Though results haven’t fallen their way since the New Year’s break, Palmerston are showing signs their XXXX Darwin A-Grade campaign might yet surprise a few rivals.
The Crocs bounced back from a Round 9 thrashing at the hands of South Darwin (0-62) with a vastly improved showing against Uni Pirates on Saturday night.
Backrower Hayden Schatz and centre Nemani Maucavu crossed the tryline as Palmerston challenged their fancied rivals before eventually falling 13-26 at University Oval.
Despite having bested the Pirates 16-0 back in Round 5, Crocs club president and player Jacob Brant said Saturday’s performance was “their best game all season”.
“It’s always the way after Christmas to have a slow start but we had a bit of a talking to from our coach after (the South Darwin loss) and had a good solid training session last week,” Brant said.
Round 10 Results
Uni Pirates 26 def Palmerston 13
Casuarina 30 def South Darwin 10
Darwin Dragons BYE
“I think we just had our heads screwed on against Uni – the commitment the boys showed and the way they put their bodies on the line was the best I’ve seen this season.
“Boys were getting their shoulders in and running hard than they’d usually run – it was a really solid game.”
Crocs halfback James White was impressive for the visitors with a number of sniping runs while Pirates trio Brendan Russell, Shaun Wachope and Robbie Butcher filled out the host’s scoresheet.
Brant hopes to keep the good times rolling despite Palmerston’s upcoming bye with the team planning a six-hour round trip to support their Swampdog mates in their B-Grade clash with Katherine’s Rucking Roos.
“(Katherine) have been travelling heaps so we’ve hired a bus and we’ll get the boys down to show a bit of love, might as well get down and support,’ Brant said.
Casuarina claim Presidents Cup over Souths Darwin
While Uni and Palmerston were duking it out at Lakeside Drive, Casuarina were busy staking their claim as premiership favourites.
Any suggestions of post-holiday rust were quickly dismissed as the Cougars roared back to life at Rugby Park with a 30-10 win over Souths Darwin.
Cross-code talent Cooper Segeyaro bagged two tries and kicked a penalty goal in a dominant display while fullback David Jacobson (one try) and centre Kieran Danovaro (two conversions, two penalty goals) rounded out Casuarina’s point scorers.
Souths centre Jacob Rainger played a lone hand scoring all 10 points for his side but it was the Cougars’ night with their win securing mid-season Presidents Cup bragging rights for coach Luigi Andreoli.
Darwin Dragons had the bye but will return to face Casuarina at Rugby Park this weekend.