On a cool Saturday evening in Townsville we saw an excellent defensive effort come up short as the controlled Cowboys restricted the opportunities for their visiting younger brothers.
Cowboys are Clinical
This display by the hosts was one of low risk and few chances for their opponents. It is not the most pleasing to watch, but when the opposition has a number of attacking tools, it was the best plan. Strangled of possession, the Titans only saw 38% of the ball and even less in an attacking position, When they were close enough, they showed exactly why the Cowboys were intent on maintaining control and pinning them down in their own end.
Titans unable to move to a Plan B
The Titans put on an excellent defensive display, but with 25% less possession, they rarely made inroads or put the Cowboys off their game. They had a gifted and exciting 5 minutes at the end of the first half, showing their talent and creating opportunities, and ran in to the rooms with the lead. They returned to the field and did not execute their first series of sets in the manner that could have kept the pressure on the Hosts. As the half progressed, we did not see the Titans look like they had a plan to disrupt or confuse the Cowboys, and thus they were scoreless for the second half.
Will Coen Hess’s honesty keep him from Origin
Hess scored his ninth try of the season off an excellent line and his 14 runs garnered 150 metres. Yet in his post-match interview, he said he did not think he was ready for the next step. He is right, the pace and impacts of the game at Origin is a step up that he will make in the near future, but it should not happen this season. We have seen a number of younger players have very short careers when thrust into the Thunderdrome of Origin too early. Let him get stronger, and he will have not only a long career for the Cowboys but also for Queensland.
Commentators need to weigh up the reasons behind the penalty counts
In recent games, we have heard from the talking heads, frequent comments about penalty counts. It should never be about the count but about the validity of the infringements being called. If the count, like tonight was 10-5 against the Titans, unless you were deaf, you would have heard the Refs calling the players out of contact or for them to move. They gave away a high number of avoidable penalties, and that was a significant issue in their ability to have an impact on the game. When the refs are inconsistent, then they should be talked about, when they are giving players clear warning, then they should not be any part of the story.
Final Score: Cowboys 20 Titans 8
Tries: Morgan, Hess, Feldt.
Conversions/Penalties: Feldt 4/5