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The North Queensland Cowboys have constructed a convincing win in Canberra to defeat the Raiders 22-6 in front of 12,135 fans. The Raiders prior to the contest had 8 wins from their past 10 Monday Night clashes, however the Cowboys against the grain stole the two competition points away from home.
The pressure was mounted earlier by the visitors to see them craft a set play as Johnathan Thurston guided the ball to Brent Tate on the right wing to crash over. Thurston's conversion from the touchline hooked beautifully to add the extras. 10 minutes down, Cowboys 6-0.
Man of the match, Thurston stamped his skills on the game with a lovely cut out play to put Ashley Graham through a hole for the first of a double. His conversion an easier attempt compared to his first was successful, 30 minutes lapsed, Cowboys 12-0.
The Raiders continued to have lack of possession and field territory which saw them down 12-0 at the half time break.
The Cowboys targeted Raiders winger Jack Wighton on a number of occasions and it paid dividends with Graham gifted a Thurston ball to collect his second four-pointer. Conversion from Thurston pushed wide, Cowboys 16-0.
Video Referee, Steve Clark brought in for a quick review to award the Cowboys fourth try to Ray Thompson. Dane Tilse aided Thompson's effort over the line, the North Queensland side on top 22-0 with Thurston's conversion.
A turn in possession and some luck finally saw the home side on the board. Sam Mataora bashed his way over the line similar to the four-pointer against the Wests Tigers in Round 4. A leak in points from the Cowboys with ten minutes on the clock had a change in score, 22-6.
In the final moments of the contest, the Raiders started to play catch up football however it was a little-to-late. An almost miracle try to Josh McCrone was added to the sheet, but the Steve Clarke spun up the red lights.
The Cowboys didn't end the match they way they started, nevertheless the victory on the board as they defeated the Raiders in Canberra 22-6.
A big test for the North Queensland squad will come when they travel to AAMI Park to face the five-straight victors the Melbourne Storm. Meanwhile the Raiders open Canberra Stadium again to the New Zealand Warriors.
Canberra Raiders 6 were defeated by North Queensland Cowboys 22
National Rugby League - Round 5 - Monday April 2, 2012 7:00pm
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Chris James
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and Clayton Sharpe
Halftime: Canberra Raiders 0 North Queensland Cowboys 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Johnathan Thurston (3 Conversions)
2 Points - Matt Bowen
1 Point - Brent Tate (1 Try)
Canberra Raiders (6)
Tries: Sam Mataora
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (1/1)
North Queensland Cowboys (22)
Tries: Brent Tate, Ashley Graham (2), Ray Thompson
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Monday Night Football for Round 5. We come to you LIVE tonight to bring you the final clash of the Round from Canberra Stadium as the Raiders host the North Queensland Cowboys.
The Cowboys have confirmed that young forward Tariq Sims will make his return into the start. Meanwhile Jason Taumlalolo lined up for the Under 20s in the Toyota Cup so he won't take his place for the Cowboys.
Whilst for the home side, the Raiders, David Shillington has been ruled out following an fitness test which he failed yesterday. Tom Learoyd Lahrs will get a start with Dane Tilse is added to the interchange bench as he makes his return from a shoulder injury.
Kick off is still an hour away as we close Heritage Round for 2012.
If you are on Twitter be sure to join the conversion and use the hashtag #NRLcannql.
Also, follow League Unlimited on Twitter and send us your thoughts during the match
We are moments away from seeing kick off to Monday Night Football from Canberra Stadium. Standing by with both sides on the park.
1 min: UNDERWAY from Canberra Stadium, Cowboys with the first use.
1 min: Blake Ferguson is down after getting a smash across the nose...should be a penalty to the Raiders.
1 min: James Tamou has been placed on report for the shot on Ferguson. Penalty taken and the Raiders attack from halfway.
2 min: KNOCK ON! Raiders looking for a quick run towards the line, but Bronson Harrison trying to offload lost control. Scrum feed to the Cowboys on their 20 metre line.
3 min: Raiders defence holding with the Cowboys last tackle option the best but the Raiders work it from their line
5 min: Cowboys with a lot of metres in that set, however the last tackle option was not taken. Ball wrapped on easily on the goal line. No pressure in attack on the last tackle from the Cowboys.
