Pre-match injuries put pressure on the Cowboys as they had to rejig their spine, and the Tigers came north for a change of scenery and a change of coach.
The Cowboys lack of punch is exposed
The loss of Matt Scott was clearly evident, as the Cowboys benefitted from a mountain of possession and yet failed to get the punch through that would have secured the victory. On the flipside, Aaron Woods was critical for the Tigers in making big metres through the middle where Scott would have stood.
The demise of Mitchell Moses was greatly exaggerated
The Tigers were meant to be a mess with any number of the remaining Big 3 going to all corners of the globe and in particular Moses being set to depart on the first available limousine to Parramatta. He was not meant to have his head on straight and yet he came out and played one of his best games. The others of the Big 4 all performed at a level that showed their value and power in a dominant performance.
How bad is the Injury to JT?
Thurston hobbled off with only 1:30 on the clock, unable to put pressure on his right ankle. With no news as yet, his status is unknown and we are seeing the Cowboys, Queensland and Australia are looking to the results of the scans to determine how bad this injury. The Cowboys are now missing multiple elements of their spine and with five tough matches, their season may be over before they return.
A Nice Start for Ivan Cleary
Four and a half days is not a lot of time and yet Taylor was unable to do in years what Ivan Cleary achieved in that short time period. It was a very different Tigers outfit on Saturday night. The defence that has been lacking for the full eighty in weeks passed showed up and truly ambushed a Cowboys line up that was forced into a reshuffle when Coote failed to make it on the field. The Tigers were definitely ready to play and the Cowboys were ready to be beaten.
Wests Tigers 26
Tries: Seumanufagai, Taylor, Nofoaluma, McIlwrick, Liddle.
Conversions: Moses 3/5
North Queensland Cowboys 16
Tries: Hess 2, Taumalolo
Conversions: Thurston 2/3