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Casuarina played their best rugby of the season to defeat University 31-21 at Charles Darwin University yesterday afternoon.

The Cougars expansive game plan saw  their cohesive backline  dissect the Pirates with relative ease.

Casuarina opened the scoring after ten minutes when Ryan McMurray took a quick Penalty Tap from deep inside his own territory and linked up with Joe Tuisuva to put Tyrone Boucher over for a try on debut.

Almost straight away the evergreen Frank Jennings scored a try and with Robert Butcher's conversion the home side led 7-5.

Casuarina's counter attack was effective and McMurray set up a try for Nathan Satala which he duly converted for a 12-7 lead.

Whilst the Cougars set piece and support play was strong their defense just wide of the ruck was  vulnerable and Butcher sliced through to score under the post and with his conversion regain the lead.

With half time closing in Booby Nurse scored from the back of a line-out and Satala's conversion sent the Cougars to the break leading 19-`14.

Although Casuarina had dominated the first period they had twice been forced to come from behind,  ball retention had been a contributing factor to the margin not being greater.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Nurse scored his second try off a long line-out throw, a replica of his first.

Eight minutes later a majestic kick and chase by Simaika Sala'a resulted in a try for Tuisuva which was converted by Matt Weyers and the 17 point lead was beyond the reach of the Pirates.

Robust centre Shaun Wauchope crossed for a try and Butcher's conversion gave some respectability to score board but was somewhat flattering.

Nurse, Joe Albert and McMurray were the pick of the Cougars while Butcher stood out for the Pirates.

Casuarina 31 B Nurse 2, T Boucher, J Tuisuva, N Satala Tries, N Satala 2, M Weyers 1 Conv
University 21: F Jennings, R Butcher, S Wauchope Tries R Butcher 3 conv

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.