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Tonight's game was dedicated to ex-Cowboy Sam Faust and North Queensland have successfully honoured his memory with the Cowboys winning 20-6 in front of a packed Dairy Farmers Stadium.
It wasn't a pretty game, but the Cowboys did enough to get the victory over the Roosters, who simply could not hold onto the ball. The Roosters made a total of 20 errors, 13 of which came in the second half and simply gave themselves no opportunity to get back into the game.
It took 26 minutes, but the Cowboys finally opened the scoring after taking advantage of a penalty inside the Roosters' half. Johnathon Thurston hit the line with a dummy and a step before offloading the ball out to Glenn Hall, who powered over the line from short range. Thurston added the extras and the Cowboys lead 6-0.
The Cowboys went close 3 minutes later but were denied by the video referee. Leeson Ah Mau made a big break down the middle of the field and a quick play the ball created an overlap out wide. Thurston quickly spread it out to Tariq Sims, who powered over the line only to lose the ball while attempting to ground it.
A penalty goal from right in front gave the Cowboys and 8 point buffer at half time. The Roosters may have been a touch unlucky conceding that penalty as it could have gone either way.
After plenty of errors to start the second half the Cowboys managed to extend their lead 19 minutes into the second stanza. On the back of a penalty the Cowboys opted to take a quick tap and some very lazy defense saw James Tamou barge over. Thurston easily added the extras from right next to the posts.
With 11 minutes to go the Cowboys scored again on the back line drop out. Again, some soft defense from the Roosters allowed Gavin Cooper to hit half a hole and offload the ball to Thurston, who planted the ball down between the posts and proceeded to honour his mate Sam Faust. Thurston converted his own try and the game looked like a shutout.
The Roosters got a late consolation try after the Cowboys made an error off the ensuing kick off. Frank-Paul Nuuausala hit a hole and eased his way over the line to restore a little credibility to the scoreline. Anasta added the extras and the scoreline became 20-6.
With so many errors it's hard to find any positives for the Rooters after tonight's performance. Brian Smith will no doubt have plenty to talk about during the week before the Roosters face the Warriors at SFS next weekend. The Cowboys, although scrappy will be very happy to get the two points and can prepare for next weeks clash against the Raiders down in Canberra.
North Queensland Cowboys 20 defeated Sydney Roosters 6
National Rugby League - Round 12 - Saturday May 28, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: David Abood and Chris Butler
Halftime: North Queensland Cowboys 8 Sydney Roosters 0
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (20)
Tries: Johnathan Thurston, Glenn Hall, James Tamou
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (6)
Tries: Frank-Paul Nuuausala
Conversions: Braith Anasta (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to tonight's coverage of the North Queensland Cowboys verses the Sydney Roosters. Kick off is just over 30 minutes away.
The Cowboys won tonight's curtain raiser -- just managing to hold off a fast-finishing Roosters outfit 22-20.
Cowboys - With Tonga ruled out for 6-8 weeks the Cowboys have moved Gavin Cooper from the back row into the centers. Tariq Sims will take Cooper's spot in the back row and Leeson Ah Mau has been added to the bench.
Roosters - Just a positional change. Mose Masoe will start in place of Nate Myles, who is backing up from Origin on Wednesday night.
Teams are on the field. We have a minute silence to pay respects to the passing of Sam Faust during the week.
1 min: Cowboys kick off. Roosters have first possession of the game.
1 min: Bowen is very aggressive fielding the first kick and smashes into the defensive line.
2 min: Solid first sets from both sides.
4 min: Cowboys first attacking kick for the night is easily cleaned up by Justin Carney.
6 min: Steve Naughton diffuses a dangerous Thurston bomb. He got some great blocking from Justin Carney to ease a bit of pressure.
7 min: Cowboys get a repeat set inside the Roosters 20. Danger signs here.
8 min: Ray Thompson's kick is too big and flies over the top of a leaping Ashley Graham.
9 min: Tariq Sims pulled up for a strip. Roosters get an opportunity to attack inside the Cowboys half.
10 min: Roosters get a scrum on the Cowboys' 30m line after Winterstein plays at a pass and the ball goes into touch.
11 min: Roosters go 5m backwards in that set. Very ordinary football there.
12 min: Ray Thompson drops an offload from Dallas Johnson just inside the Roosters' half.
13 min: Leilua goes close but is caught from behind by Matt Bowen.
14 min: Braith Anasta gets SMASHED by Tariq Sims.
15 min: Roosters throw a forward pass. Wasted opportunity there.
17 min: Naughton manages to wrap up Winterstein just at things start looking dangerous.
19 min: Quick run from Aaron Payne catches a couple of Rooster defenders offside.
20 min: Tariq Sims loses the ball in some strong defense.
21 min: Roosters get 6 again after they seem to drop the ball contesting a bomb.
21 min: Dallas Johnson is out cold for the Cowboys. He collected the hip of Waerea-Hargreaves. Johnson leaves the field.
22 min: Gavin Cooper comes down with a cross field kick from Braith Anasta. Cooper looked to be offside there after the ball came off FaiFai-Loa.
23 min: The Roosters are looking dangerous down their left edge.
24 min: The Roosters blow a try there. Big Frank Paul burst through the defensive line and managed to get an offload out to Kenny-Dowall, who couldn't control the ball.
26 min: Roosters drop the ball and give the Cowboys a penalty after some backchat.
