Tasmania Devils news

Stephens steps up for 50th game

From Launceston Examiner
Reported by Phil Edwards

TASSIE Devils co-captain Scott Stephens will line up for his 50th VFL game today in the Anzac Day commemoration clash against Frankston at Aurora Stadium tonight.

Devils coach Daryn Cresswell said yesterday that he hoped Stephens's milestone game would be added incentive for his teammates to beat the Dolphins.

"Although he didn't play with the Devils last year he has been a terrific contributor to Tasmanian footy and the Devils," Cresswell said.

"We've only had three guys play 100 games and Scotty is well on the way.

"Everyone likes to win milestones so it would be nice to get a win for him."

The Devils held a final full- squad training run at Aurora Stadium under lights last night and Cresswell said from a confidence point of view the team definitely needed a win.

"We've been working pretty hard but just obviously haven't got that four points which has been eluding us," he said.

"We've been in the games until three-quarter time against two quality oppositions but haven't been able to win which has been disappointing.

"The style of footy has been good and the guys should believe in it and we've seen it be successful - but we have to tighten up on the defensive side of our game and not give away silly free kicks - and the results will come our way," he said.

Changes made to lift defence

From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

THE Devils are looking to shore up their defence after conceding at least 30 scoring shots in their past two losing games.

Key defenders Tom Collier and Gregg Sharman have been brought back into the teams, just two of nine new names in the 27-man squad to play Frankston tomorrow night under lights at Aurora Stadium.

Other significant inclusions include former Collingwood player Luke Shackleton, Kangaroos-listed Ben Ross after recovering from a shoulder injury, and Sam Whish-Wilson, who has served his one-match suspension for breaking team rules.

But co-captain Brett Geappen and veteran defender Ben Careless both have to pass fitness tests at training tonight to take their place in the team.

Kingborough's Jason Howard is expected to miss just the one week with bruised ribs, inside midfielder Leigh Adams has been promoted to the Kangaroos AFL team from their rookie list and Brody Johnson and Darren Crawford have been dropped.

Devils cave in again

From The Mercury
Reported by Paul Malarski

THE Tasmanian Devils again fell victim to the dreaded fourth-quarter fadeout as they slumped to an 18.12 (120) to 13.13 (91) loss to North Ballarat in the VFL at Ballarat yesterday.

Leading by a point at three-quarter time the Devils could only manage two goals in the final quarter, while North Ballarat rattled on seven.

It came a week after the Devils were buried by an 11-goal final quarter Geelong avalanche at Bellerive.

And it was the first time North Ballarat had scored more than 100 points in their 12 meetings with Tasmania.

Devils coach Daryn Cresswell was at a loss for a reason for his side's inability to snatch victory when it was there for the taking.

"It's the third time it's happened this season," Cresswell said.

"It's a real concern and something we have to look at.

"I'm not sure if it is a fitness or a mental thing. We just didn't give a yell when we needed to," he said.

Cresswell admitted his defence was another problem area.

Changes as Devils look for answers

Reported by Phil Edwards
From Launceston Examiner

COACH Daryn Cresswell has wielded the selection axe following the Devils' big defeat against Geelong last week as he looks for his side to rebound against North Ballarat at Austar Arena on Sunday.

Cresswell made several changes, omitting Hobart's James Charlesworth, Wynyard's Tim McMichael, Kangaroos rookie Ben Ross and Ulverstone's Sam Whish- Wilson from last week's losing side.

He recalled Darren Crawford, Nathan Street, Jason Howard, Tim Mohr, Brody Johnson, Luke Shackleton and Matthew Smith, naming an extended interchange bench of eight players that will be culled to four after the team's final training run tonight.

"It was a disappointing effort last week and it wasn't acceptable because we didn't play the style of footy that we had played the whole pre- season," he said.

"But to be only 10 points down against a side which played in last year's grand final with a number of senior experienced players was quite surprising.

"It goes to show we have got a pretty talented side and if we play the style of footy we know we can we can pretty much beat anyone," he said.

Cresswell said his young side, with an average age of 20.8 last week, had to learn from its mistakes and taking the players through a video replay of last week's game had been part of the process during the week.

"We didn't play smart footy kicking to contests and we played safe not linking up and running the footy through the corridor and taking risks," he said.