Red Devils face elimination semi-final
THE return of Chris King, James Harrington and Chris Coleman couldn't come at a better time for Byron Bay ahead of its elimination semi-final against Marist Brothers on Saturday.
The Red Devils were thumped 38-0 against Ballina in the last round of the competition and will need to make a massive improvement to be any chance against Brothers.
Coleman has been away with work while the other two have been injured.
Harrington was forced to pull out the morning of the Ballina game and King was rested.
"To say we're disappointed with how the boys played on Sunday is an understatement," Byron Bay coach Scott Sattler said.
"We were real complacent and it wasn't what we needed going into finals.
"But we've won seven of our last nine and deserve to be there."
The Red Devils were playing for a chance to host the semi-final at Red Devil Park on Saturday.
However, Brothers will host the game at Crozier Field after finishing the season tied on 19 points with a better for and against than Byron Bay.
The Northern United Dirawongs had a strong finish to the season and were unlucky to miss out on the top five by a single point.
The Kyogle Turkeys also could have featured in the finals but fell one point short after a horror run with injuries in the second half of the season.
Sattler knows there is a big chance the Red Devils season could be finished on Saturday.
"I've never been a big believer of the finals being a brand new competition," he said.
"It should be a continuation of the things you've been doing well during the season.
"We have no excuses, Ballina were impressive but we had plenty to play for trying to get that home semi.
"It's a fight for survival now and we know what happens if we lose."
In other games on Saturday Murwillumbah play Casino in reserve grade and Kyogle take on Mullumbimby in under-18s.
In the other qualifying semi-final, Ballina host the Grafton Ghosts in first grade on Sunday.
Marist Brother will take on the Grafton Ghosts in reserve grade and under-18s.