29 min: TRY
Thurston hits the line and throws a nice dummy to slice through the first line and pushed the ball out to Glenn Hall, who crashes over from close range.
North Queensland Cowboys 6-0
31 min: Ah Mau powers through the Roosters defense and runs about 30 before being tackled.
32 min: Checking a try to the Cowboys.
32 min: NO TRY! Ah Mau's break isn't capitalized on by the Cowboys. Tariq Sims looked to have muscle his way over the line, but dropped the ball trying to ground it.
34 min: Cowboys are making massive meters up the middle. Bowen put Thurston through a gap then Thurston puts Bowen through one in return.
35 min: Thompson's kick is too deep and beats Faifai-Loa over the dead ball line.
36 min: Kenny-Dowall makes a great run down field but loses the ball in some Thurston cover defense. If he had have passed there Leilua would have scored in the corner.
38 min: Roosters opt to run it on the last and Anasta is wrapped up by Tariq Sims just inside his own half.
39 min: Kenny-Dowall knocks down a pass and saves a try for the Roosters. Pressure not off yet though.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL
Cowboys get a penalty right in front of goal, 10m out. Thurston dummies to take the tap before opting to take the 2 points. Too easy from there from Thurston.
North Queensland Cowboys 8-0
41 min: Back underway in the second half now. Cowboys have the first use of the ball.
42 min: Strong first sets from both teams to start the second half.
44 min: Aaron Payne is down for the Cowboys. Looked like a head clash.
45 min: Cowboys get a penalty in their own half as Leilua is ruled to have stripped the ball in a tackle.
46 min: Ray Thompson drops a pressure pass with Mark Riddell all over him.
47 min: Justin Carney loses the ball off the scrum. Pressure on the Roosters here.
48 min: Bowen and Tariq Sims go close on successive plays.
48 min: Segeyaro tries to barge over from dummy half but loses the ball.
49 min: It's a drop-a-thon at the moment. Roosters lose the ball again deep in their own half.
50 min: Cowboys get a penalty. Take the quick tap and another 6 tackles on the Roosters line.
51 min: Anasta makes a try saving tackle on Matt Bowen.
52 min: Segeyaro takes a bad option on the last and goes short side. Thompson is quickly wrapped up by the Roosters defense. Thurston isn't happy with that decision from the hooker.
53 min: Roosters lose the ball again! They aren't doing themselves any favours tonight.
54 min: Good Roosters defense keeps the Cowboys out and puts pressure on Thurston on the last. Anasta comes up with the ball and draws a penalty after JT lays on him too long.
55 min: Naughton goes over in the corner but the pass leading up to it is called forward. Naughton looks to be in some distress after that tackle.
56 min: Good news for the Cowboy fans. Dallas Johnson is back on the field after his knock in the first half.
59 min: Cowboys get a penalty inside the Roosters 10m line after Bowen is held back chasing through a grubber.
59 min: Checking a try to the Cowboys.
59 min: TRY
Very easy there for the Cowboys. The tap off the penalty went to James Tamou, who simply powered over the line with the help of a couple of team mates.
North Queensland Cowboys 14-0
62 min: Great kick after points. Matt Bowen decides to slow things down and kicks the ball out inside the Roosters 10.
63 min: Roosters drop the ball yet again. Cowboys have more field position.
63 min: Segeyaro tries to burrow over from dummy half but gets held up.
64 min: Ashley Graham dives over in the corner but the ball is ruled forward.
64 min: Ashley Graham dives over in the corner but the ball is ruled forward.
65 min: Roosters get a relieving penalty after Gavin Cooper holds down too long.
65 min: Oh my. Roosters lose the ball on the first tackle yet again. Brian Smith must be fuming.
66 min: Cowboys get 6 again after the ball is dropped in an aerial contest by the Roosters.
67 min: Line drop out for the Cowboys. Thurston just rolled it into the in goal and 4 Cowboys trapped Leilua in goal.
69 min: TRY
Thurston fires a ball out to Gavin Cooper, who hits half a hole before offloading back to Thurston. Thurston puts the ball under the posts and offers a tribute to Sam Faust. JT converts his own try.
North Queensland Cowboys 20-0
70 min: Cowboys make a mistake off the kick off. Thompson attempts to trap the ball but it rebounds out to Tariq Sims, who was in front of him.
71 min: TRY
Nuuausala powers over on the back of some lazy defense from the Cowboys.
North Queensland Cowboys 20-6
74 min: Line drop out for the Cowboys. Leulia caught in goal by Cooper and Faifai-Loa.
76 min: Tom Symonds steals the ball from Ashley Graham. Graham did well to collect a wayward pass from Thurston but couldn't wrap the ball up in time to prevent the steal.
77 min: Roosters get a penalty deep in Cowboys half after Bowen is pulled up for tackling a man without the ball.
78 min: Surprise, surprise. The Roosters dropped the ball again. Their completion rate tonight is under 50%.
78 min: Roosters try for an intercept and knock the ball down. They'll pack another scrum.
79 min: Gavin Cooper powers through some weak defense out wide to make a break and goes close to scoring but is taken into touch. He manages to get a ball away just before he goes out and the Roosters take it dead. Cowboys are rushing to the scrum despite being in the final minute.
80 min: Bolton is tackled just shy of the try line as the full time siren sounds.
80 min: That's full time at Dairy Farmers Stadium. The Cowboys have defeated a disappointing Roosters outfit 20-6.