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The Eels put together a thrilling first half to record a 26-6 victory over North Queensland at 1300 Smiles Stadium tonight.
Clint Gutherson! The fullback put the Cowboys to the sword in Townsville. Fourteen points by himself in the first half which included a brace of tries and a hat-trick of goals in a surprise first-half from the Eels.
The Cowboys tonight were looking lost, as pre-game Johnathon Thurston was a possibility, but still wasn't confident in playing just yet! They bumbled around the first half before they righted the ship late to give the Eels a scare.
Parramatta had started off with a huge onslaught. Repeat set after repeat set, while the Cowboys crumbled after a mass of errors. Michael Jennings weaved his way through the Cowboys defence, passing to Nathan Brown, who offloaded to Will Smith who went over to score and sent the Eels up 20-0 before halftime.
The second half started like the first half, with strength from the Eels, and more bumbling from the Cowboys, who had a makeshift halves pairing and couldn't force their way through a stubborn Eels defence.
The Cowboys hit back late in the second half with a nice chip-kick by John Asiata. Antonio Winterstein cleanly taking the ball over the line and some points on the board! But, the Eels weren't ready to concede any more tries.
The Eels captain, Tim Mannah, put the icing on the victory when he took the ball over the line from a close range offload to make it 20-6 as the visitors weathered a sin-bin to Kenny Edwards as they record a valuable two points in Townsville.
Next Week is the ANZAC Test week, so in a fortnight:
The Cowboys travel down to Sydney Olympic Park to take on a semi-decent Bulldogs on Thursday 11th May.
The Eels head next door to NRL HQ, to take on the Roosters at Allianz on Mother's Day!
North Queensland Cowboys 6 - Parramatta Eels 26
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
Halftime Score: North Queensland Cowboys 0 Parramatta Eels 14
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Clint Gutherson
2 points - Corey Norman
1 points - Kalyn Ponga
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (6)
Tries: Antonio Winterstein
Conversions: Kyle Feldt (1/1)
PARRAMATTA EELS (26)
Tries: Clint Gutherson (2), Will Smith, Tim Mannah
Conversions: Clint Gutherson (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Clint Gutherson (1/1)