RESULTS: 2022 Betfred Championship Round 22
7 hours ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
North Queensland have retained second position on the premiership ladder by breaking a 19-year drought at Kogarah with an emphatic 34-8 victory over St George Illawarra.
Storming to victory with three late tries after the Dragons trailed by just two points early in the second half, Cowboys captain Jason Taumalolo was a stand-out for the victors with several key plays showcasing the evolution of his game from wrecking ball to ball-playing powerhouse.
Conceding the first points of the afternoon with Zac Lomax slotting a close range penalty goal, North Queensland winger Kyle Feldt (15th minute) put the visitors on the board by finishing off a strong run by Scott Drinkwater.
Adding a second try from the ensuing kick-off, Jeremiah Nanai produced a huge run through the middle of the field before finding Drinkwater (18th minute) in support to extend the lead beyond a converted try.
Taking advantage of their opportunities midway through the half, the Dragons were rewarded with a fortuitous four-pointer to Jack de Belin (27th minute), who followed up a wayward pass from Ben Hunt close to the try line, to touch down for his fourth try of the season.
The Dragons came close to regaining the lead minutes later, only for Mat Feagai to lose possession of the ball while diving for the line, leaving the visitors ahead 10-8 at halftime.
Re-establishing an eight-point break with interchange prop Griffin Neame (56th minute) running onto a superb pass from Taumalolo, the Cowboys lock was heavily involved in the match-clinching four-pointer with a bullocking run that enabled Nanai (67th minute) to touch down on the following play.
Valentine Holmes demonstrated his class by swooping on a loose ball, stepping opponents and finding Drinkwater (70th minute) in support to put the visitors up by 20.
A lovely pass from Chad Townsend saw Nanai (74th minute) collect his 16th try in as many games this season to cap the 34-8 result.
Next week, the Dragons face in the Sharks in a Saturday evening derby at PointsBet Stadium, while the Cowboys will travel to Bundaberg for a Sunday afternoon clash against the Bulldogs
St George Illawarra Dragons 8 - North Queensland Cowboys 34
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Carlton
Halftime Score: St George Illawarra Dragons 8 North Queensland Cowboys 10
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jason Taumalolo
2 points - Scott Drinkwater
1 points - Jeremiah Nanai
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (8)
Tries: Jack de Belin
Conversions: Zac Lomax (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Zac Lomax (1/1)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (34)
Tries: Kyle Feldt, Scott Drinkwater (2), Griffin Neame, Jeremiah Nanai (2)
Conversions: Valentine Holmes (5/6)