Cowboys too strong for the toothless Sharks

Rise for Alex round has started with The North Queensland Cowboys scoring a 36-18 victory at an emotionally charged Remondis Stadium.

Rise For Alex round started off on a touching yet sombre start with both sides paying tribute side by side to Alex McKinnon before marking a minutes silence to remember the 298 people (including 28 Australians), who sadly lost their lives in the loss of flight MH17.

Once the game started, things couldn't get worse for the Sharks with Michael Gordon dropping a Robert Lui bomb inside the first 60 seconds which lead to a try for Tariq Sims.

The next set wasn't a lot better for the man known as Flash when another kick from the Cowboys was knocked on, luckily for Gordon in the process of scoring the try, Rory Kostjasyn was ruled to have gone into touch in the process of grounding the ball.

The pressure wasn't off for the Sharks because in the ensuing set, Johnathan Thurston showed his class with a dummy which opened up the defence and he darted through to take the lead out to 10-0 after just 5 minutes.

For the next 18 minutes the attack slowed down but the referees whistle didn't stop with a seamless end of penalties coming from the men in pink with 9 penalties coming within as many minutes.

The run of penalties was stopped when some excellent work by the Cowboys set up an overlap and it was Antonio Winterstein who was the beneficiary of free space to the line and following the JT conversion from the sideline the Cowboys lead 16-0.

That was the end of the scoring from the Cowboys in the first half but the penalties kept coming and with each penalty the Sharks got more and more momentum and they managed back to back tries first through Jono Wright then through Luke Lewis to bring the score back to 16-12 after the conversion.

The second half started as a mirror image to the first half with back to back errors against the Cowboys as well as a run of 4 straight penalties to the Visitors.

The Cowboys opening points of the second half came through a JT penalty goal to stretch the lead out to 18-12, this was followed up by a try out of nowhere by the "Plasticine man" Michael Morgan who managed to keep himself going and stretch out with elastic arms to score under the posts. Soon after Glenn Hall scored another try under the posts to extend the lead out to 18 following JT's easy conversion.

The regular Video Referee controversy raised its head again after Johnathan Thurston was awarded a try by the Video Referees despite a clear case of a 2 on 1 strip after a player dropped off the tackle, this confused fans and Sharks players considering this rule is enforced in almost every match played in a weekend.

It didn't change the result of the match, but nonetheless the Sharks were unhappy with the call but ultimately they got the last laugh when they scored through Michael Gordon to bring the score back to 36-18.

The Cowboys have a nervous wait, with Ashton Sims and Robert Lui both placed on report for separate high tackles within minutes of each other.

Next weekend, the Sharks make the trip over the Blue Mountains when they take on the Penrith Panthers at Carrington Park in Bathurst next Saturday afternoon, meanwhile the Cowboys take on the Canterbury Bulldogs next Saturday night.


Match Details
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18 North Queensland Cowboys 36
Venue: Remondis Stadium
Crowd: 9366
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 12 North Queensland Cowboys 16

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

CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (18)
Tries: Jonathan Wright, Michael Gordon, Luke Lewis
Field Goals:
Conversions: Michael Gordon (3/3)
Penalty Goals:

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (36)
Tries: Tariq Sims, Johnathan Thurston (2), Antonio Winterstein, Michael Morgan, Glenn Hall
Field Goals:
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM CHANGES: Sharks are 1-13, As expected no Paul Gallen - Sam Tagatese drops off the bench with Tim Robinson replacing him in jersey 19, Cowboys are 1-17

Just to clarify the Cowboys are as named on Tuesday, Johnathan Thurston wears jersey 16, Bench numbers are 14,15,17,18

Players entering Remondis Stadium side by side as fans rise for Alex

1: Gavin Morris calls time on and Michael Gordon kicks us off, Cowboys have first possession defending the Southern end of Remondis Stadium

1: VIDEO REFEREE: Early call for the Colonel by Gavin Morris, we have a try, for a possible Tariq Sims try

2: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Tariq Sims. Kick to come.

Tariq Sims gets the green lights from the Video Refs after Michael Gordon lost the ball off a Robert Lui bomb

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

Johnathan Thurston converts the goal from in front

3: VIDEO REFEREE: Off to the colonel we go again at Remondis, Checking a possible Rory Kostjasyn try - referee says TRY

4: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Michael Gordon makes an unforced error.

Michael Gordon having a shocker at the back - two kicks two mistakes

4: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Johnathan Thurston. Kick to come.

Johnathan Thurston mesmerizes the Sharks defence with a dummy and goes through the hole to score out wide

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

Johnathan Thurston banana's it off the tee and comes back too much and hits the post

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

James Tamou loses the ball on the ground though replays show it was a Luke Lewis hand that forced it free

9: PENALTY SHARKS: Sharks get the first penalty inside the Cowboys 10m, they tap and go

9: Michael Lichaa dives over BUT Gavin Morris calls it back saying that held was called when Luke Lewis offloaded

10: Cowboys get six again after Andrew Fifita regathered a stripped ball

11: Sharks force a line dropout but then end up conceding 75m when the ball bounces badly for them

13: A ring of cheers goes round Shark Park when Michael Gordon managed to cleanly take a kick

13: PENALTY SHARKS: Sharks get the penalty just short of halfway to put them back on the attack, Penalty count 2-0 in favour of the Sharks

15: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Tautau Moga makes an unforced error.

