Casino's free-flowing formula is a winner

CASINO'S 41-33 upset win over Lennox Head at Casino in Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Union even surprised the team's coach Mark Collison.

Not the result, but the way they won.

“It was a bit of touch footy - free-flowing football,” he said.

“Lennox like to throw the ball around.

“They have a good backline and we fell into the trap of trying to play their game.”

But surprisingly it worked as the out-of-contention Casino piled on seven tries against the competition leaders

“We scored more tries in one game than we have all season,” joked Collison.

“It is never a plan of mine (to play free-flowing rugby). But that's what happened.

“I generally like the team to stick three or four phases together then run at the five-eighth and draw them in, then run where they lack the numbers.”

The Bulls led 24-19 at the break, but Lennox scored the first two tries of the second half and Casino were under fire, down 33-19 with 25 minutes remaining.

Then they pulled out a play that didn't come from Collison's coaching book.

After losing possession on halfway, the Bulls pack defended strongly and won the ball back in the ruck.

They immediately went on the attack with each player in the backline playing a hand before winger Richie Roberts crossed in the corner.

Three of the Bulls' tries came from counter-attacks, which although unexpected, drew praise from Collison.

“You make your own luck,” he said.

“We had the dominant scrum all day, and in the second half we stepped it up and turned over their ball at the ruck a little more.

“In the second half we put a bit more pressure on them by making our tackles and they didn't like it.

“I think they under-estimated us.

“We got up in their faces and they resorted to chip and chase, which didn't work for them.”

The win comes too late for the Bulls, after a loss to Ballina last week ended their finals chances, but Collison said it was reward for good form throughout the year.

“I'm very happy and very proud of what the boys did,” he said.

“They dug deep and got the reward.

“It's all a little bit too late now.

“But it (the ability to beat top sides) has always been there. We've been close but haven't been able to finish them off. We always knew we had it in us and yesterday we did it.”

The Bulls lost narrowly to premiership contenders Wollongbar-Alstonville and Coolangatta Tweed after blowing chances to win late in both games.

Collison said he also hoped to upset finals contenders Lismore City on August 9.

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