New players boost results for junior league Devils

GO DEVILS: The junior sides are halfway through a successful season.
GO DEVILS: The junior sides are halfway through a successful season.

The June Long weekend marks the mid-point for the Junior Devils 2018 rugby league season with all teams taking a well-deserved break.

The general consensus among the coaches is that the record number of registrations this year have been a positive boost to the club with so many new players keen to take to the field and play rugby league.

The club is also seeing, first-hand, the great amount of support from family and friends with plenty of spectators showing up to both home and away games. It’s easy to spot the Devil’s red and white!

The U7s Red team are developing well and refining their skills. They are learning how to be a team and let everybody have a turn with the ball. By the end of the year they will know how to organise themselves on the field with the ball in hand and help each other while tackling. “They are little champions,” said coach Michael Longbottom.

The Mini League Tag girls are playing extremely well. The younger players have developed more of an understanding of what to do in attack and defence and are being led well by the mature players Mhia, Shamiyah and Caprice. The girls are looking forward to a game next Saturday.

With some first year players the U9s took two or three weeks to start to gel. At training they’ve been working on set plays and ball movement, helping them to focus on teamwork. The hard work started to show in Round 3 at Tathra when the players could be heard from the sideline organising their set plays. The ball was going through the hands, and tries were being scored.

The improvement in attack has continued in following weeks with all of the players getting used to running plays on the field and keeping the ball alive with offloads. While the aim will be to add polish to their attack and structure as the season progresses, defence and tackling techniques will also be a key focus. 

The U10s team are having a great run this season, so far undefeated and at the top of the ladder. This age group is a big learning curve for players as it’s stepping up to “the big field” and that’s a long way to run for little legs.

The U12s have had mixed results with two wins and three losses so far but they give each game their all and play hard until the final whistle. Currently in fourth position on the ladder their continued hard work and determination will keep them in the running heading for the finals.

The Mod Girls League Tag team have had an amazing season so far, reflecting all the hard work at training. Half of the team are first year players, proving that Narooma has lots of natural talent.

It’s always great to see interest from girls wanting to give rugby league a go and League Tag is a great introduction to this. Coach Kate Rotumah said: “It’s extremely rewarding to have a team of girls who want to know all about the game, including the tactical side of playing.”

Although the girls are undefeated so far, they realise that in coming weeks they will face all of the opposition teams for a second time and they know that they are not unbeatable. Having said that, the girls are committed to training and they are confident they can make the finals this year.

The U14s team are another group with a large amount of players, all keen to give it their best. After a strong start to the season, with five wins and one loss, they seem to be finding their groove now and settling into their positions well. Currently sitting at the top of the ladder, the boys are going to be tough to beat if they continue to play consistently and to their strengths.

International Girls League Tag have also had an influx this year with 21 players in the squad. Varying ages and experience throughout the team have created a challenging mix. Combine this with three first year coaches and the improvements and results this side have shown is nothing short of phenomenal.

The girls are currently fourth on the ladder with three wins from six outings and they are aiming for a spot in the finals. Special thanks to Steve Benic, Shaun Jorgensen and Georgie Brown for all their help so far.

The U16s are also travelling well, remaining undefeated so far. Numbers have improved slightly and the work ethic from all the boys is fantastic. The contribution from the U14s players who back up to support the U16s each week can’t be underestimated. The team are poised for a great run home in the back half of the season and their footy is improving each week. They are in the mood to play a very physical game and will be tough to beat at the pointy end of the season.

This coming Saturday will see the Junior Devils host the Eden Tigers at Bill Smyth Oval.