Cowboys hold out for victory

The North Queensland Cowboys have defended valiantly to take the win against the St George-Illawarra Dragons 22 - 16 in front of 9,035 faithful fans in Wollongong tonight.

The scoring started off quickly through Brett Morris after Nathan Fein put the ball high up in the air. The ball bounced out of reach for Clint Greenshields and into the hands of a waiting Morris who put the ball over the line. Josh Dugan was unable to convert the try.

The Cowboys bounced back early through a Jonathon Thurston line break. He was tackled but got the quick play the ball out to Kane Linnett. Linnett passed the ball out to Antonio Winterstein to cross in the corner. Thurston curled the ball like only he can and converted to take the early lead.

The next try came in the 17th minute through Clint Greenshields as he ducked under defenders from a Ray Thompson pass to score wide of the posts. Thurston curled the ball as he does but was a fraction wide and missed the conversion.

A lot of ball with the Dragons saw Michael Weyman crash over close to the line with some great passing from Cameron King. 3 quick tackles taken up by the forward pack saw Weyman next in line for the ball and he planted it down to keep the Dragons in the contest. Josh Dugan kicked the conversion and the scores were all locked up at 10 – 10.

Only 3 minutes later saw Kane Linnett push through the Dragons defensive line to plant the ball on the line for the Cowboys third try of the night. The try came off a tap back from Antonio Winterstein after a great bomb from Jonathon Thurston. Thurston converted the try and they took the lead for the second time of the night.

The next try came in the 60th minute, after a brilliant break down the sideline from Josh Dugan. He was able to get the ball back on the inside to Brett Morris who ducked under Jonathon Thurston and passed inside to Ben Creagh to score under the posts. Josh Dugan converted and the scores were again all locked up.

The winning try came from an Origin like play which saw Jonathon Thurston chip kick the ball over the defensive line for Brent Tate to collect the ball close to the line and go over to seal up the game. Thurston kicked the goal and the winning points were on the board.

A massive defensive display form the Cowboys over the last 15 minutes of the game saw them clinch the win over the Dragons finally breaking the run of losses for the away time.

Next week will see both sides have a bye in the lead up to Origin.

Match Details
St. George Illawarra Dragons 16 North Queensland Cowboys 22
Venue: WIN Stadium
Crowd: 9035
Halftime Score: North Queensland Cowboys 16-10 Players of the Match:
3 points - Matthew Scott
2 points - Johnathan Thurston
1 point - Scott Bolton

Tries: Brett Morris, Michael Weyman, Ben Creagh
Field Goals:
Conversions: Josh Dugan (2/3)
Penalty Goals:

Tries: Antonio Winterstein, Clint Greenshields, Kane Linnett, Brent Tate
Field Goals:
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Live Commentary

Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Brett Morris 3. Nathan Green 4. Matt Prior 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Chase Stanley 7. Nathan Fien 8. Dan Hunt 9. Mitch Rein 10. Michael Weyman 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Ben Creagh (c) 13. Trent Merrin
Interchange: 14. Cameron King 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Jack de Belin 17. Jack Stockwell

Cowboys: 1. Clint Greenshields 2. Ashley Graham 3. Brent Tate 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6, Johnathan Thurston (c) 7. Robert Lui 8. Matthew Scott (c) 9. Ray Thompson 10. James Tamou 11. Tariq Sims 12. Glenn Hall 13. Dallas Johnson
Interchange: 14. Rory Kostjasyn 15. Jason Taumalolo 16. Ashton Sims 17. Scott Bolton 18. Ricky Thorby
Late team changes are in!

For the Dragons, Stockwell will start and Weyman will come off the bench.

