On a hot winters afternoon Cairns locals were treated to the difference between the last two Premiers.
Clean Sheet Cowboys
The third clean sheet was created by a defensive unit that was excellent in its execution. The Bunnies were within a hand’s depth away from scoring when the desperation kicked in and they kept the ball off the turf to deny the chance of a comeback. Watching this game, you could not help but notice on how brilliantly the Cowboys defence shifts across the park to assist in reducing the chance of a line break. Only four were let through and two of those were late into garbage time and snuffed out. They are second in defence with only the stingy Storm being better.
Rabbit Season. Is it now all over?
The Bunnies are thirteenth on the ladder and are six points outside the top eight. They have a rather tough run home after next week’s bye with Broncos, Sea Eagles, Raiders, Storm (A), Warriors (A), Sharks, Knights (A), and Bulldogs (A). That is six games against those currently in the top eight and if the target is still 28 points, they will have to beat them all to make it in. Whilst many Bunnies fans are always optimistic with their support for the team, they may be able to book an earlier than expected holiday after the first week in September.
Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law
The first half saw the Cowboys own the ball with over 70% of the ball. Over the length of the game it ended with 59% to the Cowboys and they also won their first penalty count since the keeping of records (Sarcasm Guys), combined with cleaner play keeping the errors down they had 10 extra sets and had to commit sixty less tackles over the match. They also forced the Rabbitohs to drop out 5 times without having to do so themselves. They were patient and a harsher coach may be worried that they did not kill off their opponents earlier. Never the less, they were dominant and controlled the game in a clinical manner.
The North Remembers
It was most interesting to see JT line up Adam Reynolds just before he left the field for a cold drink with six to go. A perfectly timed contact put Reynolds down as he kicked and it definitely looked like a bit of evening out of the ledger for some of the hits he took earlier. You cannot think that he saw this as his last opportunity this season and his effort in this was as crisp as his passing and as accurate as last week’s kicking for goal. Thurston was the difference in this match and it seemed the more they tried to hurt him, the more hurt he was willing to inflict as he ran for a season high 133 metres, two line breaks, a try under two defenders and four out of five from the boot. Game of Thrones ended last Monday, but the true King of the North knows League.
From the Sheds
Niggling injuries for the players involved, Kane Linnett was a late withdrawal as he did not get back from a leg injury from Monday’s match. No incidents were reported during the match but I am sure the MRC will somehow dig out a senseless charge against the Cowboys for some reason.
Final Score: North Queensland Cowboys 20 defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs nil.
Tries: Thurston, Scott, J. Bowen.
Conversions/Penalties: Thurston (4/5).
South Sydney 0