Cowboys snatch prelim spot in 93 minute NRL classic

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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys

In a Rugby League epic that was decided after ninety-three minutes of action (yes - you read that right), the Cowboys have pulled off 32-30 victory at Shark Park, courtesy of a Valentine Holmes two-point field goal, sending them to their first prelim final since 2017.

The Cowboys opened scoring first with Tom Gilbert plucking a Chad Townsend kick out of the air and fighting his way to the to the line to get the ball down. The bunker needed a long look at a technical decision but upheld the try.

Back-to-back tries for the Sharks put them up into the lead firstly through Toby Rudolf who charged to the line with a solo effort and then out wide Siosifa Talakai was able to get into a free gap when Moylan and Hynes were able to change momentum.

At the half-hour mark, momentum turned when Tom Dearden was able to just burst his way from dummy half and straight through the middle to score untouched. The Cowboys then went back into the lead when the attacking magic continued when a long ball from Jason Taumalolo went out to Peta Hiku to score.

Right on the stroke of half time the Sharks were able to level scores up when Will Kennedy got the first of his double as yet again Hynes and Moylan combined for some Sharks magic.

The Cowboys were able to regain the lead soon after the resumption of play when Murray Taulagi scored in the corner thanks to some quick hands from the Cowboys spreading the ball left to the winger to score in the corner. A missed conversion from Valentine Holmes was crucial as it came off the post.

Momentum swung to the Sharks who ran in two tries and could've had a third when Cam McInnes had too much strength to fight his way over the line and then Kennedy went through next to the posts. These two converted tries sandwiched an overturned try when Connor Tracey was denied via an obstruction.

A brain fade from Tracey saw the Sharks winger sin binned for a professional foul on Holmes as he chased through a kick from Townsend and was taken out. The Cowboys closed the gap to two via the penalty goal and then right on full time were able to score through Taumalolo next to the posts to score.

The game went into extra time and the Cowboys had a big chance early when Kyle Feldt got his hands to a Townsend kick only to put it down. The Sharks had a chance just before half time of extra time when a Nicho Hynes field goal was charged down.

Neither side really had an attacking effort until the game moved into golden point when Holmes was able to nail a two-point field goal to seal a 32-30 victory.

Next weekend, the Sharks will play host to either the Rabbitohs or the Roosters at a venue to be confirmed whilst the Cowboys join the Panthers having the week off next week before hosting either the Eels or the Raiders in Townsville.

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 30 - North Queensland Cowboys 32

Venue: PointsBet Stadium, Woolooware
Crowd: 12447
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18 North Queensland Cowboys 18 Players of the Match:
3 points - Jason Taumalolo
2 points - Nicho Hynes
1 points - Reuben Cotter

Tries: Toby Rudolf, Siosifa Talakai, Will Kennedy (2), Cameron McInnes
Field Goals: Nicho Hynes (0/1)
Conversions: Nicho Hynes (5/5)

Tries: Tom Gilbert, Tom Dearden, Peta Hiku, Murray Taulagi, Jason Taumalolo
Two Point Field Goals: Valentine Holmes (1/1)
Conversions: Valentine Holmes (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Valentine Holmes (1/1)

See how it happened in our Match Centre