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North Queensland Cowboys 18 v Sydney Roosters 22
at Dairy Farmers Stadium
Referees: Shayne Hayne
The Sydney Roosters have shocked critics by upsetting the Cowboys in Townsville tonight. The Bondi based club only had a 4 day turn-around coming in to this match following their 22-12 Anzac Day loss to the Dragons.
Brett Finch starred for the tri colours playing in one of his best games for the club since moving across from the Raiders. He set up Amos Roberts? try in the first half with a neat grubber and put the Roosters back in front late in the second half with a pass to Anthony Tupou who scored under the posts.
The Roosters got off to a shaky start with numerous sets of six in the first five minutes defending on their own goal line. However, they did well to get out of jail in that instance and the first time they got down in to opposition territory, young winger Sam Perrett scored in the corner.
Both sides struggled to hold on to the ball continually in their sets of six. The Roosters only held the ball in 27/47 sets while the Cowboys for 26/40.
The away side led 10-6 at the break but the Cowboys worked themselves back in to the game thanks to a great try to the Cowboys through the hooker Aaron Payne who caught the Roosters? markers out.
However, the Roosters hit back in front through a piece of brilliance from half Brett Finch who slid through and found Anthony Tupou who scored under the posts.
The game looked to be all wrapped up with eight minutes remaining when replacement hooker John Doyle fired a long ball out to former shark Vince Mellars who dived over to score in the corner.
North Queensland gave their fans a slim hope of victory when Matty Bowen through a great cutout pass to Neil Sweeney who dived over in the corner.
A couple of errors late in the contest from the Cowboys nullified any opportunity of a comeback victory. A thoroughly deserved victory to the tri colours who won the contest through a strong defensive performance despite backing up from a tough encounter against the Dragons on Anzac Day.
North Queensland Cowboys: 18
Tries: Aaron Payne, Johnathan Thurston, Neil Sweeney
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 3/3
Sydney Roosters: 22
Tries: Sam Perrett, Amos Roberts, Anthony Tupou, Vince Mellars
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/4
By the Clock:
One change for the Cowboys tonight with Ashley Graham out and Gavin Cooper into the centres.
For the Roosters Minichiello,Edmonson and Flannery are out with Sa moving into the centres,John Doyle on to the bench against his old club,Nigel Plum is alongside him on the bench with Sam Perrett on to the wing.Anthony Tupou drops back to the bench with Lafi Manua in to the second row.
1 min: NEWS Kickoff in Townsville!
2 min: NEWS After a penalty on the 2nd tackle to the Cowboys.They are firm on attack here and get a repeat set of six.
7 min: NEWS After doing all the defending so far,the Roosters go on the attack here through a knock on by Cooper.
9 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
On their first trek down the opposition end,Anasta does well to keep the ball alive through an offload and Roberts throws a great cutout pass to Perrett who does well to score in the corner.
Fitzgibbon can't add the extras.
14 min: NEWS Matt Bowen throws an unneccessary long pass in his own 20 and Vince Mellars drops the intercept that would of seen him run away and score.
16 min: NEWS Going to the Video for a possible Cowboys try.
16 min: NEWS NO TRY - Matthew Scott is ruled to be tackled short of the line.Somehow he gets a pass away to Brett Firman who knocks the ball on over the line.
19 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Brett Finch puts a neat grubber in for Amos Roberts and Matty Bowen misjudges the bounce with Roberts going through to score under the posts.
Fitzgibbon converts from in front.
25 min: NEWS The Roosters' are targeting Matty Bowen under the high ball and so far they are winning the battle.
28 min: NEWS Paul Bowman is penalised while playing the ball for dissent while on the attack.
30 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Thurston scores a Cowboys special.A long kick through by Anasta,finds Bowen on the full who runs to the right and creats and overlap on halfway.He fires a cutout pass to Matty Sing who runs away and passes on the inside to Thurston who scores next to the posts.
Thurston converts his own try.
32 min: NEWS Firman can't find the line when taking a penalty kick for touch.
40 min: NEWS Video Referee for a possible Cowboys try.
40 min: NEWS NO TRY - Carl Webb is ruled to have done a double movement and is penalised.
40 min: NEWS Halftime - Both sides have been very poor in the first half with the handling.The Cowboys are 15/26 in completions while the Roosters are only a bit better with 12/19.The Roosters' defence has been outstanding and if they go on to win this game,it will be on the back of this.
41 min: NEWS Second half underway!And an error on the first tackle by the Roosters brings early pressure on themselves.
46 min: NEWS Neil Sweeney bombs a try after Johnathon Thurston picks up a loose ball in his own half,runs away,Amos Roberts comes across and Johnathon passes on the inside to Neil who drops the ball cold.
54 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Aaron Payne scores a good hookers try.With the markers still loitering around the tackle.It leaves a hole is the defensive line and Aaron runs 10 metres to score under the post.
Thurston puts the Cowboys in front.
60 min: NEWS Ashley Harrison looking for a 40/20 kicks out on the full giving the Cowboys another chance.
66 min: NEWS Craig Fitzgibbon is hit in a beauty from Brett Firman.
68 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Anthony Tupou scores under the posts after a great ball from Brett Finch.
Fitzgibbon strecthes the lead to 4.
71 min: NEWS The Roosters go 100 metres in their next set of six and force a goal line dropout.
72 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Vince Mellars wraps the game up for the Roosters scoring in the corner off a long ball.
Fitzgibbon adds the extras from the sideline.
76 min: NEWS Going to the video for a possible Cowboys try.
76 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Neil Sweeney scores in the corner off a great ball from Matty Bowen to give the Cowboys a slight chance.
Thurston's kick is an absolute beauty from the sideline.
79 min: NEWS The Cowboys go on a role but as they reach halfway O'Donnell is ruled to have dropped the ball in the tackle.
80 min: NEWS Fulltime
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Brett Finch (Roosters)
2 - Matthew Bowen (Cowboys)
1 - Ashley Harrison (Roosters)