Cowboys continue hot home form

Townsville's finest completed a huge form reversal on Saturday night, with the North Queensland Cowboys overcoming last Monday night's failure in Newcastle to defeat South Sydney at home, 20-18.

Paul Green's men ran out and went straight for the jugular, Matthew Wright scoring off a tapped-back bomb in just the second minute, backed up with Tariq Sims crashing over in the sixth.

No sooner had they jumped to a 10-nil lead before Antonio Winterstein miraculously touched down in the corner and with just 9 minutes elapsed, the Cowboys were fourteen in front. Despite the stunning start the Rabbitohs weren't to be silenced, scoring in the 19th minute through Chris McQueen.

The first half was full of tries but none were better than Curtis Rona's tap back down the right touchline off a Morgan grubber before Matthew Wright claimed a double. A penalty goal before the break sent the Cowboys to a 20-6 halftime lead.

The second half was all red and green - Jason Clark forcing his way over early on, and Alex Johnston nearly backing that up shortly after. Greg Inglis pushed the Rabbitohs to within striking distance with fifteen minutes remaining, but the Cowboys were able to hold strong and defend a gritty two-point lead and turn it into two points.

The win cements the Cowboys' seventh win from eight games at 1300SMILES Stadium this season and creates a speed hump in the Rabbitohs' season. Next weekend North Queensland head south to Kogarah to face the Dragons, hoping to turn around their current 0-7 record away from home this season on Saturday evening.. The Rabbitohs also head south to their home ground at ANZ Stadium where they host the Gold Coast Titans on Monday night.

Match Details
North Queensland Cowboys 20 South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
Crowd: 15897
Halftime Score: North Queensland Cowboys 20 South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 Players of the Match:
3 points - Antonio Winterstein
2 points - Michael Morgan
1 point - Ashton Sims

Tries: Matthew Wright (2), Tariq Sims, Antonio Winterstein
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (1/4)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)

Tries: Chris McQueen, Jason Clark, Greg Inglis
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/3) Live Commentary

We're underway at 1300 Smiles Stadium this evening.

Scored by Matthew Wright. Kick to come.

And after only two minutes, the Cowboys are on the board! Matthew Wright breaks through, and scores the first try of the evening.

Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Thurston makes no mistake with the conversion.

Scored by Tariq Sims. Kick to come.

Yep, you read it right, the Cowboys have scored again. This time through Tariq Sims. You can bet noone was expecting this start against the much favoured Rabbitohs.

Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.

Thurston attempts the conversion, but he can't get the angle.

Scored by Antonio Winterstein. Kick to come.

And to top of an amazing ten minutes, Winterstein has scored now. The Rabbitohs have not yet touched the ball, but they'll be chasing a massive early deficit.

Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.

Thurston again fails with the conversion, but the Cowboys are already 14 points in front.

15: The Rabbitohs look a little shell shocked here early. The Cowboys' kick bounces off one of the Burgess boys, and the Rabbitohs will have the first real attacking set of the game.

16: Reynolds kicks high, but Winterstein makes an absolute mess of it. He tried to keep a foot in the in goal to get a 20 metre restart, but knocks the ball on instead.

18: Merritt has fallen into a tackle here, and copped a bit of a knee in the head. Accidental, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.

19: Penalty to the Rabbitohs, and Reynolds kicks for touch. They'll take the tap 35 metres from the Cowboys' line.

19: We're going to the video referee to check for a possible obstruction. It looks like the Rabbitohs have opened their account for the evening though. Kosjasyn rushed out of the line to put pressure on the halfback, but he was ineffectual. Looks like a try to me.

Scored by Chris McQueen. Kick to come.

The video referee agrees - it's a try to Chris McQueen. The Rabbitohs hit back.

Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

Reynolds puts the ball over the black dot, and the deficit is now 8.

22: The Rabbitohs put up a bomb on the last, but Thurston drops it cold. The Rabbitohs will get the scrum feed in great attacking position.

22: But Thurston gets the let off, as the Rabbitohs spill the ball on the first tackle.

26: Cowboys on the attack now. They kick high towards Alex Johnston, but he's up to the task and cleans it up neatly. 2 tackles later, the Bunnies are helped out of their line by a penalty.

27: The Rabbitohs are ten metres from the Cowboys line on the last. The kick floats into the in goal, and Matthew Wright brings the ball out to the 20 metre line.

28: Another Video Referee decision coming up - Matthew Wright looks to have scored on the right of the field, after Curtis Rona taps the ball back inside from the sideline right into the chest of Wright. Nothing wrong with it from what we can see.

Scored by Matthew Wright. Kick to come.