For the Cowboys, Ashton Sims will come in for Tamou.
The players are out on the field warming up for this round 14 clash in Wollongong. Who will come out on top?
The field looks in TOP condition tonight. Remember, if you can't follow the game on here, live updates all night on Twitter!
The players for both sides run out onto the field. The Dragons in red will be kicking off with the cowboys to get the first set of the game.
And we're off! Sims brings the ball back for the first hit up for the game.
1 min: Cowboys up to the 50m line for the first kick to go long for Nightingale on his own line. He's down on the 20m line.
2 min: Quiet crowd so far tonight in cold conditions.
2 min: Dugan takes the bomb comfortably and both sides have now completed sets.
3 min: Prior juggles it but has regained and they'll get to their kick.
3 min: TRY - Morris is in!
5 min:
Fien puts up a high swirling bomb and Greenshields can't get to it. It bounces high into the air for Morris to win the jump and brush off a defender to put the ball down over the line. Dugans kick is wide to the left of the posts.
St. George Illawarra Dragons 4-0
6 min: Frizell with a strong run and Fein will kick after making it within 35m from the Cowboys line. The ball bounces again and goes dead. The Cowboys to bring it back from the 20m restart.
Ray Thompson makes an unforced error.
Thompson throws a forward pass to Scott on their own 30m line. Not a good result for the Cowboys there. Dragons on the attack again.
7 min: VIDEO REF - Fein puts up a chip over the top and Merrin has got a hand to it after both teams have juggled it. Looked like a knock on in goal from the Dragons for mine.
8 min: I'd say Johnson got his hands to the ball first anyway. The verdict from upstairs is NO TRY.
8 min: Thompson for Thurston for a break down the middle but he's pulled down early.
Scored by Antonio Winterstein. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
The ball goes wide from the Thurston tackle and it's gone through Linnetts hands out to Winterstein who is in the corner for the Cowboys first try! Thurston is kicking tonight and he expertly guides this through from the sideline for a great conversion!
North Queensland Cowboys 6-4
10 min: Duganhas kicked the ball out on the full from the restart. The Cowboys will be on the attack!
13 min: PENALTY - Greenshields kicks on the last into the waiting hands of Nightingale and hes given away a penalty for a strip after the tackle.
Jack Stockwell makes an unforced error.
Stockwell has knocked it on after a poor pass as he ran onto the ball. Cowboys with the scrum.
15 min: Tate down with an accidental knee to the head. He's back up and the Cowboys will get a scrum after the Dragons were called to have knocked the ball on.
15 min: VIDEO REF - Greenshields is in but they want to have a look at it. The refs have called no try citing Glenn Hall as having created an obstruction.
15 min: The video ref has awarded a TRY!
Scored by Clint Greenshields. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.
Ray Thompson takes the ball wide from the play the ball and gets it to Green shields who ducks under several defenders to put the ball down over the line. Thurston swings the ball well but just misses to the left of the posts.
North Queensland Cowboys 10-4
19 min: Stanley with a break down the left hand side and he passes off to Morris who kicks back in for his support players but Thurston has come up with the ball! Great save there for Thurston and the Cowboys.
19 min: VIDEO REF - Morris might be in for his second try! They want to check they were onside from the bomb.
21 min: NO TRY - Stanley found to have knocked on the ball on his second attempt at it. The Cowboys will get it back on their own 15m line.
22 min: Thurston with a bad kick and it's gone out on the full. Dragons will get an attacking set on the 50m line.
23 min: Stanley caught on the last trying to run the ball. He faked a kick which fooled the first defender but he was backed up nicely by the second.
24 min: 3 offloads in one tackle there for the Dragons. They're up to the last now.
25 min: Fein puts up another bomb and Green got his hands to it but it's gone forward and out over the dead ball line.
26 min: Dugan cleans up the kick downfield and gets it off to Nightingale who makes a short break. The Dragons on the attack up the field.
27 min: The Dragons will get a goal line drop out as the Dragons made a lot of metres for the kick. Greenshields grounds the ball in goal.
27 min: Fein is down after the kick from a shot from T. Sims.
27 min: PENALTY - Dragons get a penalty after the shot and will tap the ball.
28 min: Weyman is over for a try!
Scored by Michael Weyman. Conversion attempt by Josh Dugan successful.
The Dragons push it forward close to the line through the forwards and it gets to Weyman on the third tackle who crashes over for a try! Dugan kicks the conversion easily from in front.
10 all
30 min: Nightingale almost pushed over the line into touch but it's come back for the Dragons to complete the tackle. The ball from the kick has gone dead in goal and the Cowboys will get the ball back on the 20m line.
31 min: PENALTY - Weyman penalised for playing around in the tackle.
31 min: VIDEO REF - Linnett looks to be in for a try here!
Scored by Kane Linnett. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
The ball goes back to Thurston who puts up a shallow bomb. Winterstein taps it back in field to Linnett who takes the ball and pushes through Fein to plant the ball on the line. Thurston ices the cake with a brilliant kick for goal.
