre Vincent Law was proving to be a handful as he broke tackles on the half-way line with a bustling run that eventually led to a try by the Gympie half back. The successful conversion saw Rivers take a 16 to 10 lead to the break and the game was in the balance.

However, the Wolves responded well after the break as they came out full of purpose. Two minutes into the second half from 20m out in the middle of the field the Rivers side put on a slick backline move to the left, as decoy runners provided some distraction to ball movement from Callum Klein to fullback Jordan Perrin Phillips to centre Rowan Klein who stepped around one defender and barged through another to score in the corner. The Wolves were out to a 20 to 10 lead.

A few minutes later with Rivers again attacking the line, this time in from of the posts, replacement hooker Dayne Rogers looked to pass long but passed short to the hard running Rowan Winterfield who scored. Brett converted and Rivers led 26 to 10.

Gympie responded shortly after as a Rivers kick on the last was charged down by the Gympie half back who managed to regather and just outpace the Rivers defence to cross in the corner for his second try. The Rivers lead was now reduced to 26 to 14. 

Half way through the second half, with the Wolves attacking and their backline spread threateningly to the right, the ball came right to half back Brett Doherty who threw a dummy and stepped through a gap to score. He converted and the Wolves now led 32 to 14.

A few minutes later Rowan Klein made a long break down the left hand side of the field. From the next play the ball went right across to right centre Sam Armitage.

Next play saw a short ball inside to winger Nathan Saliamungo to score. Rivers lead 36 to 14. With 14 minutes to play the ball came left to Rowan Klein about 60 m out. He ran through defenders and got a good ball inside to brother Callum who hit the hole at speed and raced downfield, picking up second rower Chris Boss on his outside, who outpaced the defence to score an exciting try. Rivers now led 40 to 14.

There was then a period of play when some Rivers errors and a number of penalties saw Gympie camped on the Rivers line as the Wolves dug deep in defence. The deadlock was finally broken as Gympie threw a long ball left, trying to crack the Wolves defence, but Rivers winger Nathan Saliamungo lept high to intercept the pass 10m out from his own line and ran 90m with three defenders converging on him, but no joy to them, as he was over.

A Brett Doherty conversion saw a full-time score of 46 to 14. Well done Wolves — three wins in a row.

In the Reserve Grade centre Steve Torrens scored in the 3rd minute after good lead up from hooker Travis Ellis and second rower Mitch Emmersen. Rivers led 4 nil. In the 18th minute Gympie hit back to score a converted try and lead 6 to 4. In the 22nd minute, following good runs from Steve Torrens and new recruit, forward Taylor Timaloa, the ball went left to five eight Scott Floss who scored. Trav Ellis converted and the Wolves led 10 to 6.

With six minutes to go a good run from Dean Lude (having a cameo in Reserve Grade while he waited for A Grade to start) provided good field position and from the following play Travis Ellis got out of dummy half to feed a strong running Bodene Simpson and a try resulted. Rivers led 14 to 6. Just as half time approached, Dean Lude found Gary Atkinson who made good metres before the following play when Dean passed to Trae Storr who hit the ball hard and scored under the posts. Half time score Rivers 20 to Gympie 6.

Early in the second half, prop Henry Harris picked up a loose ball and provided another one of his determined runs. Next play Bodene Simpson pushed through traffic and gave a good ball to Dean Lude who scored. Rivers lead 24 to 6.

Ten minutes into the second half the Rivers scrum put on a push and won the ball against the feed. The ball went left across the line to winger Luke Messingbird who outpaced the cover and brought the ball around under the posts.    Travis converted and Rivers lead 30 to 6. With 16 minutes to go a backline move saw the ball go to Scott Floss on the left, out to fullback Eddie Draper who stepped through defenders to score. Travis converted and Rivers led 36 to 6. Shortly after right winger Josh Lewis made a good run down the touchline. Steve Torrens hit the ball up strongly next play and the following play the ball came left to second rower Jimmy Nell stepping back inside the defence and scoring a good try. Travis converted and the Wolves led 42 to 6. With just 2 minutes to go Bodene Simpson got the ball flat footed a few metres out, stepped two players, pushed two and scores. Final score Rivers 46 to Gympie 6. Another good win to the Wolves. 

This week-end, Saturday, May 29, Rivers take on Beerwah at the Woodford Showgrounds. The Reserve Grade starts at 4pm and the A Grade at 5:30pm. Beerwah are travelling well in both A Grade and Reserve Grade, so it will be a stern test for the Wolves. Why not get down there and get behind the Black and Reds.

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