And it's a try! Matthew Wright owes Curtis Rona a beer or two after that brilliant play.

Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.

Its a terrible attempted conversion from Thurston on that one. He hooks it across the face of the goal, and it wobbles its way along. Still, when you're scoring tries like the Cowboys are, conversions aren't as important.

30: The Cowboys send the ball out to the right, but the pass from Thurston drops short of the mark. On the last, Thurston kicks into the in goal, and Inglis is trapped in the in goal.

Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Bit of frustration from Sam Burgess sees him go overboard in the tackle. He's penalised for his trouble, and Thurston opts for the penalty goal.

36: The Cowboys are penalised now, as Reynolds is tackled twice in the one play. The second effort draws the penalty, and the Rabbitohs will attack from deep in the Cowboys danger zone.

37: Some solid Cowboys defence drags Burgess down close to the line, and the Cowboys survive an attacking raid.

39: A bit of a scuffle breaks out, with Sam Burgess and Ashton Sims pushing each other around a bit, after what looked like a high tackle on Thurston. The Cowboys are penalised, with Ashton Sims penalised for instigating.

39: Souths have the final possession to take the game to half time. The Cowboys lead 20-6 in a heated affair.

40: We're back underway in the second half. Reynolds starts us off by kicking deep downfield.

43: Koroisau darts from dummy half looking to catch the defence napping, but he runs straight at both Sims boys, and they belt the ball loose.

44: Ashton Sims runs the ball up, and there are a pile of Burgess boys there to belt him. Nice bit of heat in that.

45: The Cowboys are penalised for laying over the tackle for too long. The Rabbitohs have the chance to put some pressure on now.

46: Jason Clark has crashed his way through a pile of defence, and looks to have scored under the posts. We're going to the video referee to check the double movement. It looks like a try, momentum seems to have pushed him over.

Scored by Jason Clark. Kick to come.

It's a TRY! Jason Clark, on his birthday, has scored a try under the posts. 20 - 10, kick to come.

Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

Adam Reynolds lines up the kick, and puts it straight between the posts. The Bunnies trail by 8.

48: The Cowboys get penalised again, this time it's for a strip with two men in the tackle. The Bunnies try to take the quick tap, but they're brought back.

49: The Rabbitohs are only a few metres out from the tryline now - Reynolds grubbers in behind the line, but Winterstein stumbles as he picks it up. The Cowboys will drop the ball out.

50: McQueen has hurt his lower leg somehow in that tackle.

51: The Rabbitohs almost score down the right, but they can't hold onto the ball. Let off for the Cowboys.

53: Play is stopped while Glenn Hall gets some treatment for a cut above his eye. Meanwhile, McQueen has gone straight up the tunnel.

53: Sutton kicks high on the last - Winterstein took it neatly, and then just managed to stay in the field of play. Just.

55: Some great work from Winterstein again a few sets later, as he drills his way into three defenders to fight himself back into the field of play.

62: Injury update, McQueen has been diagnosed as having a syndesmosis injury, or high ankle sprain. He won't be back tonight.

63: Cowboys attacking the Souths line now. Curtis Rona put a step on and almost wound up under the posts, but was dragged down by Dave Tyrrell. On the last, the Cowboys force the line drop out.

Scored by Greg Inglis. Kick to come.

Well, that set was all about Inglis. First of all, he broke the line and ran almost 20 metres down field before getting dragged down. A few plays later Sutton dribbled the ball in behind the line, and Inglis picked it up to score near the posts. Kick to come.

Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

And it's two points the difference, as Reynolds converts Inglis' try. Exciting finish coming up.

70: Linnett brings the ball out of his danger zone, but he picked Sam Burgess to run at, and got belted.

70: Well, it looked like Thurston had kicked a 40/20, but the touch judge has ruled that it was just inside the 20. Tough call.

70: It's been a rocks and diamonds day for Winterstein. He's just attempted to defuse a bomb, but it bounced out of his arms and almost into the lap of Ben Te'o. The Rabbitohs will get a scrum feed 20 metres from the Cowboys line.

71: Rabbitohs desperately on attack, trying to take the lead for the first time in this game.

71: Last play, and the Rabbitohs grubber into the in goal, but the kick is slightly too big. Thurston watches it over the dead ball line.

74: Zero tackle for the Cowboys, and they'll start it on the Rabbitohs 30 metre line.

74: Morgan chimes into the backline, but his angle is to shallow and he is easy pickings for the defense.

74: The grubber on the last is too big, and the Rabbitohs watch it over the dead ball line. The Rabbitohs look very tired though.

80: It was a tough finish for the Cowboys, the Rabbitohs threw everything they had at them, but in the end the Cowboys early lead was too much to overcome.