PREVIEW | Rick Edgerton looks ahead to tomorrow night's #Origin series opener at ANZ Stadium
104 mins ago
Fulltime score: Round 12 Canterbury Bulldogs 12 v North Queensland Cowboys 48 Match summary: The North Queensland Cowboys have scored a completely dominant 48-12 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs at Carrara Stadium to open Round 12 in spectacular fashion.
The Bulldogs began as the stronger team, racing to an 8-0 lead within five minutes after Roy Asotasi scored the opening try. However once the Cowboys found their rhythm they were close to unstoppable as they outscored the Bulldogs 48-4 over the remaining 75 minutes of the match.
The Cowboys emerged from a 12-all halftime score to unleash some scintillating play in the second 40, with Matt Bowen, Johnathan Thurston and Ty Williams showing no signs of any Origin hangovers with outstanding performances for their side.
There were stars all over the paddock for the men from the North, with Steve Southern, Aaron Payne & Luke O'Donnell also impressing. The only downside for the Cowboys was a potentially serious groin injury to Johnathan Thurston midway through the second half, but later reports from the ground indicate he has only suffered bruising.
The Bulldogs seemed shell-shocked in the second half as they simply couldn't contain their opposition. Andrew Ryan and Roy Asotasi tried all night in the forwards and Jamaal Lolesi looked sharp out wide, but it's now definitely back to square one for the defending Premiers. There is a small glimmer of hope on the horizon - Sonny Bill Williams may be back next week.
Scorers: CANTERBURY BULLDOGS 12 Tries: Asotasi Goals: El Masri 4/4 NTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS 48 Tries: Williams 2, Southern, Thurston, M Bowen, Lillyman, Payne, Tronc Goals: Thurston 4/4, Smith 4/4
Venue: Carrara Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Half time: Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 12
Live commentary: Welcome to Carrara Stadium for the opening match of Round 12. A good result for the Dogs could see them force their way into the Top 8, while the Cowboys will be wanting to consolidate their Top 4 spot.
For the Cowboys, David Myles comes in for Paul Bowman and Justin Smith comes into the halves for Chris Sheppard. The Bulldogs are as per program tonight.
0 min: Kickoff!
3 min: PENALTY GOAL - Bulldogs Some sparkling offloads from the Bulldogs forwards had them close to scoring the opening try, but an offside penalty gives a gift two points to Hazem El Masri instead. Bulldogs 2 Cowboys 0
5 min: TRY - Bulldogs What a start! Roy Asotasi crosses the line after Brad Morrin makes a clean break and runs 35 metres before finding Asotasi in support. El Masri adds another two. Bulldogs 8 Cowboys 0
9 min: A good patch of attacking play from the Cowboys amounts to nothing as they drop the ball five metres from the try-line.
12 min: TRY - Cowboys Steve Southern latches onto a short pass from Paul Rauhihi and strolls across the line. The Cowboys are recovering from a poor start and putting together some enterprising attacking plays. Johnathan Thurston adds the extras. Bulldogs 8 Cowboys 6
The video ref is checking a possible Cowboys try ...
21 min: NO TRY - Cowboys The video ref sends it back to Tim Mander, who rules Ty Williams was held up over the line. Both sides are playing this game at a cracking pace, with Johnathan Thurston leading the way for the Cowboys.
26 min: Luke Patten (Bulldogs) knocks-on with a try beckoning.
29 min: Ty Williams is penalised for a 'high' shot on Cameron Phelps. A very dubious call from the video ref after Phelps stayed on the ground.
29 min: PENALTY GOAL - Bulldogs El Masri converts the penalty. Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 6
35 min: The match has certainly tightened up after a free-flowing first 20 minutes. The Cowboys have forced the first goal-line drop out of the match and have a chance to add to their total.
36 min: TRY - Cowboys Johnathan Thurston dances and steps between the Bulldogs defence to dot down right under the posts. A great individual effort. Thurston converts his own try. Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 12
HALFTIME: Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 12
A somewhat backwards first half, starting with some great attacking plays from both sides before turning into a forward battle as the match wore on. Strangely, the Bulldogs have looked more capable of scoring but have only scored 1 try to 2.
Possession: Bulldogs 50% Cowboys 50% Completion: Bulldogs 15/19 Cowboys 15/18 Offloads: Bulldogs 10 Cowboys 9 Errors: Bulldogs 4 Cowboys 6
The second half is underway!
42 min: TRY - Cowboys Ty Williams finishes off a brilliant 100-metre effort from the Cowboys. Matt Bowen made the initial break after cleaning up a Brent Sherwin grubber while the Dogs were hot on attack. Thurston converts the try. Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 18
46 min: TRY - Cowboys Matt Bowen throws a huge dummy and makes a clean break through the Bulldogs line, running 35 metres to score. Beautiful stuff! Johnathan Thurston converts. Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 24
50 min: Braith Anasta (Bulldogs) is penalised for back-chat as a hint of frustration begins to show.
51 min: BIFF - Ben Czislowski and Jaiman Lowe are both warned after a bit of a dust up. The Bulldogs are awarded the penalty.
56 min: Johnathan Thurston has been crunched in a legal tackle and looks to have suffered a groin injury.
57 min: Matt Bowen attempts a field goal for the Cowboys, but the kick is charged down.
57 min: TRY - Cowboys Jacob Lillyman crosses after taking a short pass close to the line from Aaron Payne. Justin Smith takes the conversion as Thurston stretches on the sidelines. Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 30
61 min: The Bulldogs are attacking hard to get themselves back into the match, but the Cowboys defence is equal to the task. Johnathan Thurston has now headed up the tunnel, and it doesn't look like he'll return.
69 min: TRY - Cowboys Ty Williams slips across for his second try as the Cowboys continue their amazing second half run. The field position was set up by a great 30-metre break from dummy half by David Faiumu. Justin Smith slots another two points. Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 36
74 min: TRY - Cowboys Aaron Payne nabs a dropped ball from the Bulldogs and runs 40 metres untouched to add to the slaughter. Justin Smith converts. Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 42
78 min: TRY - Cowboys Shane Tronc adds his name to the score sheet, taking a pass from Aaron Payne who had made a clean break from dummy half. Justin Smith adds another two points. Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 48
FULL TIME: An unbelievable second half (36-0 to the Cowboys!) has seen North Queensland score a wonderful victory tonight, 48-12 over the defending Premiers.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Bowen (Cowboys) 2 - J Thurston (Cowboys) 1 - A Payne (Cowboys) -----------------------------------------