Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
8 hours ago
Fulltime score: Round 6 COWBOYS 44 v WESTS TIGERS 20
Match summary: The North Queensland Cowboys have easily defeated the West Tigers by 44-20 at Dairy Farmers Stadium tonight.
After a sluggish start, the Cowboys hit top gear to lead 26-6 at half time.
Wests Tigers struck back early in the second half but the Cowboys were far too strong, coming away with a great win, scoring eight tries to four.
Scorers: COWBOYS 44 Tries: M Sing 3, B Bowen 2, J Lowe, P Bowman, R Jensen Goals: J Thurston 5/7, P Rauhihi 1/1 WESTS TIGERS 20 Tries: J Wilson, D Fitzhenry, P Whatuira, B Marshall Goals: B Hodgson 2/3
Dairy Farmers Stadium Crowd: 20,361 Referee: Sean Hampstead
By the clock: The Cowboys will fancy themselves to get back into the winners circle tonight after getting beaten by the Sharks last week and will relish playing on home soil where they have a great record in recent times and will be very hard to beat. The Tigers come into the match in great form having beaten the 2 grand finalist from last year in their previous 3 matches as well as the Warriors last week in NZ and will be striving to win 4 matches in a row for the first time in the clubs history. Jonathon Thurston & Carl Webb will both play tonight despite rumours both would be out injured. Both sides as per program
1st min: Cowboys kick off.
1st Min: PENALTY - Tigers. Cowboys holding down in tackle.
4th Min: TRY - Tigers Try to John Wilson after a cross field bomb from Scott Prince and Pat Richards taps the ball back to Wilson who scores out wide. Conversion successful from Brett Hodgson Tigers 6-0
7th Min: NEWS Brett Hodgson makes a great break and beats Bowen and only desperate defense from behind saves another try to the Tigers
11th Min: NEWS Drop out to the Tigers after some good pressure from the Cowboys and a good kick from Bowen.
13th Min: TRY - Cowboys Try to Matt sing after the Cowboys spread the ball quickly and create an overlap for Matt Sing to score an easy try. Conversion unsuccessful from Jonathon Thurston Tigers 6 - 4
18th Min: PENALTY - Tigers The Tigers receive a penalty from holding down again in the tackle and they lose the ball on the first tackle and blow an opportunity.
21st Min: TRY - Cowboys Matt Bowen throws a long poass to Brenton Bowen who gets down low and dives into the corner to score. Conversion successful from Jonathon Thurston Cowboys 10 - 6
25th Min: NEWS Tigers respond well and Whatuira makes a great break down the sideline and passes to Fitzhenry who unfortunately throws a forward pass to Hodgson when a try looked likely.
28th Min: TRY - Cowboys The Tigers knock the ball on and are made to pay after the Cowboys spread the ball wide and Justin Smith throws a great ball to put Matt Sing into a gaping hole for to pick up a double. Conversion unuccessful from Jonathon Thurston Cowboys 14 - 6
32nd Min: TRY - Cowboys Try to Jaman Lowe after the Cowboys keep the ball alive on the last tackle and they score near the post and score in consecutive sets of six. Conversion successful from Jonathon Thurston Cowboys 20 - 6
34th Min: TRY - Cowboys Three tries back to back after great hands and great support from the Cowboys who run the length of the field for Paul Bowman to score out wide. Conversion successful from Jonathon Thurston Cowboys 26 - 6
37th Min: NEWS Tigers 25 missed tackles to the Cowboys 11 The Tigers are starting to look tired and the Cowboys are starting to run riot.
38th Min: NO TRY - Tigers Off to the Video Ref after the ball bounces off the Cowboys defender and the ball is not played at and Hodgson picks the ball up from an offside position. Penalty Cowboys
40th Min: NEWS Cowboys nearly score again as Matty Bowen chips ahead and is knocked forward by Matt Sing who only had to gather the ball to score.
The Tigers started in good fashion running in the first try and almost scoring again but it's been all the Cowboys after that. The completion rate for the Tigers has been poor with only 5 from 13 whilst the Cowboys have had 16 from 20. The Cowboys look like racking up a big score unless the Tigers can improve a lot after struggling heavily for the majority of the first half to keep up with the pace of the Cowboys.
41st Min: Tigers kick off to get the second half underway
45th: Min: NEWS Cowboys in great field position after a forward pass from the Tigers.
49th Min: TRY - Tigers Great hands from Paul Whatuira to put Daniel Fitzhenry into score in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful from Brett Hodgson. The first kick Hodgson has missed all year Cowboys 26 - 10
53rd Min: NEWS Tigers get a penalty from a push from Paul Rauhihi and he backchats and gets marched 10 metres before he mouths off again from the ensuing set of six and is sent to the sin bin for 10
56th Min: TRY - Cowboys Try to Rod Jensen after showing great strength close to the line and brushes off 3 defenders to score near the posts. Conversion successful from Jonathon Thurston Cowboys 32 - 10
61st Min: TRY - Tigers Try to Paul Whatuira after they make a break down the sideline and Whatuira dummies to evade the last defender and brings the ball around to score closer to the posts Conversion successful from Brett Hodgson Cowboys 32 - 16
64th Min: NEWS - Rauhihi returns to the field after 10 in the bin
66th Min: TRY - Cowboys A great cutout ball from Thurston to put Matt Sing over in the corner for a hatrick of tries. Conversion successful from Jonathon Thurston Cowboys 38 - 16
70th Min: TRY - Tigers Benji Marshall goes through the gap and puts the goosestep on Matt Bowen to score in the corner Conversion unsuccessful from Brett Hodgson Cowboys 38 - 20
74th Min: TRY - Cowboys Try to Brenton Bowen after he intercepts a pass from Benji Marshall and runs the length of the field to score under the posts. Conversion successful from Paul Rauhihi after he snatched the ball away from Thurston to take the shot at goal Cowboys 44 - 20
The Cowboys have come away with a great win tonight after scoring 8 tries to 4. They will be hard to beat for any team this year in Townsville after getting great support from a big crowd. Too many errors from the Tigers cost them dearly as they tried to mount a comeback in the second half but everytime they scored the Cowboys responded with a try of their own. Jonathon Thurston was the pick of the players for the Cowboys after setting up 3 tries and had a great display of kicking landing 3 goals from the sideline with Hannay out. Matt Sing also played well scoring 3 tries whilst Matt Bowen played his usual dashing game creating plenty of trouble for the defense.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - J Thurston (Cowboys) 2 - M Sing (Cowboys) 1 - M Bowen (Cowboys) -----------------------------------------