Cowboys victors in scrappy contest

The North Queensland Cowboys have emerged victorious over the Canberra Raiders in an error filled game at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville this evening. The final score was 30 - 12 in what was a dire affair between the two sides, with plenty of dropped ball, and penalties to match.

The Cowboys had the bulk of the possession in the first 15 - 20 minutes and posted an early try in the third minute through Brent Tate. Back to back tries in the 14th and 16 minutes to Glenn Hall and Matt Bowen respectively, put the home side out to a 16 - 6 lead.

The Raiders posted early points in the 9th minute through and Edrick Lee intercept and he screamed down the length of the field to give Croker the easy conversion. Unfortunately the Raiders were dominated for the first 20 minutes of the first half and struggled to get into the contest.

Once the possession stat started to even out, the Raiders found themselves with a number of promising opportunities, however were unable to benefit from them and they went into half time 16 - 6 down.

It was 25 minutes into the second half before the next points were posted through a try to Michael Morgan after supporting a Tariq Sims line break.

In the 69th minute, Jack Wighton gave the Raiders some hope after scoring from a Sam Williams pass over the top of the Cowboys players in the corner. The conversion kick from Robinson was successful and the Raiders were within 10 points of victory.

The Cowboys were awarded a penalty right in front of the Raiders goal and they took the kick for 2 points, taking the lead to 12. It was another 5 minutes before the Raiders were put to bed, as Ashley Graham scored to pass the personal milestone of 100 career tries. A further penalty right on full time was taken as a goal kick and Thurston successfully converted to boost the for and against points for the side.

The Cowboys will play the Eels next week at 7:30 on Saturday at Parramatta, while the Raiders will face the Storm in Melbourne at 5:30.

Match Details
North Queensland Cowboys 30 Canberra Raiders 12
Venue: Willows Sports Complex
Crowd: 0
Halftime Score: North Queensland Cowboys 16-6 Players of the Match:
3 points - Matthew Scott
2 points - Joel Riethmuller
1 point - Shaun Fensom

Tries: Brent Tate, Glenn Hall, Matthew Bowen, Michael Morgan, Ashley Graham
Field Goals:
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (2/2)

Tries: Edrick Lee, Jack Wighton
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (1/1), Reece Robinson (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Live Commentary

Cowboys: 1. Matthew Bowen 2. Ashley Graham 3. Brent Tate 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Johnathan Thurston (c) 7v Michael Morgan 8. Matthew Scott (c) 9. Rory Kostjasyn 10. James Tamou 11. Tariq Sims 12. Glenn Hall 13. Dallas Johnson
Interchange: 14. Ray Thompson 15. Gavin Cooper 16. Scott Bolton 17. Jason Taumalolo 18. Ashton Sims

Raiders: 1. Reece Robinson 2. Sandor Earl 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jack Wighton 5. Edrick Lee 6. Josh McCrone 7. Sam Williams 8. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Brett White 11. Joel Edwards 12. Jake Foster 13. Shaun Fensom
Interchange: 14. Terry Campese 15. Joel Thompson 16. Dane Tilse 17. Paul Vaughan
Team changes:

Winterstein is replaced by Fai Fai Loa on the wing and Johnson has been ruled out to be replaced by Riethmuller.

