Cowboys crush Sharks' home final hopes

The North Queensland Cowboys haven out an intense match at Toyota Park with a 34-22 victory over the Cronulla Sharks in front of 16,800 fans.

Three-quick second half tries to the Cowboys saw them run away to a 20-point lead midway through the second half.

The Cowboys drew first blood in only the sixth minute when Gavin Cooper scored on the back of a mistake from the home side.  Johnathan Thurston added the extras.

The Sharks hit back through Colin Best only four minutes later after Todd Carney and Ben Pomeroy combined to bust open the Cowboys' defence. Carney converted the try to level the scores. 

Brent Tate was in fine form in the 24th minute when he sliced through the Sharks' defence to reclaim the lead for the Cowboys. Thurston added the extras again. 

Issac De Gois did it all himself as he threw a few dummys from dummy half before going straight though the Cowboys' defence in the 31st minute, Carney added the extras again before Ashley Graham scored in the 37th minute off a Carney error to see the Cowboys take an 18-12 point into the break.

A master stroke from captain Paul Gallen saw the Sharks on the board early in the second half. Carney failed to convert leaving the Cowboys in front by two after 45 minutes.

Three tries in just over 10 minutes saw the Cowboys race away to a 20 point lead by the 61st minute. Before the Sharks finally hit back through Andrew Fifita in the 71st minute. The conversion by Carney put the Sharks only 12 points behind. 

The home side were away again on the back of a kick off but the play was called back for a forward pass before a Thurston penalty goal put the result beyond doubt in 75th minute. 

The Cowboys will host the Broncos next Saturday for a spot in week two of the finals while the Sharks will have to brave the cold Canberra next Sunday afternoon when they take on the Raiders. 

Match Details
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 22 were defeated by North Queensland Cowboys 36
National Rugby League - Round 26 - Sunday September 2, 2012 3:00pm
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Ashley Klein
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton and Alan Shortall
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Dave Eastwood
Crowd: 16,800
Halftime: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 12 North Queensland Cowboys 18

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Brent Tate (1 Try)
2 Points - Jason Taumalolo (1 Try)
1 Point - Todd Carney (3 Conversions)

CRONULLA SUTHERLAND SHARKS (22)
Tries: Paul Gallen, Colin Best, Isaac De Gois, Andrew Fifita
Conversions: Todd Carney (3/4)

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (36)
Tries: Brent Tate, Ashley Graham (2), Gavin Cooper, Jason Taumalolo, James Segeyaro
Field Goals: Johnathan Thurston (0/1)
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary This one won't mean much to the Cowboys, they're stranded in 5th spot and will host a home final next weekend, but it's a big one for Cronulla. If they grab the two points, they will likely host 7th at Allianz Stadium next week.
CHANGES - Sharks: Leutele is OUT, Ben Pomeroy is the new man in the centres. Mark Taufua is OUT also, replaced on the bench by Tyson Frizell. For the Cowboys, co-captain Matthew Scott, Anthony Mitchell and Blake Leary are all OUT. Ashton Sims starts in the front row. Joel Riethmuller and James Segeyaro are the new interchange players.
1 min: Johnathon Thurston kicks off to get us under way at Toyota Park.
7 min: TRY
TRY! Gavin Cooper scores a try after Nathan Stapleton fails to clean up a Thurston kick. Thurston converts.
North Queensland Cowboys 6-0
8 min: The Cowboys make a mistake from the restart and the Sharks are 30 out.
8 min: Wright knocks it on from the scrum and the Cowboys are off the hook.
10 min: TRY
TRY! Todd Carney puts Ben Pomeroy into a gap and he makes a break down the right touchline and is eventually tackled a few metres out from the try line. The Sharks then spread it out wide to Colin Best who scores. Carney adds the extras.
6 all
16 min: Carney goes straight through and the Sharks are only 15 away from the try line.
16 min: John Williams is tackled into touch and the Cowboys are off the hook.
21 min: Anthony Tupou knocks on only 12 out from the Cowboys' line after a bust from the Sharks.
21 min: The Cowboys force a line dropout.
25 min: TRY
TRY! The Cowboys spread it out wide on the last and Brent Tate slices straight through the Sharks' defence. Thurston adds the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 12-6
30 min: The Sharks are on the attack again after a good run from Carney.
30 min: Matt Bowen spills a Carney kick and Thurston throws it away to concede a penalty.
32 min: TRY
TRY! Issac De Gois throws the dummy and goes straight through. Carney adds the extras.
12 all
33 min: The Cowboys receive a penalty.
35 min: The Cowboys get a tackle count restart 10 out from the Sharks' line.
35 min: Williams intercepts a Thurston pass and the Sharks are off the hook.
36 min: Carney attempt a 40/20 but it goes out on the full. Cowboys scrum 40 out from the Sharks' line.
39 min: TRY Northern Storm
TRY! The Cowboys spread it out wide and the Ashley Graham scores. Thurston converts.
North Queensland Cowboys 18-12
40 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
Thurston attempts a long range field goal with seconds left in the half but misses. Wright takes the ball dead as the half-time siren sounds.
North Queensland Cowboys 18-12
41 min: Carney kicks off to bring us under way in the second half.
43 min: Thurston sends the ball out on the full and the Sharks will get an attacking opportunity from 40 out.
44 min: Gallen might have a try here.
45 min: TRY
TRY! Glallen takes two defenders with him over the try line to score. Carney fails to convert.
North Queensland Cowboys 18-16
49 min: The Cowboys receive a penalty 30 out from the Sharks' line and they will go on the attack.
49 min: The Cowboys receive a penalty 30 out from the Sharks' line and they will go on the attack.
51 min: TRY
TRY! James Segeyaro throws the dummy before diving right over for a try. Thurston converts.
North Queensland Cowboys 24-16
54 min: TRY
TRY! Jason Taumalolo scores under the posts on the back of a penalty. Thurston adds the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 30-16
58 min: The Cowboys are on the attack again after the Sharks are pinned for a knock on.
60 min: TRY Northern Storm
TRY! The Cowboys spread it out wide and Graham dives over in the right corner. Thurston fails to convert.
North Queensland Cowboys 34-16
67 min: Thurston knocks on only 10 out from the Sharks' line and the Sharks breathe a sigh of relief.
68 min: The Sharks will get a scrum on halfway.
69 min: Gavin Cooper cleans up a Paul Gallen grubber and the Cowboys are off the hook.
72 min: TRY
TRY! The Sharks run it on the last and Andrew Fifita scores under the post.
North Queensland Cowboys 34-22
74 min: Carney is pinned for a forward pass to Pomeroy who was away before the whistle went off.
75 min: PENALTY GOAL
The Cowboys receive a penalty and opt to go for the two and stretch the margin out to 14.
North Queensland Cowboys 36-22
77 min: Ben Pomeroy is penalised for a high shot on Thurston.Pomeroy is on report.
78 min: Sharks are off the hook.
79 min: The Sharks receive a penalty 40 out from their own line and will go on the attack.
80 min: Nathan Stapleton knocks on 10 out from the Cowboys' line and there won't be enough time to pack the scrum. The Cowboys defeat the Sharks 36-22.

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