6 min: The last tackle options from both sides are not showing themselves. The Raiders getting caught on the last. Easy pickings for the Cowboys.
7 min: KNOCK ON! Matt Bowen crafting a cut out pass to work the defence line. Kane Linnett trying to miracle offload it to his winger but losing control of it. Raiders get the scrum feed.
8 min: Ball bounced past Ferguson and goes into touch. Raiders looking confused early with the pressure mounting from the Cowboys. They are playing flat and spread it left to right without success. Cowboys get and win the scrum feed on halfway.
10 min: TRY
The Cowboys finally getting reward for their pressure. Cowboys spreading it wide across the line finding the hands of Johnathan Thurston and Ray Thompson before Brent Tate went through a gap to dive over. JT hooks the conversion beautifully and adds the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 6-0
13 min: KNOCK ON! Dallas Johnson colliding with Glenn Buttriss in a tackle and the ball is forced free. Scrum feed to the Cowboys.
14 min: Brent Tate had the ball and space to possibly score, but he offloaded to the Raiders as Jarrod Croker found himself with the ball metres out from his line.
16 min: Knock on from the Cowboys following the kick on the last tackle. Raiders let off with a change over on their 10 metre line.
17 min: KNOCK ON! That could not of been an easier take for Antonio Winterstein, under no pressure dropped it cold trying pick the ball up.
17 min: Scrum penalty for the Raiders as the referee deemed the Cowboys not packing the scrum feed. Raiders with a big shot at the line.
18 min: Josh McCrone looked for the line but when he went to ground he dropped it. Scrum feed Cowboys on the Raiders 10 metre line.
19 min: Time off here in Canberra, Brett White is down with a knee injury. Medicab and stretcher has been called for.
19 min: Play back is underway with Brett White being taken off via the Medicab to the cheers and claps of the Canberra crowd. Cowboys attacking deep in the Raiders half.
20 min: KNOCK ON! Terry Campese threw a long cut out ball to his winger and Jack Wighton took it well but then knocked it on in the contact of the tackle. Cowboys with the zero tackle play short of half way.
23 min: A repeat set for the Raiders on the Cowboys line, big shot here for points.
23 min: Jack Wighton put his body on the line leaping for the ball high in the air and has done a 360 flip over the top of Ash Graham. Cowboys regardless have the ball.
24 min: It was a massive kick from Matt Bowen, from his 30 metre line has rocketed it downfield and found the touchline outside the 20 metre line. Cowboys with a set from a scrum feed 20 metres out looking for their second try.
26 min: Scrum feed to the Raiders as they were very luck not to see the call going against them.
28 min: Penalty to the Cowboys, Raiders failed to get up off the ruck to allow them to play the ball. Quick tap taken on the 10 metre line.
29 min: Another penalty to the Cowboys for the Raiders being offside in defence.
29 min: TRY Northern Storm
Magical cut out pass from the hands of Johnathan Thurston on the mark to send Ashley Graham over the line. Jack Wighton's defence being targeted by the Cowboys tonight. JT converts an easier kick from his previous goal.
North Queensland Cowboys 12-0
32 min: On the last tackle for the Cowboys, a stabbing kick downfield was collected in goals by Robinson but he just makes it out into the field of play.
33 min: Shaun Berrigan has been placed on report for a high shot. Cowboys will have another chance to extend their lead. They will attack 30 metres out from the Raiders line.
34 min: Injury Update: Brett White after coming off has done his ACL and will be out for the season. Also Joel Thompson has rolled his ankle who won't be back tonight.
35 min: Penalty to the Raiders with the Cowboys laying into the tackle too long. Raiders on the attack from 40 metres out.
36 min: Pressure on the Raiders with another missed opportunity at the line as no kick was taken on the last tackle. The Cowboys are running things so far.
38 min: Knock on the call against the Raiders, quick play off the ball sees Josh McCrone losing control of it in the contact. He comes off worse for wear has his head collides with the turf.
39 min: KNOCK ON! Ashley Graham had all the space in the world, but only got fingertips to it. Canberra let off the hook as the ball found the dead ball line to give them a 20 metre tap.
39 min: Video Referee Decision, possible try to Blake Ferguson. We will look at the grounding.
40 min: No TRY! Blake Ferguson knocking on as he attempted to leap and catch in one moment. However the siren sounds with the decision.
