Statistics don’t tell you the whole story
If you went to the stats for this game and did not know the score, you would assume that the game was over by half time. However, the statistics do not show the effort that Canberra put in to make up for their lack of possession and poor discipline that led to the 11-4 penalty count. With a number of acts that may find them in deeper trouble than just missing out on the points, Canberra will be waiting on the MRC on a number of scuffles and actions in tackles. But it was this extra effort that helped keep them in the contest.
Thurston Magic sometimes takes a haircut.
The final Cooper try was after some more of the magic that JT conjures in almost every game. To try and avoid the Raiders from blocking his field goal effort, he took it to the line and then sneaked his attempt in. The lack of height meant that the ball decided that the bottom of the cross bar was high enough and gave it a firm headbutt. With the regular full back not on the field, it was unfortunate that Zac Santo was flat footed, but the desperation of Cooper and Thurston meant that he was there to watch the end of the game.
Is the Biff Back?
A number of incidents will rate a further inspection. I am all for players being passionate, but if you need to throw a set of knuckles to compensate for what you lack in skill, you should join Paul Gallen with his off-season adventures in concussion related exhibitionism. They have been ruled out of the game, and yet some idiots still think that throwing hammers is legitimate. Either improve your play, or take up Ice Hockey..The Raiders will win enough games to make the finals again,
Without the ball, or the field, they managed to push semi-final partners in defeat to overtime at their home-ground. The level of effort required to keep them in the game against a well rated opponent should be admired and add in the warmer temperature of Townsville, you must admit that the Raiders showed they are ready for 2017. Improve their discipline and chase down every kick and the outcomes will be positive for Canberra and given some of the other performances from today, will definitely be there after the regular season concludes.
North Queensland Cowboys 20
Tries: Lachlan Coote, Coen Hess, Javid Bowen, Gavin Cooper
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 2
Canberra Raiders 16
Tries: Joey Leilua 2, Zac Santo
Goals: Aiden Sezer 2