The game started in unusual fashion as the Cowboys kick off bounced over the dead ball line, earning them a goal line drop out. However, at the end of that set, Glen Buttriss charged Johnathon Thurston’s last tackle kick down. He passed the ball to Josh McCrone who raced away to score under the posts to put Canberra on the board after just 2 minutes.
At the 13-minute mark, the officials went upstairs to check a Cowboys’ try to Ashley Graham but it was seen that his feet went into touch before he grounded the ball, thanks to the help of Canberra players.
After a Canberra kick turned in the in goal, Antonio Winterstein was forced to ground the ball and a drop out. Josh Papalii easily broke through the Cowboys defence and cruised over the line for Canberra’s 2nd try of the afternoon.
Canberra’s domination continued when a Terry Campese high kick fell into Jarrod Croker’s arms who pushed it back in field to Sami Sauliuma who went over in the corner for his first NRL career try. Croker converted all 3 kicks in the first half. Half time score was 18-0 to Canberra.
An early high tackle in the second half saw Canberra’s Sam Mataora placed on report for his tackle on Dallas Johnson.
The Cowboys finally crossed the line in the 49th minute through many offloads. The final offload went from Lui to Thurston who scored under the posts.
Croker extended Canberra’s lead with a penalty goal in the 60th minute but the Cowboys fought back 5 minutes later. A Brent Tate offload to Robert Lui brought the Cowboys back into the game.
However, Canberra sealed the win in the 75th minute as Anthony Milford broke through the defence off a scrum feed. Croker had a perfect day with the boot with 5/5 kicks.
Winterstein scored for the Cowboys in the 78th minute to soften the scoreline. The final score was Canberra 26-18.
Canberra Raiders enjoy a bye next round while the North Queensland Cowboys host the Manly Sea Eagles, but will be without Origin stars for the clash.
Canberra Raiders 26 North Queensland Cowboys 18
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 18-0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jarrod Croker
2 points - Josh Papalii
1 point - Brent Tate
CANBERRA RAIDERS (26)
Tries: Josh McCrone, Josh Papalii, Sami Sauiluma, Anthony Milford
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (1/1)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (18)
Tries: Johnathan Thurston, Robert Lui, Antonio Winterstein
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Interchange: 15. Jarrad Kennedy 16. Sam Mataora 17. Paul Vaughan 18. Shaun Berrigan
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS: 1. Clint Greenshields 2. Ashley Graham 3. Brent Tate 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Johnathan Thurston (c) 7. Robert Lui 8. Matthew Scott (c) 9. Ray Thompson 10. James Tamou 11. Tariq Sims 15. Gavin Cooper 13. Dallas Johnson
Interchange: 12. Glenn Hall 14. Rory Kostjasyn 16. Scott Bolton 18. Jason Taumalolo
LATE CHANGES COWBOYS: Taumalolo replaces Thorby. Cooper starts and Hall moves to the bench.
Scored by Josh McCrone. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
JT's last tackle kick is charged down by Buttriss who passes the ball to McCrone who races away to score under the sticks! Croker converts.
Canberra Raiders 6-0
Scored by Josh Papalii. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
Josh Papalii breaks through the Cowboys defence and eases over the goal line! Croker converts.
Canberra Raiders 12-0
Scored by Sami Sauiluma. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
A try from no where! Campese puts the ball in the air. Croker catches it clean, offloads to the ground and somehow Sauiluma picks it up to put it over the line for his first NRL try! Croker converts from out wide.
Canberra Raiders 18-0
Scored by Johnathan Thurston. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Taken a long time but Cowboys finally cross the line. After a heap of offloads, Lui offloads inside to JT who scores under the black dot. Thurston converts his own try.
Canberra Raiders 18-6
Penalty goal attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
Croker converts a penalty goal
Canberra Raiders 20-6
Scored by Robert Lui. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Brent Tate offloads on the inside to Robert Lui who brings the Cowboys back into this game. JT converts.
Canberra Raiders 20-12
Scored by Anthony Milford. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
Milford breaks through the Cowboys line from the scrum and scores! Croker converts.
Canberra Raiders 26-12
Scored by Antonio Winterstein. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Cowboys spread it to the left and Winterstein goes over in the corner. JT converts.
Canberra Raiders 26-18