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The match looked to be taking a predictable path during the first ten minutes as both packs worked hard to gain ascendancy in the wet conditions, but when Matthew Bartlett opened the scoring for the Cowboys with a soft try in the 10th minute the tone of the match suddenly changed.
Within the next 10 minutes the Roosters hit back with two tries of their own before a piece of Matty Bowen magic in the 20th minute levelled the scores. Bowen scored a try that only he could score, picking up the ball from a deep Roosters kick and finding his way through the defensive line before out-sprinting the chasers.
That would be as close as the Cowboys would get though - a further three Roosters tries before halftime opened up a 16 point lead before Steve Southern pegged one back on the stroke of halftime, giving the Roosters a 28-18 lead at the break.
The Roosters got straight back into tryscoring action as the match resumed, and had brought up 40 points by the 50th minute. Both teams then began a passage of tit-for-tat scoring as the missed tackle count grew rapidly, but the Roosters were never in any danger of relinquishing their lead. Young Roosters winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored the final two tries of the night, capping off a hat-trick with a nice intercept try right on fulltime.
Despite the frantic scoring action, a small crowd ensured that there was very little atmosphere out in the middle. Some of the tries were embarrassingly soft and will lead to some very red faces when the match videos are reviewed by these teams during the week.
Round 13 - Full Time :: June 9th, 2007 07:30 PM Venue: Aussie Stadium Referee: Gavin Badger
Sydney Roosters 64 Tries: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (3), Joel Monaghan (2), Craig Wing, Amos Roberts, Anthony Tupou, John Williams, Sam Perrett, Shane Shackleton Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (9/10), Amos Roberts (1/1) North Queensland Cowboys 30 Tries: Matthew Bowen (2), Matthew Bartlett, Steve Southern, Shane Tronc Goals: Ashley Graham (5/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Craig Wing (Roosters) 2 Points: Danny Nutley (Roosters) 1 Point: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters)
Matthew Scott will start for the Cowboys and Ray Cashmere drops to the bench. The Roosters are as-per-program.
KICK OFF - We're underway!
5 min: Solid start from both teams, basic football with plenty of hit-ups from the forwards.
6 min: The Roosters have received two consecutive penalties and have a good attacking chance.
6 min: Anthony Tupou can't hold on to a wide pass and the Cowboys are let off the hook.
10 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys Matthew Bartlett takes a regulation hit-up 20 metres out from the Roosters line - and ends up busting through some pretty soft defence before reaching out to score. Ashley Graham converts. North Queensland Cowboys 6-0
15 min: VIDEO REF - possible Roosters try ...
15 min: TRY Sydney Roosters (Benefit of the doubt) Mitchell Pearce grubbers into the in-goal and Matty Bowen shadows the ball, waiting for it to go dead - but Craig Wing sneaks through under him and claims a try. Craig Fitzgibbon converts. 6 all
18 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Setaimata Sa puts on some fancy footwork close to the Cowboys line and creates some space for Amos Roberts to take a nice pass and stroll through for a try. Craig Fitzgibbon converts. Sydney Roosters 12-6
20 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys What a try!! Matt Bowen picks up the ball on his own goal-line and splits the Roosters chasers, gets around Amos Roberts and out-sprints John Williams for a great length-of-the-field effort. Ashley Graham converts. 12 all
25 min: Craig Wing makes a bust from dummy-half and looks for a second try, but is pulled down by Ty Williams just a couple of metres short.
26 min: Jason Smith attempts a 40/20 but puts it out on the full.
27 min: VIDEO REF - possible Roosters try ...
27 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Mitchell Pearce gets away a great kick on the last tackle under plenty of pressure, and Anthony Tupou chases through to claim an easy catch over the top of Jason Smith and Matt Bowen to score under the posts. Craig Fitzgibbon converts. Sydney Roosters 18-12
28 min: The Cowboys put their kick-off over the dead ball line.
30 min: VIDEO REF - possible Roosters try ...
30 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The Roosters keep the ball alive on the last tackle, resulting in a good try out wide to John Williams. Craig Fitzgibbon nails a great conversion from the touchline. Sydney Roosters 24-12
33 min: VIDEO REF - are the Roosters in again??
33 min: TRY Sydney Roosters (Benefit of the doubt) Another nice chip kick from Mitchell Pearce, and this time Shaun Kenny-Dowall chases through and manages to recover the ball and touch down just inside the dead-ball line. Craig Fitzgibbon misses the conversion. Sydney Roosters 28-12
36 min: Scott Minto breaks the line but can't link up with his support.
38 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys David Faiumu throws a great pass from dummy-half to Steve Southern and he strolls across untouched from 10 metres out. Ashley Graham converts. Sydney Roosters 28-18
What a crazy first half! Eight tries have been scored (despite the conditions) and the Roosters have somehow opened up a 10 point lead. Mitchell Pearce, Setaimata Sa and Craig Wing have been providing plenty of spark for the home team, while the Cowboys are looking a little bit lost without their Origin stars.
The second half is underway!
42 min: The rain has suddenly started bucketing down.
44 min: TRY Sydney Roosters A nice intercept by John Williams gets the Cowboys onto the back foot. A couple of plays later the ball is swung wide to Sam Perrett and he crashes through the Cowboys defence to score. Craig Fitzgibbon converts. Sydney Roosters 34-18
46 min: The Roosters nearly make a mess of claiming the restart, but are let off by a Cowboys knock-on.
48 min: A great chase from the Roosters forces an error from Ty Williams as he runs the ball out from his own in-goal.
49 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Shane Shackleton scores after taking a nice pass from Craig Wing and getting past Shane Tronc. Fitzgibbon adds another two points. Sydney Roosters 40-18
52 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys The Cowboys put on a fancy move from a scrum win 30 metres out - Matty Bowen receives a nice inside pass and breaks through a couple of tackles to claim his second try. Ashley Graham adds the extras. Sydney Roosters 40-24
57 min: TRY Sydney Roosters James Aubusson throws a nice offload to Craig Fitzgibbon to create some space out wide, and Joel Monaghan backs up his skipper to receive a pass and score. Fitzgibbon converts. Sydney Roosters 46-24
62 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys Matt Bowen receives the ball on the last tackle and throws an inside pass to Shane Tronc, who finds an unusually easy 15-metre run to the line in front of him and scores under the posts. Ashley Graham converts. Sydney Roosters 46-30
66 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The Cowboys try to throw the ball around inside their own half, but one dusty pass is picked up by Joel Monaghan and he runs an easy 35 metres to score his second try of the night. Fitzgibbon converts. Sydney Roosters 52-30
68 min: The Roosters force a goal line drop-out from the Cowboys.
69 min: VIDEO REF - possible Roosters try ...
69 min: TRY Sydney Roosters A nice backline movement creates some space out wide and Shaun Kenny-Dowall crosses for his second try, just inside the sideline. Fitzgibbon kicks a beauty from out wide. Sydney Roosters 58-30
CROWD: 4,168. No, hang on - that's the missed tackle count.
75 min: The Cowboys have had a decent run of possession over the last five minutes but the Roosters are holding them out.
79 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Shaun Kenny-Dowall caps off a very strange night by claiming a hat-trick with a 90-metre intercept try. Amos Roberts adds the extras. Sydney Roosters 64-30