Gritty Cowboys account for gutsy Eels

AN 80th minute disallowed try to Parramatta winger Vai Toutai was the difference between heartache and jubilation at Parramatta Stadium tonight as the North Qld Cowboys defeated the Eels 14-10 in front of 9157 fans.

With just one second left on the clock the Eels shifted the ball to the right hand side where halfback Chris Sandow and fullback Jarryd Hayne combined to put Toutai over in the corner. Unfortunately for the home side, Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein put enough pressure on Toutai to force him to drop the ball.

Less than a week after suffering a demoralising 44-12 loss to Penrith, Eels coach Ricky Stuart could not fault the effort of his team with Jarryd Hayne in particular a standout.

The match started with heavy hearts as both sides formed separate team huddles as they held a minute silence following the death of Cowboy Alex Elisala last weekend.

The Eels didn’t take long to get on the board with centre Ryan Morgan opening the scoring after just 70 seconds of play. His side marched down the field before halfback Chris Sandow’s kick into the in-goal was weighted perfectly. Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen tried to shadow the ball dead but wasn’t aware of the presence of Morgan who snuck in from his blind side to force the ball centimetres in from the deadball line.

From that moment the first half was all the Cowboys but some resolute Parramatta defending kept them in the contest. Fullback Jarryd Hayne came up with two trysaving tackles throughout the opening 40 minutes when he held Tariq Sims and Gavin Cooper up.

In the 10th minute Ashley Graham scored the Cowboys first try after a simple second-man play found Bowen on the outside of his man. He lobbed the pass to his winger who scored untouched.

At the 28-minute mark, Chris Sandow had the opportunity to put the home side ahead with a penalty goal but he hooked the attempt to the right of the posts. In the shadows of halftime Johnathan Thurston was responsible for winger Antonio Winterstein’s try. Thurston took the Parramatta defence on before throwing a cut-out pass which found Winterstein on the chest. He won the race to the corner despite Hayne’s best efforts and the Cowboys went to the break leading 8-4.

The Eels first half defensive effort was backed up in the second stanza and the small but vocal crowd were on their feet in the 51st minute when favourite son Fuifui Moimoi crashed over beside the posts after charging onto a Matt Keating inside ball. Following Sandow’s conversion the Eels faithful dared to dream of an unlikely victory.

Cowboys centre Brent Tate set up an enthralling finish when he scored a simple try from the base of the scrum in the 68th minute. Unfortunately for Hayne it was his missed tackle that would ultimately prove the difference after he took treatment from the trainer moments before the try.

Hayne tried to win the match for the Eels with the fulltime siren sounding, but Antonio Winterstein would provide enough pressure to force Toutai to drop the ball and help register a rare Cowboys win in Sydney.

Next week the Eels host the Broncos on Saturday evening while the Cowboys have the ultimate test when they tackle the rampant Rabbitohs on Friday night.

Match Details
Parramatta Eels 10 North Queensland Cowboys 14
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Crowd: 9157
Halftime Score: North Queensland Cowboys 8-4

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Matthew Scott
2 points - Johnathan Thurston
1 point - Jarryd Hayne

PARRAMATTA EELS (10)
Tries: Ryan Morgan, Fuifui Moimoi
Conversions: Chris Sandow (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Chris Sandow (0/1)

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (14)
Tries: Ashley Graham, Antonio Winterstein, Brent Tate
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (1/3)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

