Brilliant Bowen leads Cowboys to victory in Newcastle

The North Queensland Cowboys are back in the top 4 after defeating the Newcastle Knights 22-12 at Ausgrid Stadium in front of a 17,212 crowd.

In a scrappy match the Cowboys were able to capitalise on their opportunities despite the absence of playmaker Johnathon Thurston and come away with the two points.

Matt Bowen took the lead in attack for the Cowboys and came up with the goods early.

The pint sized fullback set up a try for Will Tupou in only the sixth minute through a clever kick. Bowen then converted the try to give his side a six point lead.

The Knights hit back in the 16th minute following 3 repeat sets at the Cowboys' line through captain Kurt Gidley who scored staight off the back of a scrum. Gidley added the extras to even the scores. 

Both sides struggled to complete their sets over the next 25 minutes to ensure the scores remained unchanged going into half time.

After the break, Bowen kicked his side out of trouble as his side struggled to make decent meters early in the half.

Bowen's work paid off in the 55th minute when his team mate Joel Reithmuller crashed over to give his side the lead again. 

However, the Knights hit back only five minutes later after rookie Ryan Stig put on one of his trademark steps to put Gidley over for his second.

The Knights bombed several opportunities to score back to back tries despite some good meters from dummy half and nice solo efforts.

The stalemate was broken again with 13 minutes left in the match after the Cowboys were rewarded a penalty right in front of goal. Bowen had no problem getting the Cowboys a two point lead.

It was all the Cowboys for the remainder of the match, Jame Segeyaro crossed in the 71st courtesy of another good kick by Bowen, but the fullback missed the conversion to keep the lead to a converted try.

However, former Knights' player Cory Paterson sealed the Cowboys' victory only three minutes later when he crashed over.

The Knights had several opportunities to score a consolation try late in the match, but struggled to make anything of their opportunities. 

Match Details
Newcastle Knights 12 were defeated by North Queensland Cowboys 22
National Rugby League - Round 18 - Monday July 11, 2011 7:00pm
Venue: Ausgrid Stadium
Referee: Jared Maxwell and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Ricky MacFarlane
Crowd: 17,212
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 6 North Queensland Cowboys 6

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (12)

Tries: Kurt Gidley (2)
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (1/1), Wes Naiqama (1/1)

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (22)
Tries: Cory Paterson, Will Tupou, James Segeyaro, Joel Reithmuller
Conversions: Matt Bowen (2/4)
Penalty Goals: Matt Bowen (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Newcastle are the hosts of Monday Night Football in Round 18, against a Thurston-less North Queensland Cowboys. Discuss the match on our forums, or follow us on Twitter, @LeagueUnlimited and be sure to add the hashtag #nrlnewnql!

