Casuarina was presented with their fifth NT Rugby Union Minor
Premiership in the last six years after a 31-5 victory over Darwin
Dragons in a split round at Rugby Park on Saturday Night.
The Cougars got off to a flying start with tries to Eric Erickson and Luke Cummins in the first ten minutes which were converted by Nate Lamb for a 14-0 lead.
Dragons went into to match without the services of their in-form scrum base duo of Reece Calkin and Jason Lim who were both away on representative duty with the NT Schoolboys.
The Dragons however were able to call on the services of one of their favourite sons in Drew Tobin whose combination with Jason Cole steadied the ship after the early Casuarina onslaught.
Casuarina’s expansive game plan was matched by the Dragons whose youthful backline is the equal of anything in the competition and rallied to the direction provided by Tobin.
The Cougars struggled to break the line for the rest of the first half and were guilty of numerous indiscretions at the breakdown which resulted in penalties and possession to Dragons.
Dragons scored their only try late in the first half after an incisive 40 metre run by Aaron Pollard linked with Nigel Maher to send the full back over wide out.
Pollard looked dangerous with every touch of the ball.
It took Casuarina 30 minutes to score their third try when Joe Albert scored a try from a pushover scrum for the second week in a row.
Dragons had dominated much of the field position for most of the half but were unable to capitalise on the numerous breaks and far too often turned over possession at the breakdown.
Sinone Tua proved to be a real handful for the Cougars with his punishing runs at the line hard to contain.
Gerrarde Potts scored the Cougars fourth try with just minutes left on the clock and from the restart Casuarina ran the ball from inside their 22 metre zone and a chip and chase by Tyson Doughty found replacement Sunia Radravu winning the race for the ball and score his sides fifth try.
The final score flattered the reigning premier who scored all their points in the first and last ten minutes of the match.
The Cougars have made a habit of winning and their defence can withstand pressure for lengthy periods and can quickly punish opposition with points against the run of play.
Whilst Dragons will finish the season out of the Semi Finals there is plenty for fans to look forward to and they will look for victories against Palmerston and Swampdogs in the coming weeks to end the year on a high.
Casuarina 31 (E Erickson, L Cummins, J Albert, G Potts, S Radravu Tries N Lamb 3 Conv) def Darwin Dragons 5 (N Maher Try)