For the Raiders, Ferguson comes into the centres pushing Wighton out to the wing. Earl is the odd one out.
It's almost kick off and the sun has just about set. Can the Raiders win away from home without two of their important forwards or will the Cowboys show that they are genuine Premiership contenders and run away with the win?
The Raiders kick off and the Cowboys will take the opening set of six.
3 min: The Cowboys get a charge down from a Raiders kick and they take off up the field. The ball comes wide to Tate early in the tackle count who is in for a try!
Scored by Brent Tate. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.
Tate over early in the tackle count after a charge down further up the field. Thurston's kick misses across the front of the posts.
North Queensland Cowboys 4-0
5 min: Morgan kicks on the last tackle to ensure the set after the try is completed. The Raiders bring it back through Lee.
7 min: Intercept by Lee from a pass to the winger from Bowen and he is in just to the left of the posts for the second try tonight.
Scored by Edrick Lee. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
Edrick Lee takes a great intercept from a Bowen pass and is in for the Raiders first of the evening. Croker converts and they take the early lead.
Canberra Raiders 6-4
10 min: The Raiders complete another set and Bowen brings it back for the Cowboys. They're up to the halfway line on the 3rd tackle through Matt Scott.
10 min: PENALTY - The referee has found hands in the tackle of Matt Scott and Thurston kicks for touch. They'll start the set from 20m out.
11 min: Great tackle by Ferguson on Sims to stop a try on the line.
13 min: Morgan kicks through the defenders and it bounces off a defenders legs back to the Cowboys.
Scored by Glenn Hall. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Hall crashes in next to the posts after the Cowboys have the tackle count restarted. Thurston kicks the goal and they're back in the lead again.
North Queensland Cowboys 10-6
14 min: Matt Scott with a barnstorming run making a ton of metres. He's eventually penalised and they kick for touch. They're starting the set 30m out from the Raiders line.
15 min: Bowen's in under the posts after an expertly placed grubber from Thurston. That was a ripper of a try!
Scored by Matthew Bowen. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Thurston puts in a grubber and Bowen races in to score under the posts. Thurston easily kicks that from in front. They are looking sharp tonight.
North Queensland Cowboys 16-6
18 min: The Cowboys dominating at this stage of the game with what seems like all of the ball. The kick to end the set goes dead and Robinson will bring it back for a 20m tap.
20 min: Graham goes up for a bomb from the Raiders and hes knocked it forward into Croker who ducked through some defenders to eventually be taken down by Tate. Croker has knocked on in the tackle and the Cowboys will get a scrum feed.
21 min: Cowboys end the set with a long bomb and Robinson takes it comfortably. He runs it back and makes good metres before losing the ball in the tackle. The Cowboys will have another scrum 20m out from the Raiders line.
21 min: PENALTY - Raiders have been penalised on the first tackle. Cowboys take the tap.
23 min: The Cowboys go wide to the left through Thurston and Bowen but the last pass has gone forward. The Raiders defense forced that rushed passing and it's paid off for them.
23 min: PENALTY - The Raiders get a relieving penalty for a high tackle from Scott and they kick for touch. Restart on the 50m line.
25 min: Williams takes it to the line and puts Thompson through a hole big enough to turn a Mack truck. He gets taken down but the Raiders will get the ball after the Cowboys put it dead.
26 min: Edwards carts the ball up from the drop out but hes knocked it on.
27 min: PENALTY - Raiders have been pinged for stripping the ball in the tackle.
27 min: The Cowboys now threatening the Raiders line again. 6 to go for the Cowboys however Edwards has cut Fai-Fai Loa in half with a monstrous tackle. That'll hurt tomorrow.
28 min: Rushed passing has again brought the Cowboys undone. The Raiders have the ball back after Croker picks up the ball from a lazy pass.
29 min: Bomb put up by the Raiders but the Cowboys have cleaned up on the bounce and are back to the 50m line on the 4th tackle. Bowen is still down out the back and he looks to be clutching his knee.
29 min: Bowen is up and walking it off. Very good to see.
30 min: PENALTY - Raiders get a penalty on the first tackle after being held down a little too long.
30 min: Raiders making good metres through the middle of the field at the moment.
30 min: Back and forth sets at the moment.
32 min: PENALTY - Raiders get another penalty and they'll start the attack within the Cowboys 20m.
34 min: Tariq Sims with a great effort on Edwards close to the line. Thompson looking dangerous. A shallow kick into the in goal is put out by Thurston and they'll have a drop out to the Raiders.
36 min: Campese with a crisp pass out to Croker whos put it down just before the line. Bowen cleans it up and gets out of danger. Further up the field Fai-Fai Loa has knocked on trying to get a pass off. Canberra with the restart through a scrum feed.
36 min: PENALTY - Ball stripped by a Cowboys defender.
37 min: Thompson has knocked on in the tackle and the Cowboys will get the ball back through a scrum 10m out from their own line.
