North Queensland 28 (Michael Morgan 2, Matthew Wright, Brent Tate, Ray Thompson tries; Johnathan Thurston 4 goals)
Newcastle Knights 2 (Tyrone Roberts goal)
North Queensland have recorded their first win since the opening round of the competition by defeating Newcastle Knights 28-2 in Monday night football.
Robert Lui was instrumental in victory. He set up the opening try to Matthew Wright with a cross field kick after nineteen minutes, threw a pass to Michael Morgan that was knee’d in Brent Tate’s direction to extend the lead moments later. When Lui and Johnathan Thurston combined to put Morgan over, the Cowboys had scored three tries in ten minutes to go out to a 16-2 lead after Tyrone Roberts penalty goal gave the Knights their only points for the evening.
North Queensland continued to dominate in the second half. Michael Morgan’s kick and chase ended up in points seven minutes after the break. On the hour Ray Thompson exposed the Knights left hand side defense in scoring out of dummy half from around twenty metres out. With the Cowboys denied tries to Jason Taumalolo and Tariq Sims, the scoreboard could have been much worse for the travelling Knights.
Despite a comprehensive win over Cronulla last week, Newcastle couldn’t back up this week and put in a flat performance. Willie Mason and Kurt Gidley were the best in a losing side. Jarrod Mullen is still not expected back until round ten after his Auckland Nines hamstring injury.
Relief for Paul Green’s men in ending their three match losing streak. Morgan responded to increasing pressure at fullback with a good performance. Matt Scott, James Tamou, Tariq Sims and Gavin Cooper combined in dominant forward performance. Lui and Thurston combined for their best game of the season.