Cowboys rout lackluster Knights

North Queensland have their second win at home and in 2014, after a six try scoring bonanza over the Newcastle Knights in a 28 points to 2 victory in front of 11,189 fans at 1300 Smiles Stadium.

Coming into tonight we were faced with a contest between the 15th and 16th placed sides in the competition which no one would have suspected coming into this season. There was a glimpse why in the opening twenty minutes, as both sides were guilty of being wasteful with possession. Newcastle though were able to post a penalty goal after Rory Kostjaysn was pinged.

Johnathan Thurston was at his energetic best tonight and had a hand in a majority of the Cowboys' tries tonight. The first try though came from his halfback partner who chipped a cross-field kick to Matthew Wright making his first start for North Queensland who had all the time in the world to put down the ball. 

This effort seemed like to click the Cowboys of late 2013 into gear - as they scored twice more between the 20th and 30th minute to put the Knights almost in the rear view window in the contest. Brent Tate was slightly fortuitous for his effort after it rebounded off Michael Morgan's knee into his gleeful hands. 

There was nothing fortuitous in Morgan's effort in the 28th minute though, as he was on the end of a sweeping backline movement led by Thurston to get his first of his tries either side of the halftime break. 

Morgan was the recipient in his earlier try but his second in the 49th minute was more a solo effort. He stabbed through a kick that caught everyone including Morgan himself wrong-footed before he crawled to his own kick to turn the light out on the Knights in the contest and making it a Ritchie Benaud pleasing 22-2 scoreline. 

Ray Thompson got himself on the scoresheet with the Cowboys final four pointer after a glut of errors and penalties from the Knights gave the home side repeated possession in their half. Thompson went for a simple dart forty metres out, beat the two initial markers and was away for the score. 

Newcastle continue their road trip next weekend as they travel to the nation's capital to face a fellow mercurial side in the Canberra Raiders while North Queensland also go on the road, for a blockbuster contest against high flying Wests Tigers.


Match Details
North Queensland Cowboys 28 Newcastle Knights 2
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
Crowd: 11189
Halftime Score: North Queensland Cowboys 16 Newcastle Knights 2

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

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (28)
Tries: Matthew Wright, Brent Tate, Michael Morgan (2), Ray Thompson
Field Goals:
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (4/5)
Penalty Goals:

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (2)
Tries:
Field Goals:
Conversions:
Penalty Goals: Tyrone Roberts (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM CHANGES: The final team-lists are in at 1300 SMILES Stadium.

NQL: Two changes for the home side - Matthew Wright comes in for Kyle Feldt on the wing and Joel Reithmuller comes onto the bench for Glenn Hall.

NEW: No changes for the away side.

Welcome to 1300 Smiles Stadium for a game most weren't expecting to be describing as a 15th v 16th contest. It is North Queensland coming off a loss against Gold Coast last Monday hosting the Knights who finally got off their duck egg with an emphatic victory over the Cronulla Sharks at home.

Newcastle are first off onto the field in their traditional red and blue jerseys taking residence in the nothern portion of 1300 Smiles Stadium awaiting kick-off. They are followed by the Cowboys in their home strip who prepare to kick us off.

1: KICK-OFF! Knights with first use.

5: First PENALTY of the evening to Newcastle - North Queensland's halfback with a high shot.

6: A costly late tackle PENALTY against North Queensland and Rory Kostjaysn gives Newcastle a whole set on the home sides line. They opt for the two points.

7: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Penalty goal attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Roberts guides it through.

11: Dear, oh, Dear! Knights leave the dummy-half position wide open as Sydney Heads and the Cowboys pounce on the ball.

13: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Matthew Scott makes an unforced error.

Matthew Scott spills a simple pass to his chest. Newcastle scrum in the Cowboys' half.

15: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Joseph Leilua makes an unforced error.

Leilua drew the two defenders, did all the hard work but he threw the pass too high for his winger to catch. Reprieve for North Queensland.

15: PENALTY Cowboys - Beau Scott holding down too long.

17: Cowboys tried forcing a repeat set with a grubber, did so but Taumalolo dropped it once the signal came.

17: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Gagai was hit high by Thurston.

19: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Kade Snowden makes an unforced error.

A double error from the Knights there with Snowden spilling it and Gidley giving away a needless penalty.

20: VIDEO REFEREE: Matthew was the Wright place after the Thurston kick. Checking onside and grounding.

20: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Matthew Wright. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! Wright was onside and had time to make himself a cuppa before putting the ball down.

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

Thurston pilots it over for a six-nil lead.

22: VIDEO REFEREE: We're upstairs once again after the halfback sliced through for North Queensland and the errant pass went to Tate who scored.

