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The New Zealand Warriors have kept there slim finals hopes alive tonight defeating the Cowboys 24-14 in front of a small crowd at Mt Smart Stadium.
In a pretty scrappy game the Warriors Sonny Fai got the first try of the game after the Cowboys lost the ball and a few plays later they spread the ball wide to Sonny Fai who got the first try for the game.
Ten minutes later they were in again from a mistake by the Cowboys and from the next set the Warriors got a try as the halves spread it outwide for winger Aiden Kirk to dive over for the second try of the game.
The Cowboys didn't stop fighting though and they managed to get a try just before halftime with a try through John Williams who got awarded the try after a few looks at the put down.
The Cowboys hit the lead early in the second half after Thurston chipped over the top, caught it on the full then sent it out to John Williams for his second of the game.
They didn't stay in front long though after Jerome Ropati went through some very soft Cowboys defence only five minutes after the Cowboys hit the front and then four minutes later Simon Mannering scored off a flat pass from Grant Rovelli to give them an 18-10 lead.
The Cowboys stayed in the game with a try to Ashley Graham set up once again by Johnathon Thurston before former Cowbow Michael Luck ended the game with six minutes remaining after another mistake by the Cowboys off a kick.
So the Warriors keep there slim finals hopes alive while the Cowboys crash to ten losses in a row.
Match Details New Zealand Warriors 24 def North Queensland Cowboys 14 Round 18 - Saturday July 12th, 2008 5:30pm Venue: Mt Smart Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Touch Judges: Adam Devcich, Dan Eastwood Video Referee: Chris Ward Half time: Warriors 8-4 Crowd: 7,722 New Zealand Warriors 24 Tries: Sonny Fai, Aiden Kirk, Jerome Ropati, Simon Mannering, Michael Luck Goals: Lance Hohaia (2/5) North Queensland Cowboys 14 Tries: John Williams (2), Ashley Graham Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/3) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Simon Mannering (Warriors) 2 Points: Brent Tate (Warriors) 1 Point: Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
WARRIORS: 1. Lance Hohaia 2. Malo Solomona 3. Brent Tate 4. Sonny Fai 5. Aiden Kirk 6. Nathan Fien 7. Grant Rovelli 8. Ruben Wiki 9. Ian Henderson 10. Steve Price (c) 11. Simon Mannering 12. Logan Swann 13. Micheal Luck Interchange: 14. Jerome Ropati 15. Evarn Tuimavave 16. Sam Rapira 17. Ben Matulino; COWBOYS: 1. Mark Henry 2. Brandon Boor 3. Ashley Graham 4. Ben Harris 5. John Williams 6. Anthony Watts 7. Johnathan Thurston 8. Ray Cashmere 9. Aaron Payne 16. Ben Vaeau 11. Sione Faumuina 12. Scott Bolton 13. Steven Southern Interchange: 14. Ben Farrar 15. Greg Byrnes 10. Shane Tronc 17. Dayne Weston
Welcome to League Unlimited's Coverage of this game between the Warriors and the Cowboys. The Warriors are as per program while the Cowboys only have a minor change with Shane Tronc dropping back to the bench and Ben Vaeau into the starting line-up. Not far away from kick off.
1st min: With rain falling down at Mt Smart Stadium we are underway with the Warriors getting us underway.
3rd min: Warriors attacking early after Grant Rovelli put up a bomb after a good first set of six as Thurston has to take it out over the sideline. Warriors scrum feed 10m out.
4th min: The Cowboys survive the early attacking raid from the Warriors after Sonny Fai drops the ball with what looked like an overlap only about 5m out from the Cowboys line.
10th min: The Cowboys just had 2 sets on the Warriors line but couldn't convert it into points as the Warriors counter-attack now.
18th min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Sonny Fai gets the first try of the game after the Cowboys lose the ball. Brent Tate made the original break and a few plays later they spread the ball wide to Sonny Fai who gets the first try for the game. Hohaia from the sideline misses the kick. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 4-0
24th min: End to end football in the last five minutes but both teams not really posing any real threat to the other team. As I speak Sione Faumuina throws a forward pass on the first tackle for the Cowboys as the Warriors are about to feed 30m from the Cowboys line.
27th min: TRY New Zealand Warriors And from that mistake by the Cowboys it only takes the Warriors four tackles to get a try as the halves spread it outwide for Aiden Kirk to dive over for the second try of the game. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 8-0
33rd min: Cowboys again attacking on the Warriors line but once again could not get there first try of the game after Thurston kicked it touch in-goal.
40th min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys Cowboys get a try just before halftime as Aaron Payne put in a little grubber kick for John Williams who manages to get the ball down just before the dead ball line. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 8-4
At halftime it's 8-4 Warriors. The Warriors having been the better side for most of the first half but both sides making some silly mistakes. Still anyones game though heading into the second half thanks to that late try to John Williams.
41st min: Second half is underway.
44th min: The Warriors denied a try through Sonny Fai after he failed to ground the ball correctly off a grubber kick and also his right arm went over the dead ball line. Score remains the same.
48th min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys The first set straight after the Warriors are denied a try Thurston chips over the top on the last tackle, takes it on the full and sends the ball out to John Williams for his 2nd of the night. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. North Queensland Cowboys 10-8
52nd min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Ropati goes straight through some really soft defense from the Cowboys. The Cowboys gave the Warriors another set of six after a dropped ball from a bomb and then in the next set of six Ropati just strolls through untouched. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 12-10
56th min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The Warriors in again through Simon Mannering. Off a short pass from Grant Rovelli which looked flat Simon Mannering went straight through to score under the posts. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia successful. New Zealand Warriors 18-10
62nd min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys Both teams forgetting how to tackle in the last ten minutes as Ashley Graham crashes over the line after another try set up by Johnathon Thurston. Game back on. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 18-14
70th min: Ten minutes left and still anybody's game. Just been going end to end since the last try to the Cowboys. Cowboys currently have the ball on the halfway line.
74th min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Michael Luck gets what seems to be the match winning try. The bomb went up from the Warriors and once again the Cowboys couldn't hold onto it. Went into the arms of Mannering who sent the ball to Luck who scores the match winner for the Warriors. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia successful. New Zealand Warriors 24-14
Fulltime: The Warriors keep there slim hopes alive while the Cowboys crash to ten losses in a row and firm even more for the Wooden Spoon. It wasn't an overly pretty game but the Warriors did enough in the end to please the small crowd at Mt Smart Stadium tonight.