38 min: Thurston ends the set by kicking the ball into touch and there is about 60 seconds left in the first half.
40 min: Raiders kick into touch and thats the first half done and dusted.
40 min: Thats the end of the first half. Cowboys started off by dominating however the possession managed to swing back towards the Raiders enough for them to be given a few opportunities. Unfortunately they were unable to capitalise and will go into the break 16 - 6 down.
40 min: We're underway in the second half! Raiders to get us started with the first set.
43 min: Raiders making good metres and it's gone out to Campese to kick to the in goal. Fai-Fai Loa has knocked it on in goal and they'll have a drop out.
44 min: McCrone to Williams close to the line but it was a terrible pass and Williams is crunched and knocks the ball on.
46 min: Nice take by Wighton there from the bomb and the Raiders are already looking better than in the first half. Campese kicks long and its gone dead in goal. I think he was aiming for the 40/20. Bowen has taken it dead and it'll be another drop out.
47 min: A grubber into the in goal forces another repeat set after Fai-Fai Loa takes it over the dead ball line..
49 min: Robinson puts in a grubber for the winger but it's gone out in goal. Looks like it was off Morgan, but the Cowboys have been given the feed.
Shaun Fensom makes an unforced error.
Fensom knocks on in the tackle and it's play on to the Cowboys.
52 min: PENALTY - Cowboys get a penalty after Williams was busted for holding down the player.
53 min: Now the Cowboys get a repeat set after Bowen grubbers into the in goal. Robinson cleans up but it pops out of his hands and over the in goal.
Terry Campese makes an unforced error.
Campese knocks the ball on from dummy half. Cowboys with a feed 20m out from the Raiders line.
56 min: Cowboys on the attack but not making much ground.
56 min: VIDEO REF - Morgan with a possible try here. On replay it looks to be short.
57 min: VIDEO DECISION - NO TRY! Morgan tried to push over defenders and stretch his arm out over the line but falls short of the white chalk. Raiders with a scrum feed from the knock on.
58 min: After a shaky clean up from the kick down field, Bowen gets the ball wide to Tate who makes a break down the sideline. He's pulled down and they're now in the Raiders half. Raiders clean up the attacking kick and manage to get out of the in goal with millimetres to spare.
60 min: Raiders drop the ball within their own 30m and the Cowboys are on the attack again. If they could manage to hold onto the ball they would be on top of the Cowboys by now.
60 min: Ouch! Tate falls into a tackle from Croker and they're both on the ground getting some attentions from their respective trainers.
61 min: Fai-Fai Loa almost loses another one in the contest from the bomb but manages to scrape it back into his grasp.
64 min: Tariq Sims gets through a hole and storms toward the tryline to pass to Morgan to put the ball down over line line to the right of the posts.
Scored by Michael Morgan. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Morgan comes up in support of Sims and takes the ball past the fullback to score. Thurston converts this with a wicked bend on it.
North Queensland Cowboys 22-6
Kalifa Faifai Loa makes an unforced error.
Fai-Fai Loa with a knock on from a bomb. Raiders with the scrum feed.
69 min: After a messy clean up from the bomb, the Raiders get six more. Williams puts the ball over the top to Wighton and hes in for a try.
Scored by Jack Wighton. Conversion attempt by Reece Robinson successful.
The Raiders have obviously targeted Fai-Fai Loa and have done so again, putting the ball high close to the line. It's a messy clean up and Williams gets a long ball out to Wighton who is over for a try. Robinson converts in Crokers absence.
North Queensland Cowboys 22-12
Joel Edwards makes an unforced error.
Joel Edwards knocks on in the tackle.
72 min: Fai-Fai Loa almost in in the corner however Wighton has knocked it out from under him in the air. Cowboys get the ball from the drop out.
73 min: PENALTY - Cowboys will take the shot at goal after the player was held down too long in the tackle.
Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Thurston kicks the penalty goal to take the lead to 12 points the difference.
North Queensland Cowboys 24-12
Joel Edwards makes an unforced error.
Edwards on the receiving end of another hospital pass and he's knocked it on.
Jack Wighton makes an unforced error.
Wighton cleans up the kick towards his own goal line but knocks the ball on in the tackle from the kick chasers.
77 min: PENALTY - Canberra pinged for a high shot on Sims close to the line. They've decided to take the tap.
77 min: Ash Graham looks to have scored his 100th try in the NRL.
Scored by Ashley Graham. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Ash Graham is in for a try after Thurston grubbers through the defenders. Croker and Tate went for it but could only get a hand to it before falling over. Graham cleaned up the ball to extend the lead. Thurston misses after the ball bounces off the posts.
North Queensland Cowboys 30-12
79 min: Cowboys break the line and it goes to Linnett who is pulled down and penalised. The siren sounds as they are deciding what to do and it looks like they'll take the shot at goal.
Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Thurston kicks the penalty goal to get the 18 point win.
North Queensland Cowboys 32-12
80 min: That's it from Townsville. Stay tuned to the main page for the match report.