Joe Ravueta goes in tough against Casino at McKittrick Park.
Joe Ravueta goes in tough against Casino at McKittrick Park.

Rhinos backs crush Casino

CASINO defenders must have been fed up with the sight of bright yellow boots whizzing past them yesterday at McKittrick Park in Round 4 of the NRRRL competition.

Rhinos’ fullback Joel Moss and centre Joe Ravueta – who both wear yellow boots similar to those made famous by Parramatta superstar Jarryd Hayne – tore the Cougars defence to shreds as the home side ran out 62-20 winners.

It was Moss who made the most startling impression on the scoresheet with a bag of four tries while team-mate Ravueta crossed twice.

The first-half onslaught realised 42 points with Moss in devastating form at the back. Moss who has been playing out of position in recent weeks took advantage of a Rhinos forward pack who provided a perfect platform for their speedy backs.

“It was good having ‘Mossy’ (Joel Moss) back at fullback,” an elated Rhinos coach Xavier Sullivan said after the game.

“He has been a bit lost the last couple of weeks but fullback looks like his position.”

Sullivan himself had a powerhouse game in defence and his ability to off-load in traffic caused headaches for the opposition defence. But it was the ‘human fridge’ Tim Tilse who gave his side the go-forward with barnstorming runs up the middle of the park.

“Tim gave us plenty of good yards ... they kept on kicking to him and he kept taking the metres off them (Casino),” Sullivan said.

Both teams were guilty of pushing the passes in the first half and there were plenty of school boy errors.

However, the Rhinos were the first team to settle and with halfback Todd Cameron calling the shots and five-eighth Ron Gordon providing space for his backs the home side skipped ahead to an unassailable lead.

And what a difference a week makes after the Rhinos lost convincingly last Sunday to a red-hot Grafton Ghosts side.

The spark was back in attack, there was more width, better communication, but more importantly a much-needed win.

“We stuck to our structure for the first time in four weeks,” Sullivan said.

“We knew they’d come out of the blocks hard and we just needed to come out harder. We did that and managed to blow them away early.”

Sullivan said defeating Casino would be a real confidence builder after last week’s loss.

“There is still along way to go in the competition and you’ve got to try things early in the season,” he said.

“We’re starting to find a few combinations and with Sam Woods sniffing around the forwards and Joe (Ravueta) lurking out wide we can only get better.”

Rhinos centre Dwayne Duke had a tremendous game in both defence and attack and put the icing on the cake with one minute remaining when he swooped on an over-ambitious pass to sprint 30 metres to score next to the uprights.

The Rhinos are away to Marist Brothers next week and Sullivan is quietly confident his side can make it two wins in a row.

“After today’s game our confidence will be up ... people now know what we can do,” he said.


First Grade: Rhinos 62 (J Moss 4, J Ravueta 2, D Duke 2, T Cameron, S Kirby, R O’Grady tries. O Monaghan 6 conversions, L Worthing 2) d Casino 20 ( A Johnston 2, T Johnston , J Baker tries, M Roberts 1 conversion, C McIntyre 1)

Reserve Grade: Rhinos 44 ( O Monaghan 3, B Gapps, R Farr, S Kilduff, D Wills, J Skeen tries, J Gordan 3 conversions, O Monaghan 3 ) d Casino 10 (I Munroe, B Birney tries, L Torrens conversion )

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