40 min: At Half time here in Canberra. The visitors, the North Queensland Cowboys lead their home side the Raiders 12-0. It's been a controlling half from the Cowboys with Jack Wighton being tested in all aspects of his game on the right wing.
40 min: Johnathan Thurston sends the ball downfield into the Raiders defence to get us started here in the second half.
42 min: Controlled sets to start this second half from both sides as the Cowboys attack deep from their own half.
44 min: Kane Linnett opening up the Raiders defensive line with JT in support, wonderful play but it was wrapped up in covering defence.
45 min: Raiders give away a drop out as Reece Robinson got a hand to the ball before going dead. Cowboys with another chance for points.
46 min: TRY Northern Storm
Thurston in the action again spreading the ball wide to the defensive wing of Jack Wighton and Ash Graham when over in the corner uncontested to claim his second. Thurston from the sideline pushed it wide of the posts, no goal.
North Queensland Cowboys 16-0
49 min: The ball just rolling dead behind the posts to give the Raiders a quick 20 metre tap.
50 min: This should be a goal line drop out for the Raiders, we are going to the video to check the restart.
51 min: The Raiders being awarded a rare repeat set with a goal line drop out as Ashton Sims got hands to the ball before it going dead.
52 min: Matt Bowen on the fly picks up the ball and streaks away 30 metres before meeting Reece Robinson in defence.
52 min: Raiders failed to mount pressure as they give away another penalty. Cowboys will attack the line again.
53 min: Video Referee Decision for Ray Thompson... possible fourth Cowboys try.
54 min: TRY
Quick decision from the video referee sees Ray Thompson claim the Cowboys 4th try of the tonight. Dane Tilse pulling Thompson towards the line and he fought the line and won. JT with the conversion nails it to add the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 22-0
57 min: Jarrod Croker racing though to back up the kick on the last tackle, but wrapped up. Cowboys have the ball on the change over.
Official Crowd Attendance tonight at Canberra Stadium is 12,135
59 min: Knock on Raiders, Jarrod Croker in a similar position to the previous set. Cowboys have the ball with a change over.
60 min: To the delight of the Raiders fans their side gets a penalty for hands in the ruck. From the free kick they have a shot at the Cowboys line 22 metres out.
62 min: Josh McCrone loses the ball, lack of communication between the halves. The Raiders are lost and confused in attack. Cowboys escape points being leaked.
63 min: KNOCK ON! Aaron Payne has deemed to lose control of the ball in the ruck. Scrum feed to the Raiders on halfway.
64 min: Cowboys in great numbers save points being scored, lose ball easy taking 9 metres from their line.
68 min: KNOCK ON! Raiders starting to spread the ball again at the line, scrum feed packing down for the Raiders with Ash Graham getting a hand on the ball.
69 min: TRY
The Raiders passing from dummy half and sending Sam Mataora crashes over the line without the defence holding him out. Conversion from beside the posts is successful.
North Queensland Cowboys 22-6
71 min: In a similar position to the Matt Bowen 40/20 - Josh McCrone flaring up the attack with a lovely kick to give them a 40/20 scrum feed. The Raiders will be hopeful to find their second four-pointer.
72 min: WOW! Hang on, this will be a miracle if he scored. Josh McCrone claiming!
72 min: NO TRY! A shame for Josh McCrone, the ruling against the Raiders with Blake Ferguson knocking on. Everything but the knock on was fine and would of been a try. Regardless the Cowboys get a 20 metre tap.
73 min: Forward pass the call against the Cowboys. Raiders get the scrum feed short of halfway.
74 min: Big kick high into the air to end the Raiders set no chasers on the end of it with Matt Bowen taking it easily without any pressure.
74 min: KNOCK ON! The referee deemed a knock on at the play of the ball against Brent Tate, but on replay it was harsh. Scrum feed to the Raiders 30 metres out from the line.
76 min: Campese looked for the corner with a kick, Jack Wighton leaping up but it sailed over his head. Knock on called in the play and the Cowboys get a 10 metre change over.
78 min: Penalty to the Cowboys against Jarrod Croker, it is a very questionable call from the official. However the Cowboys have the ball.
80 min: Full time in Canberra Stadium sees the Cowboys away from home defeat the Raiders 22-6.