Cowboys Continue March To Finals With Big Win Over Titans

Johnathan Thurston was unsurprisingly the star of the show, with three try assists, as well as a try of his own. Although his try, which was as simple as reacting the quickest to put his hands on the ball, will not make any highlight reels this season, Thurston's masterclass has skyrocketed his side to just one win outside the top four.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, it was the away side who first took the lead through a penalty goal to Michael Gordon. The Titans first points came on the back of three successive penalties after some poor discipline from the home side.

The Southern Queenslanders extended their lead in the 28th minute after a brilliant solo effort from stand-in number six Brad Takairangi. The Shire born pivot beat a host of tackles before reaching out to plant the ball next to the posts. Gordon made no mistake adding the extras stretching the lead to 8-0.

The Cowboys would, however, take a lead into halftime after scoring two converted tries in as many sets of six. The first came through Michael Morgan who reacted quickest to a JT grubber, out enthusing David Mead. Their second try came via a brilliant run from back rower Gavin Cooper, who sold the fullback a dummy for the ages.

Unfortunately for the Titans, although they showed some fight, and did refuse to lay down, they were heavily outclassed the Thurston-lead Cowboys in the second half.

Tries to Thurston, Moga and Linnett secured the game for the Cowboys, giving them their fifth home win in a row. Thurston finished with 4/6 off the boot after landing three conversions and a penalty goal. The returning Matt Scott helped lay the foundation with 194 metres. He was by far the best of the big men.


The Cowboys now look set for yet another late season charge to the finals, after sitting as low as 13th just a month or so ago. Unfortunately for the Titans, they now look as though they'll need to win each of their five remaining games to be any chance of making the eight.


Match Details
North Queensland Cowboys 28 Gold Coast Titans 8
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
Crowd: 0
Halftime Score: North Queensland Cowboys 12 Gold Coast Titans 8

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Johnathan Thurston
2 points - Michael Morgan
1 point - Matthew Scott

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (28)
Tries: Michael Morgan, Johnathan Thurston, Gavin Cooper, Tautau Moga, Kane Linnett
Field Goals:
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)

GOLD COAST TITANS (8)
Tries: Brad Takairangi
Field Goals:
Conversions: Kevin Gordon (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Kevin Gordon (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

Welcome to the second game of Super Saturday. This afternoon the Cowboys host their QLD rivals the Titans. The Cowboys are looking to record their fifth straight win at home. The Titans, who have beaten the Bunnies, Storm and Tigers away, are looking to launch a late run at the eight.

Matt Scott is back for the home side, however his fellow international front row partner James Tamou missed out through injury. Dave Taylor remains in the centres for the Titans.

I'm really looking forward to the battle of the fullbacks between Michael Morgan and Kevin Gordon.

Cowboys $1.24 favourites (Titans $4.25). Titans fans will point to the fact they were at roughly the same odds when they beat the Rabbits and Storm earlier this season. Should be a ripper

Titans out on the field. Dave Taylor may be THE biggest centre in the world. Cowboys about to run out in front of a vocal crowd, sporting their Thor jerseys

1: Titans kick off, Cowboys will first use of the footy. Dave Taylor with the kick off

2: PENALTY: Titans penalised after a shoulder charge on Cowboys fullback Morgan. Thurston to kick for touch from inside his own 20

5: Mortimer puts the ball out on the full on the fifth. Cowboys to start their next set just short of half way

5: PENALTY Cowboys. Too slow off the tackled player. Cowboys to attack from within the Titans 30.

7: Titans manage to hold on despite a few half scares. Daniel Mortimer with an important tackle on Thurston on the sixth. David Mead bleeding heavily from the head. He looks unfazed.

9: VIDEO REFEREE: Greg Bird makes a half break, allowing an attacking kick. Ball looks as though it's gone dead but we'll have a look. Moreso for the re-start I would imagine

9: HOLD THE PHONE ... it's no try but geese that was close. Morgan gets a toe to it, it'll be a Cowboys drop out.

