CASINO front-rower Damien Benn stepped up to lead the Cougars to a 20-10 win over Northern United in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Oakes Oval, Lismore, yesterday.

Benn launched himself into countless tackles and took most of the charges with the ball for the Cougars.

It was a big win for Casino, which had to do it without hooker Simon Pederson and props Travis Falls and Tim James.

Casino has won two in a row down on troops, while for United it was the first loss of the season.

Late tries to halfback Evan Hickling and second-rower James Roberts sealed the win for Casino after they had led 8-6 earlier in the second half.

It was the first time Rob-erts had played against his former club after many years with the Dirawongs.

Hickling also spent time with United but is now captain at Casino.

Second-rower Djaan Jarrett scored a try in the corner for United just before full-time.

Earlier, Casino scored a spectacular try in the first half with centre Dave Ellis passing the ball through his legs to winger Jake Roberts.

It gave them an 8-6 lead after front-rower Jake Ngauamo ran through some lazy defence from a penalty tap close to the Dirawongs' tryline and scored.

United winger Lawrence Mercy scored his side's first try but finished the day waiting for an ambulance with a possible broken leg.

Second-rower Willo James also missed the second half with injury after a running battle in the middle with Benn in the first half.

The Dirawongs looked tired coming off a Tuesday night catch-up game win against Marist Brothers.

Five-eighth Alwyn Roberts and fullback Bill King tried hard but they lacked punch up the middle.

In results of other games available before our dead-line, Marist Brothers belted Kyogle 56-24 at Kyogle on Saturday night and Ballina defeated Mullumbimby 40-16 at Mullumbimby yesterday.


THE funeral of Lower Clarence Magpies rugby league player Zane Purcell will be held at Maclean today.

The 29-year-old husband and father-of-two died after collapsing on the field during a game at Ballina on May 10.

The service will be held from 10am at St James Anglican Church, Maclean, followed by a burial at Lower Clarence Lawn Cemetery, Townsend.

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