The Cowboys treated their home fans to a 36-10 victory this evening, taking the win easily over a disappointing Knights side.
The Cowboys ended the Knights' winning streak and took their own run to three in a row. The Knights could find no way back from an 18-6 halftime deficit as they struggled to find holes in a resolute Cowboys defensive line.
It took only three minutes for the Cowboys to open the scoring. Travis Burns scooped up an O'Donnell grubber off a ricochet and Mander confirmed the grounding. Thurston's first of six goals made it 6-0.
Ten minutes later the scores were tied. Jarrod Mullen put up a bomb to the right wing and Houston snatched the ball after Origin bolter James McManus fumbled it in his direction. Again Mander was called into action and he made it 6-all.
That was the last of the Knights' good news for some time however as the Cowboys proceeded to put on 30 unanswered points.
As the second half began the score stood at 18-6. It seemed that the Knights needed to score first to be in with a chance. Antonio Kaufusi ended those hopes though, brushing off one would-be tackler and twisting around in Gidley's arms to ground the ball between the posts and make it 24-6.
Earlier Gidley's leg was twisted in an awkward tackle from Travis Burns, sparking a tussle between the two. Gidley came off the field with ten minutes to go and headed straight up the tunnel for some attention on his knee.
Thurston laid on one try and grabbed one himself, dummying, slipping out of a tackle and wrestling the ball down to put the margin at 36-6 after 64 minutes.
Aku Uate picked up a consolation try for the Knights in the 67th minute, the big winger grabbed a nice chip kick from Rogers and went over in the left corner to give the final score of 36-10.
Zeb Taia and Danny Wicks were put on report in the second half, neither would appear to be at risk of suspension.
Next week the Cowboys will have a rest while the Knights host the Bulldogs at EAS.
Match Details North Queensland Cowboys 36 def Newcastle Knights 10 Round 11 - Monday :: May 25th, 2009 7:35pm Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Ben Cummins & Alan Shortall Sideline Officials: Russell Turner & Chris James Video Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 11,892 Halftime: Cowboys 18-6
North Queensland Cowboys 36 Tries: Travis Burns, John Williams, Steve Southern, Antonio Kaufusi, Luke O'Donnell, Johnathan Thurston Goals: Johnathan Thurston (6/7) Newcastle Knights 10 Tries: Chris Houston, Aku Uate Goals: Kurt Gidley (1/1), Matt Hilder (0/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Steve Southern (Cowboys) 2 Points: Shane Tronc (Cowboys) 1 Point: Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Cowboys v Knights forum discussion - click here!
COWBOYS: 1. Matthew Bowen 2. Ben Farrar 3. Ashley Graham 4. Willie Tonga 5. John Williams 6. Travis Burns 7. Johnathan Thurston (c) 8. Shane Tronc 9. Aaron Payne 10. Matthew Scott 11. Carl Webb 12. Scott Bolton 13. Luke O'Donnell Interchange: 14. Anthony Watts 15. Steve Southern 16. Antonio Kaufusi 17. James Tamou KNIGHTS: 1. Kurt Gidley (c) 2. James McManus 3. Junior Sau 4. Keith Lulia 5. Akulia Uate 6. Ben Rogers 7. Jarrod Mullen 8. Mark Taufua 9. Isaac DeGois 10. Chris Houston 11. Steve Simpson 12. Zeb Taia 13. Matt Hilder Interchange: 14. George Ndaira 15. Marvin Karawana 16. Richie Fa Like