11: Drop Out Cowboys: Another clever kick from Takairangi leads to a repeat set

11: PENALTY Titans. They'll start their set 20 metres out after a Sims penalty. Might not be the last time I type that tonight

12: Brilliant defense by the home side. Titans knock-on. Cowboys with the feed ten out after repelling a few repeat sets

12: VIDEO REF: Jason Taumalolo looks as though he scored from dummy half. On field decision is try. Looks good

12: NO TRY!!! Tackle was complete. Back to the ten, play the ball

12: Antonio Winterstein denied by a last ditch tackle on the line. Back to the 20 for the Titans

20: Cowboys looked in only for a Kevin Gordon try saving knock down. PENALTY Titans after Dave Taylor is bundled into touch after the ref called held. Titans with the ball 20 out from their own line

21: PENALTY Titans. Two in a row. Matt Scott ruled to have helped the ball free. Titans on the attack

22: PENALTY Titans: Three in a row for the Titans. They'll take the two from right in front

23: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL GOLD COAST TITANS
Penalty goal attempt by Kevin Gordon successful.

Titans lead 2-0 in the 23rd thanks to a penalty goal from right in front

25: Titans with an awesome set after scoring. Moga has the ball for the Cowboys after the kick, just 18 metres out

26: PENALTY Titans. Strip from Ashton Sims. Was sure that wouldn't be the last time I'd type that. Titans 20 out

28: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Brad Takairangi. Kick to come.

The big number 6 goes over next to the posts for the Titans. Breaks a few tackles and plants it down. Simple play, very effective

29: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Kevin Gordon successful.

Kevin Gordon adds the extras from next to the posts. Titans with the handy lead. Try came on the back of poor discipline from the Cowboys

30: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Luke Bailey makes an unforced error.

Drop Out Titans. The kick off was taken dead by Luke Bailey. Looked as though it might have gone dead had they left it. Cowboys will be looking to hit straight back

31: Disjointed set from the Cowboys. Titans didn't look threatened. Cowboys muscling up in defense here, trying to force a mistake

33: VIDEO REF: Michael Morgan looks like he has scored following a JT grubber. On field decision is try

33: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Michael Morgan. Kick to come.

Morgan shows great desperation and dives in front of David Mead to score out side. JT with yet another try assist. Cowboys on the board.

33: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Thurston goes to 1500 points for the career with a beautiful kick from near the sideline

34: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Gavin Cooper. Kick to come.

The Cowboys go back to back. Thurston with the pass again. Beautiful ball. Cooper draws the fullback, shows a huge dummy, and scores under the posts

35: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Well that escalated quickly. The Cowboys score tries in two sets and now lead with five until half time.

37: TRY SAVER from Mortimer. The Cowboys almost did it again, making a break through Linnett. Mortimer saves the day and comes up with the ball.

38: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Robert Lui makes an unforced error.

Robert Lui makes a break and loses it just as it looked like he would get the ball away. Titans barely holding on here

40: The Cowboys head into the sheds with a 12-8 lead. It was the away side who shot out to an 8-0 lead, but two tries in as many sets saw the Cowboys take a 12-8 lead. They looked better the longer the half went. Half time came at a good time for the Titans. This is anybody's game

40: It'll be interesting to see if the Cowboys slot Coote back in at fullback when he does return. Morgan's fan has been very good, and once again he has been amongst the Cowboys best. The home side have been the better team but the travelling Titans are right in this. Big second half coming up

40: Both teams back on the field. Cowboys to kick off. Titans possibly playing for their season in the upcoming 40 minutes

42: Good battle up the middle here. Pretty even. Titans have the ball on their 40 half way through the set

44: VIDEO REF: Possible try to the Cowboys. Ball comes lose from Mead, mad scramble. No try is on the on field decision

44: The more they look at this, the more it looks like a try to Thurston

44: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Johnathan Thurston. Kick to come.

Well that was a little strange. David Mead takes the ball a few metres out, loses the ball as he is driven backwards. Ball comes lose, Thurston reacts the quickest and it's over turned. Try time. Bird arguing the call

46: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Thurston converts his own try. Cowboys out by 10.