22: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Brent Tate. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! Morgan was onside, so the rebound that fell to Tate was good and another four pointer to the home side.

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

Thurston gets the swing on the conversion again but it hits the upright and goes wide.

26: PENALTY Cowboys - They have swung the momentum well in their favour now, as Knights are struggling with the pace.

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

Thurston's got the Knights chasing shadows tonight. A nice sweep play gave Thurston room allowing him to hold off and send Michael Morgan in for the home sides third try.

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

Thurston corrects the earlier miss with less spin but two points on the scoreboard.

33: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Akuila Uate makes an unforced error.

Uate trying to inspire his side with a charging run spills it cold. North Queensland scrum 35 metres out.

38: PENALTY Knights - Beau Scott smartly darts from dummy-half after Uate was ragdolled catching the markers unaware.

40: Another PENALTY Knights - Some mucking around in the play-the-ball.

40: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Darius Boyd makes an unforced error.

Knights try to spark a sweeping movement as the half expires but Boyd drops it cold.

41: We're back underway here for the second half.. Knights get us going!

41: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Ashton Sims makes an unforced error.

Good hit from Beau Scott to dislodge the ball from Ashton Sims. Knights scrum.

43: Nice stabbing kick from Dobson allowing Scott to trap Morgan in-goal. Repeat set of six coming for the Knights.

45: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Tyrone Roberts makes an unforced error.

Is it a full moon? No just someone losing their shorts. The distraction proved enough to force Tyrone Roberts into an error.

44: PENALTY North Queensland - Tyrone Roberts creeping a tad high.

45: VIDEO REFEREE: Jason Taumalolo has tried to do the spectacular but checking grounding.

47: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! Taumalolo with a brave effort but it was knocked it back so Michael Dobson knocked it dead.

47: PENALTY Cowboys - going too early was Beau Scott.

48: North Queensland's halfback again with a good run and almost got Ray Thompson over. He was held up though. Tackle four.

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

Michael Morgan - he did it all himself! Saw Boyd was out of position, so he put a grubber through slipped and crawled to the ball for the try!

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

Johnathan Thurston adds two more to his tally with an assist from the upright.

53: Good hit from Ray Thompson jarring the ball free. North Queensland looking domineering now.

53: PENALTY Cowboys - hand on the ball. Knights just can't keep up!

54: Another PENALTY - offside.. Knights have lost their shape recently.

54: PENALTY #3 against the Knights in quick succession and here comes the warning. This one was for a perceived crusher tackle.

55: Cowboys can't capitalise though, as Ashton Sims gets a rush of blood and plays the ball too quickly. Error.

58: VIDEO REFEREE: We're going upstairs for well everything here.. checking the contest, knock ons, onsides.. the whole kit and kaboodle.

58: RED LIGHTS.. NO TRY! The halfback was offside for North Queensland so PENALTY Newcastle.

61: Newcastle get their lines slightly wrong and the ball is propelled forward.

62: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Ray Thompson. Kick to come.

It's turning into a rout now! Thompson shrugged off two flimsy tackles and just set off for the try-line. It's getting to F/A increasing time for the home side now.

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

Thurston hooks it over for two more.

66: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
James Tamou makes an unforced error.

Uate winds up once again and collides with Origin team-mate Tamou who strips the ball out. Knights scrum on their own 20.

66: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Joseph Leilua makes an unforced error.

It's unraveling here for the Knights, Leilua with a simple drop ball now.

69: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Akuila Uate makes an unforced error.

The Cowboys probe the line with Thurston launching a crossfield kick, Uate full of bluster goes up to catch it but he spilled it twice.

69: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
James Tamou makes an unforced error.

James Tamou tries to push himself through the line once again, he just forgot the ball.

70: A rare chance for the Knights to attack after Winterstein spills it.

71: PENALTY Knights - holding down.

71: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Jeremy Smith makes an unforced error.

Jeremy Smith gets unlucky with an error as Thurston contributed to the ball being knocked out.

75: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Michael Morgan makes an unforced error.

Cowboys try to force another result from a bomb but Morgan knocks on.

76: Dane Gagai tried to take it to the defensive line but he only got ushered to the sideline for his troubles.

77: VIDEO REFEREE: Checking the grounding for another Cowboys try.

77: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! Tariq Sims lost control in the act of scoring.

78: PENALTY Knights - shoulder charge from Tariq Sims.

79: PENALTY Knights - obstructing the play the ball. Tariq Sims.

80: Knights looking for a consolation spread it wide to McManus who is taken over the sideline by Matthew Wright.

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