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Weakened Storm no match for Cowboys
The big news coming into the match was that the Storm were likely to be missing their big three however when it came to the game the bigger news was that Cameron Smith was going to play.
The big addition for the Storm wasn't enough with the Cowboys welcoming back all of their origin stars.
The game started off pretty evenly with the Cowboys having to attack against some strong Melbourne defence which made things difficult for the home side.
The first moment of Video Refereeing controversy came up in the 12th minute when the Cowboys looked to open the scoring through Antonio Winterstein and replays suggested that he had scored however the Video Referees ruled that the evidence was insufficient to overturn the initial No Try decision of Ashley Klein.
Not long after that the Cowboys crossed the line again however once again it had to go upstairs to the Video Referees but this time they got the green lights off the Video Referees.
The Cowboys crossed for two more tries in the first half with Antonio Winterstein getting the tick of approval from the Video Referees then Johnathan Thurston scored right on the stroke of halftime and with the conversion he took the lead out to 16-0 at the break.
The Second half was a contradictory affair for the Cowboys with dominance of possession and field position however they couldn't get the points on the board in the early stages of the second half.
It wasn't until the 66th minute that the Cowboys got over the try line through Michael Morgan but like almost every other try it required a comprehensive review by the Video Referees to approve it to push the score out to 22-0.
Not long after in the 74th minute the Cowboys and Matt Scott were left discombobulated when he was denied a rare try by the Video Referees despite replays again showing that a try had been scored.
Next weekend, the Cowboys travel down to Pirtek Stadium for a clash with the Parramatta Eels on Friday night meanwhile the Storm don't get an easy task when they have to take on the defending premiers the Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park next Sunday afternoon.
North Queensland Cowboys 22 Melbourne Storm 0
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
Halftime Score: North Queensland Cowboys 16 Melbourne Storm 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Johnathan Thurston
2 points - Cameron Smith
1 point - Antonio Winterstein
MELBOURNE STORM (0)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
TEAM CHANGES: Cowboys are 1-16 with John Asiata coming into the side, all 4 origin players play
Storm on the other hand lose Billy Slater & Cooper Cronk but get a massive boost with Cameron Smith playing at halfback tonight - Cameron Munster in jersey 22 replaces Slater, Cameron Smith moves to halfback replacing Cronk, Hinchcliffe moves to hooker, Tohu Harris starts at lock and the bench is now: Bromwich, Rose, Garbutt, Moors
1: Play underway at 1300Smiles Stadium, Cowboys have the first possession
2: Cowboys make good metres in the opening set with Cameron Munster pressured with a bomb early but takes it comfortably
7: PENALTY COWBOYS - Adam Gee rules that the Storm left too early and penalised them for being offside
8: JT puts a kick to the goal line that Sisa Waqa takes before being tackled in goal
10: JT goes for the line before offloading to Kostjasyn who looked certain to score before offloading to Taumalolo who looked destined to score before offloading back to the Storm
11: PENALTY STORM - Ryan Hoffmann penalised for a hand on the ball
12: Off to the Video Referee we go - checking a Cowboys try
12: NO TRY is the ruling - the explanation is that the Video Referee had insufficient evidence to overturn it
15: PENALTY COWBOYS - The Cowboys get another set of six on the Storm line with the Storm penalised for a hand on the ball
16: PENALTY STORM: Ethan Lowe drops the ball then it is compounded when an offside player picks up the ball
18: Cowboys go down the short side with the kick and its picked up by Cameron Munster at the back
19: VIDEO REFEREE: Checking a possible Cowboys try
21: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.
Johnathan Thurston looks to hook the conversion back but puts slightly too much on it and its off the upright and back towards the 10m line
27: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Kenneath Bromwich makes an unforced error.
Kenny Bromwich knocks down the kick and the Cowboys get another scrum this time 10m out
31: Cowboys struggling late in their sets at the moment
33: Storm working it away from their own end and Smith gets the kick away from his own 30m on the fourth tackle
34: PENALTY COWBOYS: Storm penalised for a crusher tackle
35: VIDEO REFEREE: Upstairs we go again for a possible Cowboys try
36: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Johnathan Thurston starts his kick well out to the right but gets a massive hook on it and puts it through the posts
37: PENALTY COWBOYS: Cowboys get their fifth penalty of the match with the Storm penalised for a strip
39: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Johnathan Thurston. Kick to come.
Johnathan Thurston goes across field looking for a man to link with but the defence opens up and he dives low to score the try
40: Michael Morgan gets us underway for the second half at 1300Smiles Stadium
42: Both sides complete their opening set without any mistakes or risks
44: Storm struggling in this set only just get over the 30m after the last tackle in the set
49: Will Chambers races out to the 40m line after an error from the Cowboys on the kick clean up in attack
51: The Storm have the ball on the last tackle and do nothing with it
53: Craig Bellamy would be obstreperous with that play from the Storm there, tackle one from the scrum and they get pushed into touch
54: A beautiful offload sends the Cowboys another 20m up field
57: Ray Thompson puts a kick in that ends up well over the dead ball line on the full
61: Melbourne try to run it on the last but get caught short once again
63: Cameron Smith puts a kick in and it goes way too far and the Cowboys get the free passage back to the 20m
65: PENALTY STORM: A good kick from the Storm is undone once again with another strip penalty
68: Cameron Munster jumps high and gets the kick under pressure deep in his own end
72: Cowboys get six more tackles on the Storm line after the ball is knocked down by the Storm
73: A beautifully weighted kick gets the Cowboys a repeat set after Munster is trapped in goal
74: VIDEO REFEREE time... again, Matt Scott the possible try score however Ashley Klein says NO TRY
74: Well the on field call stands of No Try much to the confusion of the crowd
80: Full Time at 1300Smiles Stadium - The Cowboys have scored a 22-0 win over the Melbourne Storm