47: 19 points for the Cowboys in 13 minutes of game time. Danger signs for the Titans, who give away a penalty

49: Brilliant play from Taylor who sticks a hand out to stop a grubber from JT. Lui gives away a penalty.

50: Mead loses the ball as the Titans go on the attack. Just trying to play it too quickly. Cowboys on the attack

51: Daniel Mortimer with a beautiful take in the slips. Great hands. Titans simply refuse to go away here

52: Bit of a stink off the ball. Lots of shirt grabbing. Play goes on

55: VIDEO Ref: Moga looks as though he has scored for the Cowboys after the Titans fail to deal with the high ball.

55: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Tautau Moga. Kick to come.

Moga has his first for the Cowboys as they extend their lead. 22-8, KTC

56: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.

JT pushes the conversion wide from a tough angle

58: Titans on the attack 30 out.

58: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Brad Takairangi makes an unforced error.

Takairangi loses the ball, and stays down. The number 6 is a bit wobbly, looking like he's headed to the sideline for a concussion test.

59: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Paul Carter makes an unforced error.

Titans their own worst enemies here. On the attack twice in the last few mins only to produce two drop balls.

60: 31 missed tackles for the Titans ... Ashton Sims in a stink here. Looked to chase the defender rather than play the ball. Pretty heated here

60: Sims walks forward and challenges Carter who does not take a backward step. Nothing in it. Penalty Cowboys. Soft

60: Sims warned by Badger to settle down. Carter "hit" off the ball had NOTHING in it. Myles saying the two Sims brothers are scary, big smile on his face

61: Another stink in back play. There's a real chance a game of football might break out here amongst the push and shove

61: Another stink in back play. There's a real chance a game of football might break out here amongst the push and shove

61: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Robert Lui makes an unforced error.

Carter levels Sims in the play before the error from Lui. Poor handling from the Cowboys number 6

63: A bit of feeling here. Cowboys fall into the trap and give away a penalty. Titans need to create something from this set. 40 out

64: Brilliant defense from the Cowboys, forcing the Titans into touch. Looked a tough call

64: Nate Myles and Thurston called in by Maxwell. Both told to settle their players down.

65: Paul Carter gives away a penalty. Very scrappy few minutes here. Cowboys on the attack

66: Another penalty. Bird this time. Myles having plenty to say. Lots of talk here. Cowboys look to touch. 20 out

67: Thurston with an Arjen Robben type flop. Play on. Cowboys go wide, touch from the Titans, 6 more. Can they hold on?

69: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Kane Linnett. Kick to come.

Linnett over in the corner. Thurston with the final pass. Brilliant, simply play.

70: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.

Thurston starts it out too far, doesn't come back enough. 26-8. Titans need something, and quickly

71: Cooper makes break after Dave Taylor cleans up three of his own defenders, clearing the way. Crazy scenes

72: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Kevin Gordon makes an unforced error.

Gordon loses the ball as he tries to force his way out of the in goal. Bird picks it up, PENALTY Cowboys. Bird in front of Gordon

74: Michael Morgan with the try saver. Titans looked as though they were going the distance after a Cowboys error. Penalty Titans.

75: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Mark Minichiello makes an unforced error.

Titans come unstuck trying to play catch up footy. No choice but to throw it around here

76: Titans give away a penalty, marched ten for some back chat. Cowboys look to ice this, although it looks over.

78: Titans survive and have a fresh set from the 20. Into the final minutes here. Titans throwing it around

80: Thurston hammered after the kick, possibly in the air by Carter. Rough, unneeded at this late stage, surely

80: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Thurston adds two more points after the siren from next to the posts. Cowboys home

80: Cowboys get home 28-8 with a dominant second half. Five tries to one for the home side who continue their run to the final eight, and a possible top four finish. Stay tuned for a full match report, and League Unlimited's coverage of the Roosters/Dragons game from Allianz.

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