By Brian Laybutt
The newly formed Casuarina Beach Rugby Club last week celebrated their first ever win and this week they followed it up with a thrilling win at home.
Casuarina played a revamped Southern Cross University team, who had recently notched up some very impressive performances and a recent big win against last year’s grand finalist Byron Bay.
Casuarina coming of a win against Bangalow, were expecting a fast open game which is a characteristic trade mark of the students.
Casuarina started the game strongly with an early try to breakaway Jack Jones which gave the home team an early 7 nil lead. This was quickly reigned back in as Uni responded immediately with a dazzling try from fullback and NSW country representative Dean Wilson.
In what was clearly going to be a tight match the half time score saw the home team leading 13 to 10.
Uni continued to throw the ball out wide to their fleet footed backs who made probing runs which really troubled the Casuarina team. Casuarina responded by trying to control the ball within the forwards which resulted in directed phase plays which was rewarded by a well deserved try to prop Timoci Rokosuka. The Uni boys continued to probe the Casuarina line crossing it four times, however their discipline in and around the rucks kept Casuarina in the match as Webb Lillis kept slotting goals.
Casuarina looked to have the game all but won leading 23-20, but a scintillating back line play saw Uni score out wide in the last two minutes of the game to take the lead 25 to 23.
With only two minutes remaining all seemed lost for the Casuarina boys, but with their never say die approach they were able to regather the ball from the kick off and retain it. Once again the students poor discipline around the ruck resulted in a final penalty. With zero time on the clock it was all in the hands of young goal kicker Web Lillis. Web was faced with a 45 metre kick, 20 metres off centre. In a calm, collected manner he struck the ball sweetly which saw it sail through the posts. As it crossed the bar the Casuarina players and supporters went up as one, for what was an extremely exciting finish to the game.
Best for Casuarina were full back Webb Lillis, hard working back rower Jack Pick, hooker and Captain Dan Heritage.
Next week the Casuarina boys take on defending Champions Wollongbar away, then followed by a home game against Casino on May 20, kick off at 3.30pm
Come along and support your local rugby team.