North Queensland Cowboys 16-10
33 min: Knock on by Thorby, then a forward pass by De Belin on the next tackle. Cowboys out of jail there.
35 min: PENALTY - Weyman gives away another penalty and the Cowboys start on the Dragons 30m line.
37 min: Thurston runs to the short side but has lost it in the tackle. Dragons will get it back on their own 10m line.
39 min: Thurston gets crowded in and puts the ball on the toe but Dugan cleans it up and gets the Dragons out of trouble.
40 min: That's half time here folks and we'll be back shortly for the second half.
40 min: We're about to get underway for the second half here. The Cowboys will kick off into the wind!
40 min: Frizell and Fein go for the ball off the kick off and it's gone out over the line for the Cowboys restart deep in Dragons territory.
40 min: Cowboys are 5m out and on the attack.
41 min: Looked like a Thurston forward pass / knock on but it's been missed by the refs.
41 min: PENALTY - Dragons get a penalty after the Cowboys were offside.
42 min: PENALTY - Lui and Hall in the tackle and it's too high.
42 min: Dragons with the ball inside the Cowboys 40m.
43 min: Ah Mau surging toward the line.
43 min: Greensheilds grounds the ball from the Fein grubber and the Dragons will get a restart from a drop kick.
44 min: The Dragons with a right side play thats been passed to far out the back and the Cowboys jump on the ball. They'll work it out from their own 30m.
45 min: Tate with a break but he's thrown it into touch rather than to Graham.
46 min: Stanley with a good run from dummy half down the short side.
47 min: Tate with a marvelous take from in goal and they'll restart from the 20m line.
47 min: Thurston with the bomb but the balls gone out on the full after almost going backwards.
48 min: Fein is manhandled by Tuamalolo in a great tackle and he's still down.
48 min: Fein kicks on the last down to Ash Graham who brings it back comfortably.
Jason Taumalolo makes an unforced error.
Taumalolo has knocked it on in the tackle and the Dragons will restart from the 50m line.
49 min: Ah Mau with a break through the defense.
50 min: Tate takes the ball expertly but is driven back in goal for a drop out.
50 min: Time off for Stanley who is down injured.
52 min: Stanley is back up and the Dragons put up a bomb on the last to get the restart after forcing the Cowboys back into the goal area.
Josh Dugan makes an unforced error.
Fein throws it out the back to Dugan on the run who is too fast for the pass and knocks it on. Cowboys will restart through a scrum.
54 min: Dugan with a great take on his own line and the defenders can't push him back into his own in goal.
55 min: Six more for the Dragons after the chargedown from Tariq Sims.
56 min: Creagh busts through the line but is pulled down. Offloads by the Dragons has been raked in by Cowboys scramblers.
57 min: PENALTY - Hunt penalised and the Cowboys will get a restart of the tackle count.
Glenn Hall makes an unforced error.
Lui to Hall who has lost the ball before the tackle.
60 min: The kick from Dugan goes a bit too far over the sideline for a Cowboys scrum.
60 min: Dugan makes a break that leads to a TRY!
Scored by Ben Creagh. Conversion attempt by Josh Dugan successful.
Dugan with the dummy and the break down the right hand side. He gets it inside to Morris who ducks under Thurston and dishes it off to Creagh who is in for a try! Dugan converts to bring the scores back to level.
16 all
65 min: Tate is in for a try!
Scored by Brent Tate. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Thurston puts up a chip kick over the top after an excellent break and Tate runs onto it for the TRY! Thurston copped a shot around the shoulders from Dugan on the way through. Thurston kicks the conversion and they're 6 in front again with 15 to go.
North Queensland Cowboys 22-16
66 min: Cowboys with a strong set after the try and they've kept the Dragons in their own 20.
67 min: Thurston with another chip over the top and Tariq Sims cleans it up. He's been pulled down short of the line for a changeover.
Dan Hunt makes an unforced error.
Hunt knocks on the ball in the tackle.
Ray Thompson makes an unforced error.
Thompson loses the ball forward in the tackle and its back to the Dragons from the scrum.
70 min: Knock on by the Cowboys in a frantic effort by the Dragons there. Scrum on the Cowboys 10m line.
71 min: Fein kicks on the last into the feet of Cowboys defenders and the Dragons got the ball back but it's a changeover.
Ashley Graham makes an unforced error.
Graham knocks it on from the play the ball. Dragons with a scrum on the 10m line.
73 min: PENALTY - Cowboys called offside and the Dragons will get another set of 6 on the Cowboys line.
73 min: PENALTY - Scott all over Dugan and theres another penalty.
73 min: Greenshields goes for an intercept but has knocked it on. Dragons with another scrum.
74 min: 6 more for the Dragons after the Cowboys get a hand in the tackle.
74 min: Dragons will get it back after Fein kicks into the in goal and its taken out by Greenshields.
76 min: Graham defuses the Fein chip bomb and the Cowboys get out of jail with that one!
78 min: Tate takes the ball dished up to him by Stanley in a great take. Cowboys saved again there.
Josh Dugan makes an unforced error.
Dugan knocks it on from the kick from Thurston. The Cowboys have won this one.
80 min: That's the ball game and the Cowboys have won the game! Outstanding defensive effort by the Cowboys in the final 15 to take the win away from home.