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Round 20 North Queensland Cowboys 26 def. Brisbane Broncos 10 At Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Referee: Tony Archer
The home side led 14-4 at the break before consolidating to take the match by a margin of 16 points.
Things couldn't have gotten off to a worse start as Johnathon Thurston was stretchered from the field with a dislocated kneecap and a grade two medial ligament strain. This was followed by Darren Lockyer crossing for the first try of the match.
The match was a closely contested clash before two quick tries just after the quarter-mark to former Eel Ashley Graham and Josh Hannay.
The second of the two was an absolute pearler with a break made by Aaron Payne that in the next play was finished off by Hannay on the other side of the field.
Just after halftime giant prop Robert Tanielu was taken from the field with a neck injury. He got his head in to a wrong position on Scott Minto and was knocked out cold.
A penalty goal ten minutes later stretched the margin out to two converted tries for the home side.
With just under fifteen minutes remaining two further tries to veteran winger Matt Sing put the icing on the cake. Both tries were set up by LeagueUnlimited's man of the match Matt Bowen.
A late try by Brad Thorn for the Broncos was just a consolation as the Cowboys ran out victors by 26 points to 10. This was a gutsy victory as the Cowboys were without Thurston, Scott and Tanielu for most of the match.
The Cowboys now sit in seventh position pending results tomorrow and a win next Sunday against the Roosters in Sydney could consolidate their position on the ladder.
Scorers: North Queensland Cowboys: 26 Tries: Josh Hannay, Matt Sing(3), Ashley Graham Goals: Josh Hannay 3/6
Brisbane Broncos: 10 Tries: Darren Lockyer, Brad Thorn Goals: Darren Lockyer 1/2
Halftime: Cowboys 14-4
A sellout in Townsville for the Queensland derby.
Casey McGuire will start at hooker for the Broncos with Shaun Berrigan dropping back to the bench.Greg Eastwood comes on to the bench with Thaiday and Hannant dropping off the bench.
For the Cowboys Justin Smith and Steve Southern are out with Sargent going in to prop and Webb moving back to the second row. The Broncos run out in their navy and white away strip.
The Cowboys are out on the paddock in the dark blue,yellow and white strip.
Your referee is Tony Archer in the black and orange stripes.
1 min: Hannay kicks off!
1 min: An early penalty against the Cowboys for a hand in the play the ball.
4 min: A try has been scored for the Broncos but Johnathon Thurston is being stretchered off in back play with a very bad looking knee injury.
5 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos The Cowboys try to pop a pass in their own 10 and it is scooped up by Justin Hodges who passes on to Lockyer to score the opening try.There is a hush around the Townsville crowd as their chief playmaker has been taken off early. Lockyer misses a relatively easy conversion. Broncos 4-0
7 min: Justin Hodges makes a break and sets up a great Broncos attacking play.However it is undone on the next tackle with a bomb that is way to deep.
10 min: A bomb goes up for the Cowboys and young Broncos fullback Darius Boyd loses sight of the ball in the lights however luckily for him and his team mates it bounces over the dead ball line.
12 min: Almost a great Cowboys try.Matt Bowen slices through off an inside ball however the cover defence stops him just short of the line.
13 min: News from downstairs is that Thurston has a medial ligament problem with his knee and also a dislocated knee-cap.
16 min: Darren Lockyer runs the ball on the last tackle,finds Seymour who stabs a kick through that produces a repeat set from a line drop out.
20 min: Darren Lockyer tries to play the ball to quickly,loses the ball and gives the Cowboys a golden oppurtunity to post a score.
21 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys The Cowboys hit back with one of the tries of the year.The ball goes through a thousand set of hands before a basketball pass by Matty Bowen finds Ashley Graham to score in the corner. Hannay from the sideline replacing Thurston with the kicking duties just shaves the uprights but it is waved away. 4 all.
26 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys An even better try!Aaron Payne who is playing halfback goes through some ordinary defenders before finding Travis Norton who is stopped just before the line.On the next play the ball sails out to Matt Sing who sends Josh Hannay over in the corner off a great inside ball. Hannay from the eastern touchline shaves the uprights once again. Cowboys 8-4
27 min: A forward pass in their own quarter by the Broncos gives the Cowboys another big chance.
30 min: Going to the video for a Cowboys try...
30 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys A bomb to the corner from Matty Bowen finds Matt Sing who leaps high above Tame Tupou to score in the corner. Hannay,from out wide once again,puts it over the black dot. Cowboys 14-4
40 min: A big chance for the Cowboys just before halftime.A nice chip kick over the top finds Tanielu who knocks while trying to put the ball down.Now the Broncos knock on from the 20 metre restart and the Cowboys knock on from the scrum.Now Minto knocks on from that scrum!
Halftime - An insane end to an error riddled first half of football.The Cowboys and their fans were shocked when vice captain Thurston left the field with a medial ligament strain to his knee and a dislocated kneecap.However,on the back of some Broncos errors,the Cowboys have scored three unanswered tries including two absolute gems to lead 14-4 at the break.
41 min: Second half underway and the Cowboys knock on from a shortish kickoff!However it is ruled backwards by referee Archer.
42 min: Giant prop Robert Tanielu is being stretchered off after being knocked out while getting his head in the wrong position wheb trying to tackle Scott Minto.
42 min: NEWS Still Tanielu lying on the floor and the doctors are taking no chances with him.Already a five minute delay and both sides will need to keep warm in cold weather.The Cowboys will now be down to just 2 men on the bench.
48 min: Darius Boyd dives for the corner but Matty Bowen comes across and saves the day knocking Boyd down with a great shot.
51 min: PENALTY GOAL North Queensland Cowboys Josh Hannay takes the two points from outwide after a penalty in the play the ball against Tate. Cowboys 16-4
53 min: The Cowboys down to 1 on the bench with Matthew Scott now with a quad injury.
55 min: The Cowboys are tackled half a metre out from the try line on the last tackle and it is a change over.
56 min: An attack looks promising here for the Cowboys but the ball is knocked on.
63 min: Checking for a Cowboys try...
63 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys Matty Sing puts the icing on the cake for the Cowboys after latching on to a Matty Bowen chip kick to score in the corner. Hannay misses from the corner. Cowboys 20-4
71 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys The Cowboys have the Broncos at 6s and 7s after a Mitchell Sargent line break.In the next play Matt Bowen puts another chip kick in for Sing to score his hattrick. Hannay converts from the sideline. Cowboys 26-4
80 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos A consolation try for the Broncos as Seymour throws a great bullet pass to Thorn who bumps off Bowen to score under the posts. Lockyer converts in the dying seconds. Cowboys 26-10
80 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL North Queensland Cowboys Josh Hannay has a snap at field goal in the dying seconds but it is waved away. Cowboys 26-10
80 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL North Queensland Cowboys With nothing doing in the dying seconds,Hannay has a snap at field goal that is off target. Cowboys 26-10
Fulltime - A gutsy win by the Cowboys to keep their finals ambitions alive. ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - Matthew Bowen 2 - Aaron Payne 1 - Matt Sing -----------------------------------------