Titans take out Cowboys in Townsville

The Gold Coast Titans have withstood a late charge from the North Queensland Cowboys to post a 14-10 victory at a wet and humid Townsville tonight.

In an all-Queensland affair, the Titans led 12-0 at half time before the Cowboys mounted a comeback in the second half.

The result sees the Titans sharing the top of the NRL table with four wins after five starts while the Cowboys have managed just one win.

Full match details and 'by the clock' report below:

Match Details: Gold Coast Titans 14 def North Queensland Cowboys 10 Round 5 - Saturday April 11th, 2009 7:30pm Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Jared Maxwell & Phil Haines Sideline Officials: Luke Potter & Paul Holland Video Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 18,123 Half time: Titans 12-0

North Queensland Cowboys 10 Tries: Shannon Hegarty, Johnathan Thurston Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/2) Gold Coast Titans 14 Tries: Chris Walker, Nathan Friend Field Goals: Preston Campbell (0/1) Goals: Scott Prince (3/4)

LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Nathan Friend (Titans) 2 Points: Preston Campbell (Titans) 1 Point: Anthony Laffranchi (Titans)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
COWBOYS: 1. Matt Bowen 2. John Williams 3. Ashley Graham 4. Ty Williams 5. Ben Farrar 6. Travis Burns 7. Johnathan Thurston (c) 8. Shane Tronc 9. Aaron Payne 10. Antonio Kaufusi 11. Carl Webb 12. Ben Harris 13. Luke ODonnell Interchange: 14. Clint Amos 15. Scott Bolton 16. Matt Scott 17. Steve Southern 18. Steve Rapira 19. Shannon Hegarty 20. Grant Rovelli TITANS: 1. William Zillman 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Esi Tonga 4. Brett Delaney 5. Chris Walker 6. Mat Rogers 7. Scott Prince 8. Luke Bailey 9. Nathan Friend 10. Michael Henderson 11. Anthony Laffranchi 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Ashley Harrison Interchange: 14. Matt White 15. Brad Meyers 16. Luke O'Dwyer 17. Josh Graham; Reserves: 20. Aaron Cannings

A rain storm earlier in the day has the humidity rising. But conditions are looking fine and there's a healthy crowd on hand. Scott Prince has made a surprise recovery after being injured last week and is back for the Titans.

Players on the field... kick off soon...


10 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Winger Chris Walker scores in the corner with not a marker in sight. Following a set switch from left to right, Scott Prince and Preston Campbell see it from 10m out and click into action, getting the ball out wide. Conversion attempt by Prince unsuccessful. Gold Coast Titans 4-0

15 min: Titans on the attack with prop Aaron Cannings making a bust and then being supported by fellow prop Luke Bailey up the middle of the park. Between the two, a run of over 50m. Last tackle and Cowboys survive. Meanwhile Titans five-eighth Mat Rogers is bleeding from the noggin' and has left the field to get some stitches. He'll be back.

20 min: Rain is falling.

22 min: Cowboys with a penalty right in front, go the tap then lose the ball two rucks later. Titans with the scrum feed 10m out.

25 min: Cowboys with more sets but completions are the problem, knocking on again and on the first tackle, and it was simple stuff 10m out.

27 min: Cowboys' Shannon Hegarty has a massive bo-peep at the defence and drops the ball a few metres on his own side of halfway. It might be slippery conditions but there's no excuse. Poor handling.

30 min: PENALTY GOAL Gold Coast Titans Prince makes no mistake from 30m out and almost in front. Cowboys penalised after Johnathan Thurston is caught coming in with a late forearm on the chin of the tackled player. Gold Coast Titans 6-0

33 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Hooker Nathan Friend scores under the posts following a 50m bust upfield from Preston Campbell following a great ball from Luke O'Dwyer. Early days but the Cowboys looking shot to bits. Conversion attempt by Prince successful. Gold Coast Titans 12-0

39 min: An attacking raid from the Cowboys and their best passage of play thus far. The Titans defended well enough and take a final kick behind the goal line on the full.

Half time: Titans 12-0 Titans looking keen to carve them up around the ruck and out wide. The Cowboys need more completions and a few repeat sets. The Titans only have to keep doing much of the same.

Second half underway... Rain now pelting down.

44 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys Hegarty scores out wide following a pin-point cross-field kick from Travis Burns. Cowboys with a repeat set and the perfect start to the second half. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston from the sideline is successful. Gold Coast Titans 12-6

50 min: Cowboys get another repeat set and are looking the goods. But Campbell opts for short 10m drop-out and regathers to retain possession for the Titans.

51 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Gold Coast Titans Campbell takes a long range field goal attempt, it misses and goes dead. Reasoning seems to be more about getting the ball down the other end of the park. Gold Coast Titans 12-6

56 min: Titans with the wobblies now after a Cowboys charge-down finds Walker who plays at the ball and sends it into touch when it wasn't neccessary. Just on the Titans side of halfway, Cowboys have the feed.

60 min: Rain has eased.

62 min: INJURY - Titans lose a forward with Cannings leaving the field with what looks like a dislocated shoulder.

65 min: PENALTY GOAL Gold Coast Titans Prince makes no mistake right in front after Thurston is penalised. Dodgy looking penalty after the ball seem to come loose in the tackle. Gold Coast Titans 14-6

69 min: NO TRY - Cowboys denied after a player is ruled to have knocked on.

73 min: Thurston kicks ahead from 25m out and Matt Bowen almost wins the race to the ball before the dead ball line. Cowboys will get a repeat set. Rain is getting heavy again.

75 min: Cowboys get another repeat set with prop Antonio Kaufusi crossing the goal line, but is pulled back for an obvious obstruction. Titans penalty but they knock on and Cowboys get another set.

77 min: Cowboys get another repeat set at the Gold Coast line.

79 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys Thurston crashes over after the Titans' line finally cracks, but the clock has beaten the home side. Conversion attempt by Thurston unsuccessful. Gold Coast Titans 14-10

Fulltime: The Gold Coast Titans have defeated the North Queensland Cowboys by 14-10 at a wet and humid Townsville tonight. This is a match the Cowboys had every opportunity to win. Posssession was equal in the end, and the Cowboys had the better of field position, particularly at the backend of the game. But they were stopped when it mattered most by some determined defence from the Titans. Special mentions to the Gold Coast hooker Nathan Friend who topped 50 tackles on the night and backrower Anthony Lafrranchi who wasn't far behind. Fullback Preston Campbell's unorthodox style made a point of sending the ball downfield when the Cowboys looked to be mounting a comeback. For the Cowboys, Thurston was a standout but the team paid the price for a lacklustre first half and looked disjointed overall.