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The North Queensland Cowboys have held off an unlucky Sydney Roosters outfit, scoring a 24-22 nail-biting win at Dairy Farmers Stadium in front of 13,000 fans.
It was all the Roosters early, scoring in their first two sets of six through redheads Ben Jones and Shane Shackleton, but the Cowboys hit back quickly with captain Aaron Payne sending a short ball to form forward Carl Webb for the Cowboys opening try.
The pain wasn't over for the Roosters as Travis Burns and Aaron Payne crashed over from close range to give the Cowboys an 18-10 lead. The momentum shifted to the Roosters after debuting winger Michael Bani was sin binned for tackling Sam Perrett without the ball.
The Roosters hit with prop Anthony Cherrington crashing over the line himself, but nearly instantly after the Cowboys were back, Steve Southern punishing horrible defence to send the Cowboys to the half-time break with an eight point lead.
Right on the break Roosters prop Frank-Paul Nuuausala had to count himself lucky to have stayed on the field after a similarly illegal tackle, ending the half in a spiteful nature.
The second half started with big hits and good runs. Neither side was able to break their opponent. The first real chance saw Roosters flyer Sam Perrett ran down and held up by Michael Bani in a stunning tackle. It was all in vain with Tom Symonds moments later setting up a Mitchell Aubusson try to get the Roosters within striking distance.
The Roosters attempted to come up with the miracle play in the dying minutes, but it never paid off, enabling the Cowboys to escape with the two competition points.
The Cowboys, without representative stars Luke O'Donnell, Matthew Bowen and Johnathon Thurston played well to get the points. The Roosters never took control of the game and once again, left the match without points and looking closer to the Wooden Spoon.
Match Details North Queensland Cowboys 24 def Sydney Roosters 22 Round 15 - Saturday June 20th, 2009 07:30pm Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Referee: Referees: Jason Robinson & Tony De Las Heras Sideline Officials: Steve Carrall & Alan Shortall Video Referee: Phil Cooley Crowd: 13,486 Halftime: North Queensland Cowboys 24-16
North Queensland Cowboys 24 Tries: Carl Webb, Travis Burns, Aaron Payne, Steve Southern Goals: John Williams (4/4) Sydney Roosters 22 Tries: Ben Jones, Shane Shackleton, Anthony Cherrington, Mitchell Aubusson Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Aaron Payne (Cowboys) 2 Points: Sam Perrett (Roosters) 1 Point: John Williams (Cowboys)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Cowboys v Roosters forum discussion - click here!
Welcome to Dairy Farmers Stadium for this encounter between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys. The pre-match talk has revolved around the incident of Brad Fittler, but regardless we are still in for a close match.
Both sides will be missing their Origin stars and coming off losses. It will be a great match, tune in to see how these sides go.
Toyota Cup Result Sydney Roosters 34 (Tom Pelo 2, Luke Towers, Dylan Sharp, Ryan Williamson, Andrew Clayton tries, Luke Towers 5 goals) defeated North Queensland Cowboys 10 (Obadiah Geia, Michael Parker Walshe tries, Troyden Watene goal).
There have been a few changes since the original line-ups. They are as follows:
COWBOYS: 1. Ty Williams 2. Michael Bani 3. Ashley Graham 18. Ben Harris 4. John Williams 6. Travis Burns 7. Grant Rovelli 8. Shane Tronc 9. Aaron Payne 10. Matthew Scott 11. Carl Webb 12. Scott Bolton 13. Steve Southern Interchange: 14. Anthony Watts 15. Steve Rapira 16. Antonio Kaufusi 19. Manase Manuokafoa ROOSTERS: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Sisa Waqa 4. Ben Jones 17. Mitchell Aubusson 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Braith Anasta 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Lopini Paea 9. Jake Friend 10. Shane Shackleton 11. Anthony Cherrington 18. Iosia Soliola 13. Craig Fitzgibbon Interchange: 14. Ray Moujalli 15. Frank Paul Nuuausala 16. Tom Symonds 18. Rohan Ahern
This game is not far from kicking off. The anthem has been played and we're ready to get underway.
0 min: Ash Graham puts the ball down ready, the whistle blows and we are underway.0 all
2 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Despite a few big hits from the Cowboys early on in the set of six, a great break by Jake Friend gets the metres going. Afterwards Perrett takes the quick play-the-ball and gives the ball to Anasta who sends Ben Jones over. Great start. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 4-0
5 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Sydney Roosters Fitzgibbon offloads and the Cowboys defence is in trouble again. Roosters doing well in support. The high kick might have been knocked by a Rooster and we're seeing if Shackleton's try is awarded.
5 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The try is indeed awarded and the Cowboys are in deep trouble early. That'll be the Roosters ten up and the only ball work the Cowboys will be doing so far will be the kick offs. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 10-0
7 min: The Cowboys finally get their hands on the ball after a decent kick from Mitchell Pearce.
11 min: Some of the Cowboys forwards already looking tired. The Roosters, more mobile then usual look very ready.
13 min: Williams makes a massive break. Ben Harris almost put a winning pass away but Fitzgibbon's defence was ready. The good set ends with Cowboys debutant Bani spilling the ball.
15 min: Penalty - Cowboys Rovelli finding touch. The Cowboys will enter the Roosters half early.
16 min: Another Cowboys error with a forward pass. Tom Symonds getting ready to come on for the Roosters.
17 min: Kenny-Dowall knocks the ball on early and the Cowboys counter-attack straight away.
17 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys Rovelli sends a series of dummies until Peace put him down. On the next play Carl Webb went over the line showing good strength and showing points onto the Cowboys scoreboard. Conversion attempt by John Williams successful. Sydney Roosters 10-6
19 min: Penalty - Cowboys Cherrington caught offside. The possession coming back to even after the Roosters had it all early.
