Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Warriors have gone five games unbeaten in downing the Cowboys 22-12 at Mt Smart Stadium this evening.
The hosts didn't wait for the opponents to score first this week and in turn, looked to be in the best form of their opening five games. A confident Warriors side struck early when Blake Green put Solomone Kata into a gap. The big centre ran 30 metres before finding Ken Maumalo who ran 30 metres to score in the left corner after just 5 minutes of play. Shaun Johnson's sideline conversion was perfect.
North Queensland struggled with last tackle options for the next 20 minutes, while the Warriors were a little sloppy at key times in attack. It was an awkward tackle by Javid Bowen on an airborne David Fusitu'a who was fielding a kick from Johnson. Fusitu'a was titled beyond the horizontal, earning his side a penalty. The Warriors took the tap and attacked the Cowboys left side with a magnificent draw and pass by Johnson found Fusitu'a unmarked, who went in to score. Johnson again was spot on with his sideline conversion.
With 4 minutes left in the half, the Warriors went right side again with Peta Hiku getting into space before drawing two defenders before throwing a great flick pass to Fusitu'a and the winger ran around to score his second, which Johnson again converted.
The Cowboys struck back just 2 minutes later with a great try in the corner by Kyle Feldt, which has become a signature play of his. Johnathan Thurston curled his sideline conversion between the posts to reduce the deficit to 12 points.
It took ten minutes in the second half before either side got the upper hand, when Johnson kicked a 40/20. Two minutes later they received a penalty and he kicked a penalty goal.
The Cowboys attacking finally clicked on the hour when Thurston had a run around play with Bowen before sending the ball to Ben Hampton who slid over on the left side. Thurston converted to reduce the deficit to 8 points.
Both sides started to employ plenty of second phase play which really opened the game up, however neither side was able to add any tries. The only points in the finals 18 minutes of the game came from a 76th minute penalty goal to Johnson.
The Warriors defence was immense all game and really shut down both Cowboys halves. The Cowboys are looking tired and one dimensional and have plenty of work to do during the week. The host Canterbury next weekend, while the Warriors host the Broncos.
Warriors 22 - North Queensland Cowboys 12
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Halftime Score: Warriors 18 North Queensland Cowboys 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Shaun Johnson
2 points - Bunty Afoa
1 points - David Fusitua
Tries: Ken Maumalo, David Fusitua (2)
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Shaun Johnson (2/2)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (12)
Tries: Kyle Feldt, Ben Hampton
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/2)