Cougars push Mullum

By CHRIS GILMORE

MULLUMBIMBY maintained their string of good recent results with a 32-26 win over Casino in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, on Saturday night.

But Mullum coach Dave Latta was far from impressed with his side's performance.

"I'm thankful, but far from happy with the win," he said.

Casino, on the other hand, took some confidence away from the game, having stretched the 2004 Group One premiers all the way.

"We're going a lot better than earlier in the year," Casino lock Brad Birney said.

"Our defence has been a lot better, and they scored a few lucky tries.

"It could have gone either way."

Latta agreed.

"Casino were good," he said.

"We came here confident of the win, but they stepped up and were enthusiastic for the whole 80 minutes."

One positive Latta could take away from the game was the performances of up-and-comers Cody Nelson and Robbie Wark.

Nelson, aged just 16, made his first-grade debut and scored with just his third touch.

Centre Paul Latta scored 16 of the Giants' 32 points, including two tries, and also received recognition from his coach.

"We always had a comfortable lead, but not far enough to curb their enthusiasm," Dave Latta said.

"They'd score again straight after we did."

For Casino, Kirk Hancock, Chris McGrath and Jason Blakey played well.

Birney said there was also hope Adrian Robson could return in the coming weeks.

The Cougars now face Cudgen and Murwillumbah in their next two games, and Birney said their performance on Saturday had them more confident than they might have otherwise been.

"We've come close to Mullum and Marist Brothers in the past couple of weeks, and had a good win against Byron Bay, so hopefully we can keep that up," he said.

MULLUMBIMBY 32 (P Latta 2, T Abbott, B Archibald, G Funnell, C Nelson tries; P Latta 4 goals) d CASINO 26 (T Walker, C Vidler, G Roberts, J Blakey, K Hancock; G Roberts 3 goals).

Reserve grade: CASINO 20 (J Butta, L Collins, R Robinson, C Chelman tries; W Torrens, R Robinson goals) d MULLUMBIMBY (B Thompson, A Jemmason, S Grant tries; N East goal).

Under-18s: MULLUMBIMBY 26 (D Kendall, C Cooper, R Wark, W Kelly, B Goodance tries; L Bashforth 2, C Nelson goals) d CASINO 22 (A Robinson 2, S Dietrich, J Benn, M Webb tries; A Robinson goal)



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