Tautau Moga ruled to have knocked down an offload in what appears to be a 50/50 call

15: PENALTY SHARKS: A third penalty for the Sharks this time against Kane Linnett for having a hand on the ball

17: PENALTY COWBOYS: Cowboys get their first penalty of the night with the Sharks penalised for not leaving the ruck

17: Ashton Sims ON REPORT for a nasty looking (though contact is around the shoulders) high tackle

18: Andrew Fifita down injured - Possible high tackle

20: Another penalty to the Sharks their sixth - A second warning to Johnathan Thurston

21: PENALTY COWBOYS: The EIGHTH penalty of the night

21: Make that 9 penalties tonight - Cowboys get their third of the night

23: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Antonio Winterstein. Kick to come.

Repeat pressure from the penalties - is too much for the Sharks and an excellent Jason Taumalolo decoy creates a 3 on 2 overlap and Antonio Winterstein scores out in the corner

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

Johnathan Thurston with a fade that most golfers would love at the British Open

27: Johnathan Thurston puts in a good kick then Luke Lewis plucks it out of the air magically

29: Well its been 5 minutes since Gavin Morris has blown a penalty and thats obviously too long with the tenth (fourth for the cowboys) penalty of the half

31: Sosaia Feki takes a good catch ingoal and goes out to the 20m to get some relief for the Sharks defence

35: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Jonathan Wright. Kick to come.

Jonathan Wright gets the green lights from the Video Referees off the kick from Nu Brown

37: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.

Michael Gordon converts the try from out wide to close the gap to 10

38: ANOTHER PENALTY - this time for the Sharks their EIGHTH of the game

39: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Luke Lewis. Kick to come.

Momentum shift well in favour of the Sharks with a great run setting up Luke Lewis

40: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.

Michael Gordon has no problems converting the try & with that kick he brings up the 1000 career points

41: Second half underway at Remondis Stadium - Sharks with the breeze behind their backs defending the Southern end of the ground

41: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Antonio Winterstein makes an unforced error.

Antonio Winterstein ruled to have knocked on in a tackle, with replays showing a Sharks hand helping it out

42: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Johnathan Thurston makes an unforced error.

Johnathan Thurston strips Anthony Tupou 1 on 1 but it goes forward according to Gavin Morris

43: Siosaia Vave gets himself over the try line - Gavin Morris in good position to rule that Vave is held up

44: PENALTY COWBOYS: Cowboys get the first penalty of the second half & their fifth of the match, Sharks ruled to be offside

46: Cowboys force a repeat set through a JT kick, dropout goes 45m on the full

48: Amazing defence from the Sharks, Robert Lui looks certain to score and Wade Graham turtles him on his back and holds him up

48: PENALTY COWBOYS: Tim Robinson penalised for a second effort in the ruck & the Cowboys will go for 2

50: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

JT takes an easy shot at penalty goal & converts from close range

51: PENALTY COWBOYS: Strips don't come as obvious as that & there's the third penalty of the half to the Cowboys, Penalty count now up to 8-7

51: PENALTY COWBOYS: Another penalty to the Cowboys bring the count all square to 8-8

52: Well that didn't go well for the Cowboys - Possible obstruction in the lead up, Forward Pass & the ball ended up in touch, Sharks with a 10m scrum

54: Cowboys come away with the ball after Robert Lui somehow comes up with it

54: Michael Morgan puts a kick through and gets a repeat set for the Cowboys

55: Michael Morgan is tackled short..... wait he may have got this down for a try, upstairs we go

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

That comes from nowhere, Michael Morgan on his hands and knees keeps pushing to the live and "the plasticine man" stretches out to score

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

Johnathan Thurston has no problems from in front to extend the lead out to 12

59: A good kick from the Sharks forces Michael Morgan to take a catch on an awkward bounce then gets out of the ingoal in the face of 3 defenders

61: Sharks go high on the kick and some good work by the Cowboys and they go 60m downfield

63: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Glenn Hall. Kick to come.

The Sharks defence stretches to breaking point & its a short ball from dummy half by Ray Thompson to Glenn Hall that puts him in under the sticks

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

No surprises JT converts it from in front

66: PENALTY SHARKS: Its been a while since a penalty, and the Sharks get the 17th of the match & their 9th

67: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Anthony Tupou makes an unforced error.

Anthony Tupou burst through some average defence but a strong tackle from Ashton Sims forces the error

67: VIDEO REFEREE: Despite Gavin Morris wanting to give a try, the touch judge Anthony Elliott has a no try & it will be checked on a no try

67: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Johnathan Thurston. Kick to come.

Well the decision was overturned - not sure how it was but it was and JT gets the try

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

JT converts his own try

73: PENALTY SHARKS: Sharks get their 10th penalty of the night, 18th overall

74: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Michael Gordon. Kick to come.

Michael Lichaa dashes from dummy half then some good hands from Lichaa to Robson to Michael Gordon gives the Sharks their third of the night

75: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.

Michael Gordon converts his own try

76: PENALTY SHARKS: Sharks get a penalty for a ruck infringement - Penalty count out to 11-8

77: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Jonathan Wright makes an unforced error.

Jono Wright does a magic act, tiptoes the sideline whilst juggling the ball but it ends up going out

80: FULL TIME at Remondis Stadium - Nth Qld Cowboys have scored a 36-18 win over the Cronulla Sharks

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