Welcome to Parramatta Stadium for tonight's Round 9 encounter between the Eels and Cowboys. The Eels will look to bounce back from their disappointing loss to Penrith on Monday while the Cowboys will search for a rare win in Sydney.
In team news, the Eels welcome back Jacob Loko and Tim Mannah. Api Pewhairangi and Matt Ryan are out. Joseph Paulo and Mitch Allgood return to the bench while Peni Terepo will start at lock.
For the Cowboys, winger Kalifa Fai-Fai Loa is out with Antonio Winterstein to take his spot in the run-on side. Jason Taumalolo and Scott Bolton drop off the bench with Gavin Cooper to start. Glenn Hall returns to the interchange for coach Neil Henry's side.
In the Holden Cup curtain-raiser the Eels registered a low-scoring 16-10 victory over the Cowboys.
The Cowboys head out onto Parramatta Stadium first and go to the southern end of Parramatta Stadium and will run right to left on your computer screen.
Both teams will now observe a minute silence following the death of Alex Elisala last week.
1 min: We're underway at Parramatta with the Eels to have first use of the footy.
1 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Eels try.
2 min: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Ryan Morgan. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow unsuccessful.
Morgan gets the Eels off to a perfect start! They marched down the field and Sandow delivered a pin-point kick into the in-goal. Bowen refused to bat it dead and Morgan snuck in to ground the ball just in from the deadball line. Sandow can't add the extras from out wide.
Parramatta Eels 4-0
4 min: The Cowboys finally touch the ball through Ash Graham.
5 min: Thurston goes to the air and Sio puts the ball down. Cowboys scrum 10m from the Eels line.
6 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Cowboys try.
6 min: No Try. Jarryd Hayne comes up with a brilliant try-saving one-on-one tackle to prevent Tariq Sims from scoring the try after he went through a yawning hole. Play-the-ball.
7 min: The grubber from the ensuing play-the-ball goes dead. Eels 20m restart.
9 min: Disappointing fifth tackle option from Morgan and the Eels get possession before Maitua loses it.
9 min: PENALTY Cowboys. Hayne ruled to slow the play-the-ball down.
10 min: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Ashley Graham. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.
Ash Graham scores the Cowboys first try of the night after a rather simple play sees Bowen lob the pass over for Graham to score untouched. Thurston can't add the extras from 10m in from touch.
4 all
12 min: PENALTY Cowboys. Moimoi and Hayne the culprits with hands on the ball.
13 min: PENALTY Cowboys. Eels offside.
14 min: PENALTY Cowboys. Hayne knocks the ball from the dummy half in an offside position.
16 min: Thurston grubbers into the in-goal and Moimoi is there to clean up. Eels dropout.
17 min: Hayne comes up with another trysaving one-on-one tackle. This time on Cooper.
17 min: Thurston again trickles the ball into the in-goal and Hayne is tackled. Pressure mounting with another Eels dropout.
19 min: Some excellent defence from the Eels turns the Cowboys away. 20m restart.
21 min: Enterprising play from the Cowboys but Sims has the ball jolted loose in a solid covering tackle.
21 min: PENALTY Eels. Thurston ruled to have slowed the ruck too much.
22 min: Sandow finds touch 20m from the Cowboys line. Both teams walk to the scrum.
23 min: PENALTY Cowboys. Reni Maitua ruled to have worked the legs.
24 min: Morgan this time kicks into the in-goal. Hayne bats the ball dead. Eels dropout.
26 min: Bowen kicks into the arms of Kelly who knocks the ball back before diving on it.
26 min: PENALTY Eels. Cowboys offside.
27 min: PENALTY Eels. Tamou takes forever to get off the tackled player.
28 min: UNSUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL PARRAMATTA EELS
Penalty goal attempt by Chris Sandow unsuccessful.
Sandow misses from just off centre. Ball goes dead. Cowboys 20m dropout.
4 all
29 min: Hayne grubbers across field looking for Ryan Morgan but it's a bit too heavy. Cowboys 20m tap.
30 min: Thurston kicks the ball dead attempting to force a repeat set.
33 min: PENALTY Cowboys. Reni Maitua with the shoulder charge on Michael Morgan after he passed the ball.
34 min: Thompson this time forces a repeat set. Eels fourth dropout coming up.
35 min: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Antonio Winterstein. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.