20 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys At the end of a strong set of six Travis Burns dummies and makes his way over the line. The Cowboys are back here! Rapira coming on for the Cowboys (Webb will come off) and Nuuausala comes on for the Roosters. Conversion attempt by John Williams successful. North Queensland Cowboys 12-10
24 min: Kenny-Dowall over the sideline by the Cowboys, who will have another crack at the Roosters line.
25 min: The Cowboys earn themselves a repeat set of six thanks to some great work by Payne, Graham and Williams.
26 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys The Payne isn't ending for the Roosters quite yet with the captain Aaron Payne making his way over the line. A few looks at the grounding but it was deemed fine and the Cowboys looking very strong so far. Conversion attempt by John Williams successful. North Queensland Cowboys 18-10
28 min: Penalty - Cowboys Moujalli called up for a grapple tackle.
29 min: Penalty - Roosters Rapira called up for being inside the ten.
30 min: SIN BIN - COWBOYS Bani called up for a professional foul on his debut. Called up for attempting to strip during the play-the-ball. The Roosters inside the ten.
32 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Cherrington gets a try in his second game of the year, overpowering Ty Williams and putting the Roosters right back into this match. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. North Queensland Cowboys 18-16
35 min: A spill by Soliola gives the Cowboys the ball back not long before the break.
35 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys The tryfest continues. Southern goes past a bad tackle attempt from Pearce and the short passes are really killing them. Conversion attempt by John Williams successful. North Queensland Cowboys 24-16
37 min: Ty Williams gains his revenge, and forces Perrett into touch. They will be having a scrum, it was just short of the corner post. Here they come again. Didn't really need to take it Perrett.
38 min: A forward pass ends the short set of six.
40 min: Penalty Cowboys Nuuausala takes out Ty Williams without possession. Payne asking the referee for a binning. It will be only a penalty, harsh decision against the Cowboys right after losing a player in the sin-bin themselves. They will play the clock down for the half.
HALF TIME - North Queensland Cowboys 24 lead Sydney Roosters 16 A heated end to the half with quite alot of anger between the two sides. Nuuausala attempted to apologise but Williams ignored. The crowd isn't happy either. Well that ends an absolute try-fest. It was only a few years ago when these two sides last played during the Origin period, the Roosters getting up 64-30 that day. Doubt the same will happen tonight but you never know. Enjoy the break, and we'll see you in the second half.
We're about to begin the second half, stay tuned.
40 min: We're underway. Burns makes a break.
42 min: The Roosters looked like they were going to start the second half like they started the first but a try saving tackle on Symonds holds them out for now.
43 min: Penalty - Cowboys The count is growing.
44 min: Penalty - Cowboys The ref pins Kenny-Dowall for stripping the ball. Looks to have been spilt. Tough call. Cowboys lead the count 6-2 now.
47 min: Mitchell Pearce kicks just out on the full. Cowboys will start a set forty metres out. Watts and Webb look like they won't be far from coming back on.
52 min: Penalty - Cowboys Soliola caught offside here. Watts starts this set, they're going for it. Still no change since halftime. Cowboys lead Roosters 24-16
53 min: Nuuausala comes up with a loose ball here, right in front of his own line.
55 min: After some promising plays the ball is lost by Kenny-Dowall.
56 min: Penalty - Roosters The count evens a bit, Rovelli tackling Perrett illegally there.
57 min: VIDEO REFEREE Possible Sydney Roosters try Perrett crosses the line but we're going upstairs to see if he has got it down. Good defending attempt by Bani. He might have actually held Perrett up, which would be an amazing feat.
57 min: For some reason the Roosters kick and end their set on the third tackle.
59 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The Roosters aren't dead here. The Cowboys defencive hole has come back once again with Symonds making a good run to send Mitchell Aubusson to score. Get set for an exciting twenty minutes to come. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. North Queensland Cowboys 24-22
64 min: Watts has come off, he has had a good game tonight for the Cowboys, as has Burns and Payne. The Cowboys can still field a good side without Thurston, they're proving that.
65 min: Roosters continue their enthusiasm with a good kick chase. Seemed like there was ten ready defenders.
68 min: Penalty - RoostersHarris penalised for a flop, the count is now 7-4 to the Cowboys. Roosters slowly gaining momentum here.
69 min: INJURY - Anasta down hurt, coming down twisting awkwardly. Possible back or ankle problem from an important tackle from Harris which saved what could have been a Roosters try. Anasta carried off.
70 min: Pearce dribbles the ball and it's way too deep. That is a real momentum killer. The Roosters in trouble here without the play and without their captain.
71 min: Penalty - Cowboys Ten metres out, here they come.
72 min: Scrum to the Cowboys. Six to go here.
74 min: Cowboys lose the ball from a good tackle from Shackleton.
75 min: The crowd getting up here, the Roosters making very little metres in that set.
76 min: Symonds spills it after a big hit. Cowboys close to the line.
77 min: The Roosters cough up the ball after a good run from Pearce. Should've taken the tackle but attempted the miracle ball.
77 min: Two and a half left here, Roosters scrum.
78 min: Six to go here, seventy metres out. Here come the Roosters.
INJURY NEWS - Anasta possible shattered ankle, on his way to hospital.
78 min: Six to go again, 30 metres out the Roosters. Nuuausala with the ball.
79 min: Symonds spills the ball near the line and once again the Roosters weren't able to come up with the goods. The story of their season really. Chances that just aren't taken.
FULL TIME - North Queensland Cowboys 24 d. Sydney Roosters 22 That will be it for the match with the Cowboys without multiple stars able to get up over this Roosters outfit 24-22.