The Northern Territory Mosquitoes defeated the Australian Services Warriors 33-20 in a tough encounter at Rugby Park last night.
The match was less than three minutes old when the Warriors switched to the blind side and ran the ball from deep inside their territory and with excellent support play Sam Brewer scored under the posts.
Jared Lewthwaite who was a late replacement for skipper Tony Luxford landed the conversion and the visitors had a 7-0 lead.
Robert Butcher reduced the margin to four with a penalty goal before a turnover by the Services just outside their twenty two enabled a quick counter attack by the Mozzies and a try to Bobby Nurse.
The Warriors regained the lead with a penalty goal to Lewthwaite but it was short-lived.
Wise Sekitoga toed a loose ball into the in-goal and was able to regather and score.
The Butcher conversion followed by two penalty goals had the Mozzies up 21-10 at half time.
Penalties at the breakdown had proven costly for the Warriors surrendering possession and field position.
Despite those penalties the forward battle was evenly matched.
The second half was just two minutes old when Butcher dashed through a yawning gap to score under the posts.
It took another 28 minutes for the next points to be scored when ASRU number 8 Alex Brown crashed over.
The Warriors improved as the match went on and they were able to establish some continuity.
Josh Gray scored in the corner and the Warriors were well and truly back in the match trailing 28-20 after Lewthwaites conversion attempt hit the up right.
However the Mosquitoes regained the ball from the restart and a few phases later Simaika Salaa scored wide out to end the visitor’s hopes of a come from behind victory.
Mosquito flanker Bobby Nurse was judged best on ground while Alice Springs flyer Chaz Solomon, unknown to most in Darwin impressed with his limited touches.
Vito Di Muro on debut for the Mozzies had a strong game while Robbie Harlow and Lewthwaite stood out for the men who defend our country.
In the earlier matches a Brigadiers XV defeated an NTRU Presidents XV 27-15 after the NT Women defeated 1st Brigade 24-15.
NT Mosquitoes 33
S Salaa, W Sekitoga, B Nurse, R Butcher Tries R Butcher 3 Pen 2 Conv
Australian Services Warriors 20
A Brown, S Brewer, J Gray Tries J Lethwaite 1 Pen 1 Conv