The North Queensland Cowboys have successfully kept their finals campaign alive defeating the Brisbane Broncos 26-20 to advance to Finals against Cronulla next Friday night at Allianz Stadium. The intense and fast pace nature of the game was assisted with a huge crowd turn out of over 23,000 at 1300 Smiles Stadium in Townsville.
The Cowboys managed to succeed with 56% possession rate and a 73% completion rate (35/48) which they will be looking to improve before they face the Sharks.
1. Déjà vu
Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys went into extra time (again) after scores were level in the 80th minute, 20- all. déjà vu from last year’s grand final, Darius Boyd dropped a high ball just like Ben Hunt just for Cowboys to score off the error to win the game. Johnathan Thurston aka the master, managed to set up the try for his team as they remained energised in the last final minutes.
The Broncos had nothing left in the tank especially with the intensity the Cowboys were insisting on playing at.
2. Cowboys’ youngsters impress
Coen Hess and Kayln Ponga both had a terrific game for the Cowboys in their victory in the semi-final against Brisbane Broncos.The rivalry of the two clubs was represented early as the intensity and pace of the game was sensational. Coen had a very ideal start by scoring the first try for the Cowboys in the corner, in the 18th minute. For the youngsters to play finals with so much pressure and perform as well as they both did, they deserve a lot of credit. The boys assisted the team to victory as they still managed to pump everything they had left in the tank for extra time. The agility, athleticism and determination shown tonight was thoroughly enjoyable to watch and many fans will be hoping to see them named in next week’s final against Cronulla. Full credit to the youngsters who had a huge contribution to the win.
3. Corey Parker finishes career with brilliant game
Corey Parker has played his very last NRL game, after his team were defeated by the Cowboys. He put 110% into his performance, found squatting after almost every play due to exhaustion as his determination was clearly evident. Parker had the advantage of lot’s of experience with finals games with this tallying up to be his 30th finals’ game. Unfortunately not as successful as other finals games he performed to the best of his ability and left everything onto the field which was evident as the game finished neither team could show much emotion due to exhaustion. Parker should be very proud with his efforts especially in the humid conditions.
Congratulations Corey Parker for an absolutely outstanding career in the NRL.
4. Ben Hunt’s mistake will haunt the Broncos forever
The mistake Ben Hunt made in the grand final last year against the Cowboys, was the same mistake fullback Darius Boyd made tonight which had a huge impact on the side. It’s a night the Bronco’s will never forget as they went down to the Cowboys in the 2015 grand final but will it come back to haunt them every finals series? It definitely proved costly both games but are Broncos now going to be haunted under the high bomb after the kick off of extra time? Maybe it will take a couple of years for them to snap out of the curse, but we will have to wait and see next year if they come under the same scrunity.
North Queensland Cowboys
TRIES: 4- Coen Hess, Justin O’Neill x2 & Michael Morgan
CONVERSIONS: 3/4 – Johnathan Thurston x3
PENALTY GOALS: 2/2 – Johnathan Thurston x2
TRIES:3- Andrew McCullough, Jordan Kahu & Corey Oates
CONVERSIONS: 3/3- Jordan Kahu
PENALTY GOALS: 1/1- Jordan Kahu