Good Evening folks and welcome to Ausgrid stadium for the last match of Round 18 of the 2011 NRL Premiership where the sixth placed Knights take on the fifth placed Cowboys.
Both teams have announced a few late changes to their 17 taking the field tonight. For the home side Dan Tolar will start in the front row in place of the injured Evarn Tuimavave with Mark Taufua replacing Tolar on the bench.
For the Cowboys Johnathon Thurston is out, he will be replaced by Michael Morgan, hooker Aaron Payne is also out and will be replaced by Clint Amos and Cory Paterson will be replacing Leeson Ah Mau on the bench.
The Cowboys have taken out the Toyota Cup match tonight with a 50-26 trouncing of the Knights.
Jared Maxwell blows time on and the match is underway.
1 min: Knights make 40 meters on their first set before Mullen boots it down field.
2 min: Knights are penalised for a high shot on Gavin Cooper to put the Cowboys on the attack.
3 min: Cowboys will get another six, this time only ten out after Morgan's pass is touched by a Knights player.
4 min: Clint Amos throws a terrible pass and it is put down by his team mate.
5 min: Newcastle will have to defend their line again after Junior Sau knocks on.
6 min: Possible try for the Cowboys here.
8 min: TRY
Video referee Sean Hampstead gives the green light. Matthew Bowen goes to the air on the last and James McManus knocks it forward before Will Tupou grounds it. Conversion by Matthew Bowen is successful. Cowboys lead 6-0.
9 min: The Cowboys have penalised for not being square at marker. The Knights will get a chance to hit back.
10 min: Adam MacDougall is hammered in a tackle as the catches the ball and loses the ball.
11 min: Willie Tonga drops it for Cowboys.
11 min: Knights lose it on their first play from the scrum. The Cowboys will get another opportunity.
12 min: Bowen grubbers into the in goal for Tupou but it rolls dead.
13 min: Some nice attack from the Knights there but the Cowboys are up to the task. But the Knight get a penalty and will have a set in the Cowboys ten.
14 min: Knights get six again after Michael Morgan is ruled to have knocked the ball forward out of Hilder's hands.
15 min: TRY
Gildley runs over straight from the scrum to score the first try of the evening for the Knights. Gidley adds the extras and we have an even ball game. 6-6
6 all
17 min: The Knights are bashing the Cowboys all over the park after that try.
20 min: Cowboys lose the ball on halfway and the Knights will get another opportunity to go on the attack.
21 min: Knights spread it out wide through Mullen and Wes Naiqama loses the ball.
22 min: Naiqama makes a nice break frhe 50 metre line before being tackled.om his own half and make it to t
22 min: Naiqama makes a nice break in his own half before being tackled on the 50m line.
23 min: Mullen goes to the air on the last but Chris Houstan just can't catch it.
27 min: Knights clearly have the upper hand here, but are failing to find the creativity needed to create some opportunities.
29 min: Great work by Naiqama to avoid a line dropout he catches it as he's going over the dead ball line, he throws it in the air, runs back into the in goal and catches it before it hits the ground.
30 min: Mullen kicks it out on the full from his own 40 meter line, Cowboys will get a chance to go on the attack.
32 min: Knights keep the Cowboys out.
33 min: Bowen kicks a 40/20 for the Cowboys. His kicking game has been fantastic tonight.
34 min: Tonga knocks it on again and the Knights are off the hook.
36 min: Knights make 90 meters with some great dummy half running but fail to come away with a try.
37 min: Knights are on the attack here.
38 min: Hourston knocks it on just as the Knights are looking real threatening.
39 min: Cowboys are pinned for a forward pass in their own half.
40 min: Mullen kicks it through on the first play. Ashley Graham runs it dead and that's the half. The Knights will be disappointed they do not have the lead, they have had some great field position and looked real threatening.
41 min: The second half is underway.
41 min: Matthew Bowen attempts another 40/20 but McManus manages to reel it in for the Knights.
43 min: Cameron Cilraldo is penalised for laying all over the ruck and the Cowboys will go on the attack.
43 min: Cameron Cilraldo is penalised for laying all over the ruck and the Cowboys will go on the attack.
43 min: Bowen kicks a bomb on the last but Naiqama diffuses it and the Knights will get a tap 20.
43 min: Cowboys are penalised for slowing down the play the ball.
48 min: Knights are making great meters here but they just cannot get over the line.
50 min: Knights spread it out wide and look threatening but Sau drops the ball to take the Cowboys off the hook again.
52 min: Antonio Kaufusi loses it on his own 30 Cowboys will get another chance.
52 min: Antonio Kaufusi loses it on his own 30 Cowboys will get another chance.
55 min: TRY
Joel Reithmuller scores straight under the black dot. Conversion attempt by Matthew Bowen is successful. Cowboys lead 12-6.
North Queensland Cowboys 12-6
58 min: Knights will get a piggyback up the field after the Cowboys are penalised laying over a tackled player.
60 min: TRY
Stig puts a step on to beat the Cowboys defense, he offloads to Kurt Gidley who scores under the black dot. Conversion attempt by Naiqama is successful. 12 all.
12 all
61 min: The Knights might have an injury problem, Kurt Gidley is going up the tunnel.
61 min: Cowboys lose the ball, to gift the Knights some god field position.
63 min: Possible Knights try here after they get six again.
63 min: No Try! Uate is ruled to have lost the ball over the try line.
66 min: Knights are penalised on their own ten after Naiqama knocks on a Bowen and Houstan picks it up from an offside position.
66 min: PENALTY GOAL
Cowboys decide to go for the two and Bowen has no problem kicking the goal. Cowboys lead 14-12.
North Queensland Cowboys 14-12
71 min: TRY
Try! Bowen kicks down the short side and it goes straight over Naiqama's head, Paterson gathers the ball and offloads to James Segeyaro who scores. Conversion attempt by Bowen is unsuccessful. Cowboys lead 18-12
North Queensland Cowboys 18-12
74 min: TRY
Try for the Cowboys. Macdougall loses the ball on halfway to put the Cowboys on the attack. The Cowboys spread it out to the right and Cory Paterson crashes over to score. Bowen misses the conversion again. Cowboys lead 22-12.
North Queensland Cowboys 22-12
76 min: The Knights run it on the last but come away empty handed.
80 min: The Knights just cannot complete a set at the moment.

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