Cougars crush Sth Tweed
By STEVE SPINKS
SOME magnificent goalkicking by centre Garry Roberts helped the Casino Cougars to a convincing 44-30 victory over South Tweed in round 13 of the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, yesterday.
Roberts bagged six goals from eight attempts as the Cougars won their second match in a row over a Tweed-based club.
The young centre could have easily only kicked two from eight as nearly all of his kicks were made from the sideline.
So what I hear you say?
The goalkicking of Roberts was largely responsible for keeping a late fightback from South Tweed in check.
The Cougars were leading 38-26 with 10 minutes left on the clock when the visitors ran in a second try to halfback Matt Nuttal.
At 38-30 the signs looked a little worrying for Casino.
But the Koalas failed to convert the goal meaning they had to score twice to get in front of the Cougars.
Automatically the pressure valve was released.
"He practices kicking from the one spot out on the sideline every training session," Casino coach Cavill Heugh said.
"The boys know if they score them (tries) in the corner that Garry will kick them."
Roberts backed up his fine display with the boot with a strong defensive game and some searching runs in attack.
But there were plenty of Casino players that rose to the occasion after a lacklustre first half saw them trail 22-10 at half-time.
Hooker Jason Blakey scored two tries and would have topped the tackle count, while props Chris McGrath and Dene Petty and lock Kirk Hancock worked tirelessly up front.
Hancock was directly involved in two tries for the hosts straight after half-time.
First he set up winger Todd Walker before crossing himself minutes later.
It lifted Casino from 22-10 down to 22-all.
Five-eighth Cameron George, halfback Matty Roberts and fullback Ben Birney also had busy games.
For coach Heugh it's been a satisfying two weeks.
"We looked at their team (South Tweed) on paper and compared it with Cudgen (who Casino beat last week)," Heugh said.
"We thought we would compete well, but our completions in the first half weren't great.
"In the second-half our enthusiasm rose and that brought out our fitness."
The Koalas turned in a woeful second-half.
Ball control was poor and it was left to captain-coach and prop Brock Mathers and halfback Matt Nuttal to shoulder most of the workload.
CASINO 44 (Jason Blakey 2, Jeff Butta, Matty Roberts, Todd Walker, Kirk Hancock, Adrian Robson, Clinton Vidler tries; Garry Roberts 6 goals) d SOUTH TWEED 30 (Matt Nuttal 2, Chris Humphries, Thomas Phillips, Troy Hilder, Isaac Jacky tries; Ben Mathers 3 goals).
Reserve grade: CASINO 44 d SOUTH TWEED 18.
Under-18s: CASINO 26 d SOUTH TWEED 18.