Casuarina continued their undefeated season with a 25-15 victory over University in Saturday night’s Rugby Union match of the round at Rugby Park, Marrara.
The match marked the 100th First Grade game for Coach Peter McGrath since his arrival at the club in 2009.
The Pirates opened the scoring with a Penalty Goal to Robert Butcher after five minutes.
The elusive Dave Taylor found some space on the left wing to set up a try for Robert Butcher after a 40 metre scamper down the touchline five minutes later for an 8-0 lead.
Casuarina full back Zac Phillips kicked a Penalty Goal to bring the margin back to five with fifteen minutes left in a period where the Cougars had dominated possession and field position but were unable to convert them to points.
Casuarina levelled the score five minutes into the second half when Tyson Doughty found himself on the end of a quick exchange of back line passing and was able to cross over wide out.
The Cougars then seemed to have all the possession and flanker Kerehana Marino scored a try which was converted by Phillips for a 15-8 lead.
Any chance of University causing an upset ended minutes later when Simaika Salaa scored in the corner which was duly converted by Phillips.
Shaun Wauchope scored a try to reduce the margin to seven however a Penalty Goal to Phillips soon after put any chance of victory out of their reach.
Casuarina had been able to keep the ever dangerous Wauchope’s line breaks to just one until that late try.
University have now lost all three matches against Casuarina this season and finish the regular season next week against South Darwin who have two victories over the Pirates to date.
In the early game South Darwin defeated Swampdogs 64-8 after leading 26-5 at half time.
The second placed Rabbitohs got off to a flying start with Keegan Neal scoring two converted tries in the first ten minutes of the game.
A try to Thomas Hiramatsu under the posts at the 20 minute mark which was converted by Neale had Souths up by 21 and the match seemingly destined for a blowout.
However the Swampdogs didn’t lose their resolve and after sustained pressure Daniel Lamble crashed over.
Jacob Rainger’s try earned the Bunnies a bonus point eight minutes before the break.
After an early second half try to Hiramatsu the Rabbitohs combined for the try of the match with a counter attack by Rainger from inside their own ten metre zone linked up with Hiramatsu for Henry Burns to score.
Two more tries took the score out to 43-5 before Tama Querino scored for the Swampdogs after a creative build up.
Souths scored three tries in the last ten minutes for an imposing victory a fortnight before the Semi Finals.
The Swampdogs played the match with a positive attitude forgoing penalty goals in search of tries, albeit to no avail.
Darwin Dragons played to the potential that has often deserted them this season defeating Palmerston 27-14.
The win was just the third for the Dragons this season.
Sadly for their fans there will no finals appearance but will look to finish with another win against Swampdogs next week.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.