Antonio Winterstein puts the visitors ahead just in the shadows of halftime. Thurston threw the cut-out pass which found the winger on the chest. He ran 15m untouched to score out wide. Thurston hooks the conversion too much to the left of the posts.
North Queensland Cowboys 8-4
39 min: Sandow chip and chases and regathers before finding Hayne. His pass to Maitua is knocked on.
39 min: PENALTY Eels. Ash Graham ruled to have hit Hayne in a high tackle.
40 min: Hayne runs the ball out after the tap.
40 min: Halftime at Parramatta Stadium and the Cowboys lead the Eels 8-4 in a surprisingly quality game.
41 min: Second half underway. Cowboys with possession.
41 min: Hayne takes Thurston's bomb well under his own posts.
42 min: PENALTY Eels. Cooper interfering with the play-the-ball.
43 min: Kelly has his cross-field bomb knocked back by Winterstein before Linnett bats it dead. Cowboys dropout.
45 min: Sandow gets a horrible pass from dummy half and knocks on.
47 min: PENALTY Eels. Thurston holds Hayne down attempting to get a quick play-the-ball.
48 min: Hayne kicks to Sio who bats the ball forward.
48 min: PENALTY Cowboys. Eels offside.
49 min: Forward pass from Thompson out of dummy half. Eels scrum near halfway.
50 min: PENALTY Eels. Cowboys offside from the scrum.
51 min: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Fuifui Moimoi. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful.
Moimoi charges onto a short ball from Keating and is too strong for the Cowboys goal-line defence. The big fella bangs the ball down next to the posts before he's mobbed by his teammates. Sandow adds the extras from beside the posts.
Parramatta Eels 10-8
54 min: Sandow's kick on the last goes touch in-goal. Cowboys restart.
55 min: Toutai puts Thurston's bomb down. Cowboys to feed a scrum 10m from the Eels line.
56 min: Hayne saves the day for the Eels again by picking up Thurston's grubber before being forced in-goal. Eels dropout.
58 min: Thurston slow to his feet after being ankle-tapped by Sandow.
58 min: Excellent scrambling defence again by the Eels on their own line.
61 min: Sandow's kick goes dead.
62 min: Morgan kicks on the last before Loko dives on the loose ball and cops an accidental knee in the hip in the scramble.
63 min: 40/20 PARRAMATTA EELS
Chris Sandow kicks a 40/20.
Sandow comes up with a 35/5 to put the Eels on the attack!
65 min: The Eels run the ball on the last and Morgan is tackled. Cowboys with possession 10m from their own line.
65 min: PENALTY Cowboys. Terepo with a second effort on the tackled player.
66 min: Morgan lobs the pass over the top but Loko wins the race to the loose ball.
67 min: Sandow knocks on before Thurston kicks the ball into his own player in an onside position.
67 min: Hayne comes up with another trysaving play but knocks on. Cowboys scrum 10m from the Eels line.
68 min: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Brent Tate. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Brent Tate scores the easiest of tries after picking up the ball from the base of the scrum. Tate beat Hayne who was caught napping after just receiving attention from the trainer. Thurston adds the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 14-10
70 min: Tate takes the bomb on the fifth tackle before being wrapped up. Eels with possession.
71 min: Moimoi's short ball to Sandow is ruled forward. Replays suggest it might have been a tough call.
72 min: Thurston kicks early in the tackle count before being hit in a solid tackle as he kicks. Eels work the ball upfield.
72 min: PENALTY Eels. Tamou offside.
73 min: Desperate scrambling defence from the Cowboys drags Hayne down 5m from the line. Changeover.
75 min: Hayne has his pass on the inside put down by Toutai! The fullback did everything he could to race down field but unfortunately the winger knocked on.
76 min: Thurston kicks into the in-goal and Winterstein tries his best to perform an acrobatic try but he can't quite force the ball. Eels 20m restart.
77 min: Sandow runs straight at the defence looking for a penalty but it's not forthcoming. Changeover.
78 min: Hayne allows the bomb to bounce. 20m restart.
79 min: PENALTY Eels. Hand on the ball.
79 min: 60 seconds for the Eels. 20m from the Cowboys line.
80 min: PENALTY Eels. Tate too long on the tackled player.
80 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Eels try.
80 min: No Try. Toutai knocks on!
80 min: Fulltime at Parramatta Stadium and the Cowboys have defeated the Eels 14-10.
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