Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
26 hours ago
New Zealand have done enough to defeat a terrible North Queensland side 24012 in front of 10,800 people at Mount Smart tonight.
The return of several big names for the Cowboys couldn't help them as New Zealand shook off a bad start with a few errors after a Maloney 40/20 to score the first points after a charging run from Ukuma Ta'ai, they followed up with a try to the returning backrower Lewis Brown after checking with the video referee.
Ian Henderson celebrated his first try for the Warriors this year after some scrappy work and a Brett Seymour offload to extend the lead to eighteen. James Maloney penalty takes the halftime lead to 20-0.
North Queensland had to be the first to score and were through ever improving Scott Bolton who took a nice short pass off Thurston. The Cowboys were on a miniature roll with Michael Bani stumbling but still scoring to bridge the gap to eight points, a 40/20 helped North Queensland into New Zealand's end but they dropped too much ball.
Kevin Locke iced the game with a contenious try after the video referee took several looks and the Warriors held on to break a three game losing streak with a 24-12 win infront of 10,800 fans. Willie Tonga was sin binned late for a fight that erupted on the whistle.
Next week New Zealand aim to make it two straight when they host the hot and cold Rabbitohs and the Cowboys will have a week to sort things out as they have the bye.
New Zealand Warriors 24 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 12
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 10 - Saturday May 15, 2010 5:30pm
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Referee: Ashley Klein and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Adam Gee and Daniel Eastwood
Halftime: New Zealand Warriors 20 North Queensland Cowboys 0
New Zealand Warriors (24)
Tries: Ian Henderson, Ukuma Ta'ai, Lewis Brown, Kevin Locke
Field Goals: James Maloney (0/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (3/4)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)
North Queensland Cowboys (12)
Tries: Scott Bolton, Michael Bani
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Mount Smart Stadium for tonight's clash between New Zealand and North Queensland. Earlier there was a tight game in the u20 with Cowboys eventually running out winners 24-16.
Big news is that Johnathan Thurston and Luke O Donnell are back in the starting side, with Carl Webb back on the bench. For the Warriors Lewis Brown is back.
1 min: Cowboys get us underway tonight at Mt Smart.
3 min: Manu makes the first error of the game, with a loose carry. Early opportunity for the Cowboys.
4 min: Thurston takes on the line but drops it and followed with Locke getting a penalty for his side.
5 min: Vatuvei having an unhappy opening dropping a simple pass but still smiling.
7 min: Lance Hohaia tries to get up too quick and loses it, Warriors not holding onto the ball well enough in the opening salvos.
8 min: Thurston takes it down the blind on last and tries a cut-out to Williams but it goes over the sideline.
9 min: Maloney puts in a nice long kick and it goes out for a 40/20.
12 min: TRY
Ukuma Ta'ai powers his way over the line for the opening try! Maloney gets the easy two!
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
14 min: Cowboys have a dose of dropsies now with Mason spilling the pill.
15 min: Possible try to Lewis Brown here..
16 min: TRY
Manu jumps for a bomb but it's hit by Williams and bounces past Bowen and pounced upon by Lewis Brown who scores! Maloney converts from out wide.
New Zealand Warriors 12-0
18 min: North Queensland get a relieving penalty but can't capitalise dropping it early in the count.
20 min: Cowboys are saved fter Rapira passes off the ground.
21 min: Cowboys just can't hold the ball! The Warriors spread it wide but Tate throws it forward otherwise Locke was away.
23 min: A bit of a mess there for the Cowboys close to the Warriors line.
24 min: It's become a fumbleathon now with Lewis Brown going without it in his own half.
26 min: Cowboys can't attack in their own half, same old story, dropped early in the count.
27 min: Maloney is loving the short kick here and luckily retains possession after Tonga and Thurston get in each other's way.
27 min: Possible Warriors try to Vatuvei!
28 min: Manu is denied after his knee went out just before he got the ball down. Cowboys tap and follow it with a penalty.
29 min: A nice hit defending their line sees the ball jolt free from the Cowboys grasp.
30 min: Bani 's hand is hit as he is running out from the in-goal and it's deemed a knock on by Bani. Warriors with a good opportunity to post more points.
30 min: Ian Henderson may have touched down here!
32 min: TRY
A scrappy piece of work results in a try! Henderson with a horrible ball from dummy-half but Ah Mau has a dive at it and misses, Seymour plays on, offloads to Henderson who scores! Maloney kicks the two from in front.
New Zealand Warriors 18-0
36 min: Michael Luck is hammered by former Warrior Ah Mau but has the last laugh, getting his team the penalty.
37 min: Maloney goes so close but is pulled down five out! Hohaia takes it from dummy-half and gets the penalty. Warriors decide to take the two.
39 min: PENALTY GOAL
James Maloney slots it!
New Zealand Warriors 20-0
40 min: Cowboys just hit it up and that takes us to halftime.
41 min: Warriors get the second half underway!
44 min: Thurston tries the cut out again but it hits Tonga and rolls out.
47 min: Warriors knock it on in their own hal, gifting the Cowboys a chance to get on the board.
49 min: North Queensland try keeping the ball alive on last shifting left to right but Graham is stopped in his tracks with a good tackle.
50 min: Cowboys getting some momentum with two penalties and a set deep in the Warriors half.
53 min: TRY
Thurston goes short for Bolton who evades a diving tackle and scores to get the Cowboys on the board. Thurston keeps hope alive a bit kicking the conversion.
New Zealand Warriors 20-6
56 min: Bani almost does the impossible on a shoddy bomb but Brent Tate lashes out with his elbow and concedes a penalty and marched ten.
58 min: TRY
Warriors get caught short on the left, Locke tips the ball to Bani who stumbles but scores! Thurston with a beautiful conversion to make it 24 straight.
New Zealand Warriors 20-12
59 min: Johnathan shows his class with a nice 40/20 from the kickoff.
61 min: A strip on Tonga gives the Cowboys some good possesion but Graham after a nice movement puts his foot out.
62 min: Maloney with a nice kick out to Locke who tries to offload to Tate but he drops it. Cowboys with a life.
63 min: Warriors get their first penalty of the second half to start at the halfway.
69 min: Warriors trap Morgan in his own in-goal to get a repeat set.
70 min: Possible match winning try here to the Warriors..
72 min: TRY
Kevin Locke swoops on a bomb touched by Bani and scores the try that should seal the win. Maloney puts it wide.
New Zealand Warriors 24-12
73 min: Luke O Donnell gives away a silly penalty to just let the Warriors into their half.
74 min: Heremaia is stripped but it's deemed a goal line dropout but it's changed to a scrum!
75 min: Warriors dislodge the ball and should just run out the clock with five to go.
76 min: Locke can't handle the pass and it'll be a Cowboys ball but they drop it and they don't want the ball.
77 min: Bani just beats Locke to the ball on fifth and forces a dropout.
78 min: Cowboys are going for a consolation try after a Warriors knock on but Thurston is caught on the last to end an unhappy night for him.
79 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
Maloney tries to ice the game with a field goal but it's touched and is wide.
New Zealand Warriors 24-12
80 min: Thurston slices through offloads to Bowen who is caught and spills it.
80 min: A chaotic end to this game with Thurston taken late and gives his team a penalty meanwhile..
80 min: Wille Tonga is sinbinned!
80 min: Thurston puts it high to end the game reminisent of origin three 2009 but Warriors take it and run out winners 24-12.