Full Time
7:55pm Fri June 10, 2022
Round 14 - Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville / Wulgurukaba - Crowd: 14683

Match Overview

North Queensland has defeated the St George-Illawarra Dragons by 31-12 to move into third place on the NRL ladder in a dominant display from this season's surprise packets.

The Cowboys had their home fans on the feet early on racing to an early lead, before they again backed their tough as nails defence in a clinical display from Todd Payten's men.

The win was however soured with a potential ACL injury to gun backrower Heilum Luki who will go for scans to determine the extent of his injury.

St George were poor, with a game plan that seemed to revolve around passing the ball to their star halfback Ben Hunt and expect the Origin representative to produce some magic, and while Hunt was their best he had limited support from his Red V teammates.   

The Cowboys came into the match as favourites and were looking for a big performance at home for Queensland centre Valentine Holmes in NRL game 150. The home side managed it after just five minutes, when Coen Hess strolled through a gap close to the line and produced a superb pass for fullback Scott Drinkwater to score the first try of the night. Holmes converted and it was 6-0.

North Queensland were on a tear, charging up field they notched their second try when Drinkwater produced a neat kick on the last which bounced up perfectly for Peta Hiku and the Cowboys charged to a 12-0 lead in a red-hot start.

The Dragons were frustrated with the pace of the game which was clearly getting away from them. This was reflected when the Cowboys were penalised for a lazy effort from prop Blake Lawrie who collected Tom Dearden late kicking on the last. Holmes took the penalty goal on offer and made it 14-0 after just 24 minutes.

The first half dominance continued for the home side when interchange forward Griffin Neame made a break and found his hooker Reece Robson in support. The classy number nine then raced forty metres to score against his former club. Holmes converted and it was 20-0 and the game looked over.

St George needed something before halftime and it was Hunt who got the Dragons back in the game, with a delightful pass close to the line for Moses Suli to crash over to score the Dragons first try of the match. Lomax converted to give Anthony Griffin's side some hope heading into the sheds.  

The Red V desperately needed to get on the scoreboard first after the break. However centre Zac Lomax made a dreadful error with the poor option to produce flick pass deep inside his own half. Potential Queensland Origin winger Murray Taulagi then collected the loose ball to reach out and score to extend his side's lead to 24-6.

Underrated halfback Chad Townsend then put the game to bed, when he nailed a field goal to give his side an unassailable lead.

St George backrower Jaydn Su'A managed to crash over for a late consolation try off a peach of a ball close to the line by Talatau Amone. 

Cowboys interchange player Connelly Lemuelu then put a cherry on top for his side with a try just as the siren sounded to round out a dominant 31-12 victory.

North Queensland now travel to Manly in Round 15, where they face the Sea Eagles next Friday night.

St George meanwhile face their bitter rivals South Sydney in the first match of the round next week on Thursday night.

3. Reece Robson

Scored a try and was superb out of dummy half. Robson's defence was also enormous holding up a number of Dragons offence with some aggressive hits.

2. Jason Taumalolo

Huge game by the captain, playing big minutes running for almost 200m and 28 tackles. He also made a line break and try assist in a great game from the Kiwi middle forward.

1. Scott Drinkwater

Sparked his side early scoring the first try and setting up the second. Has a mortgage on the No.1 jersey for the side after spending the first 5 rounds not in the side.