Cowboys win and snare top spot on
the table

Fulltime score: Round 8 North Queensland Cowboys 38 v Sydney Roosters 18

Match summary: If the Cowboys hadn't already stamped their mark on the NRL as serious finals contenders, they did so in style tonight. The Cowboys outscored the Roosters seven tries to three, and never looked like being beaten after half time.

The Roosters held the majority of possession in the first half, but could only convert it into one try, with Adrian Morley crashing over from close range. Paul Bowman and Luke O'Donnell scored the Cowboys first half tries.

At half time, the North Queenslanders held a 12-6 lead.

The Cowboys put two tries on in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. The tries went to Hannay and Paul Bowman collected his second. Matt Bowen opened up a 22 point lead a few minutes later as he burst through to score after taking a Carl Webb offload.

Craig Wing briefly reduced the deficit for the Roosters, before the Cowboys' Justin Smith collected a cross field kick from Matt Bowen and scored. Anthony Minichello scored a consolation try before David Faiumu scored one of the most impressive tries from dummy half to complete the rout in the 80th minute.

Scorers: COWBOYS 38 Tries: Bowman (2), O'Donnell, Hannay, M Bowen, Smith, Faiumu Goals: Hannay (5/9) ROOSTERS 18 Tries: Morley, Wing, Minichello Goals: Fitzgibbon (1/1), Roberts (2/2)

Dairy Farmers Stadium Crowd: 22,476 Referee: Tim Mander

Live commentary: 0 min: Kickoff at Dairy Farmers Stadium. The stadium is packed.

10 min: An entertaining start with both teams making plenty of metres on their sets. Both Bowens are being tested under the high ball.

12 min: 12 minutes before a penalty is blown - it goes to the Roosters.

13 min: NO TRY - Roosters Amos Roberts drops the ball in an incredible tackle by Matt Bowen right on the goal line.

17 min: Roosters gaining a territorial advantage on the back of a line drop out.

20 min: PENALTY GOAL - Cowboys Josh Hannay makes no mistake. 2-0 Cowboys.

25 min: TRY - Roosters Adrian Morley runs over Matty Bowen from 5 metres out and right under the sticks. A try as a result of weight of possession. Fitzgibbon converts. 6-2 Roosters.

33 min: TRY - Cowboys Paul Bowman scores out on the left, right on the corner post when the Cowboys run on the last. Confirmed by the video ref. Hannays conversion is a ripper. 8-6 Cowboys.

36 min: The Cowboys show impressive scrambling defence to deny the Roosters from scoring.

38 min: TRY - Cowboys The Cowboys are finishing the half stronger as they score through Luke O'Donnell. Hannay hits the uprights. 12-6 Cowboys.

40 min: Roosters kick the ball dead on the full from the restart. Hannay hits the uprights with the penalty goal attempt from halfway.

The Roosters had all of the possession midway through the half, but the Cowboys started to level the stats up, and took the lead. The Cowboys have Matt Bowen and Jonothan Thurston to thank for some great try-saving tackles.

41 min: Amos Roberts gets the second half underway.

42 min: TRY - Cowboys The Cowboys go 100 metres on the first set of the half. Bowen kicks for Sing who bats it down to Hannay who scores up against the corner post. Hannay hits the uprights AGAIN! 16-6 Cowboys.

45 min: The Cowboys are finding all manner of gaps up the Roosters guts.

48 min: TRY - Cowboys Brenton Bowen flicks the ball back in from over the touchline. Bowman picks up the bouncing ball and scores the try. Hannay kicks career goal 299 from near the sideline. 22-6 Cowboys.

55 min: End to end football. The Cowboys have now finally registered +50% possession.

58 min: TRY - Cowboys Matt Bowen shoots through a gap from a Carl Webb offload and scores nearly untouched. Hannay kicks career goal 300. 28-6 Cowboys.

63 min: TRY - Roosters Craig Wing darts over under the posts. Roberts converts. 28-12 Cowboys.

66 min: TRY - Cowboys Justin Smith scores off a Matt Bowen cross field kick. Hannay misses left. 32-12 Cowboys.

72 min: The Roosters are running around like the headless proverbial.

74 min: TRY - Roosters Minichello runs around and breaks through the defence. Roberts converts. 32-18 Cowboys.

80 min: TRY - Cowboys Faiumu fools the Roosters defence with a huge dummy and runs untouched from dummy half. Hannay converts. 38-18 Cowboys.

FULL TIME - The Cowboys top the NRL ladder.

----------------------------------------- players of the match: 3 - P Bowman (Cowboys) 2 - M Bowen (Cowboys) 1 - D Faiumu (Cowboys) -----------------------------------------