NRL match review: North Queensland Cowboys 42 Parramatta Eels 14


North Queensland Cowboys 42
Tries:Kane Linnett 2,Curtis Rona 2,Jonathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Michael Morgan
Goals: Thurston 7/7

Parramatta Eels 14
Tries:Ken Sio, Pauli Pauli
Goals: Chris Sandow 3/3

It took them 8 weeks, but the North Queensland Cowboys finally realised their potential with a 42-14 thumping of the Parramatta Eels at 1300SMILES Stadium last night.

An 18 point haul to Jonathan Thurston and two tries each to Kane Linnett and Curtis Rona paved the way for a big win, after the Cowboys held an 18-14 lead at half time.

Jonathan Thurston pounced on a loose ball in the 5th minute to open the scoring and converted the try for a 6-0 lead. This became 12-0 in the 11th minute with a converted try to Matt Scott as the Cowboys got off to the perfect start.

The Cowboys caught the Eels’ left side defence short in the 17th minute and Brent Tate set up Curtis Rona for the Cowboy’s third try. Thurston converted for an 18-0 lead.

The Eels finally got on the scoreboard with a converted try to winger Ken Sio in the 24th minute and added a second when second rower Pauli Pauli scored in the 32nd minute. Sandow’s conversion made it 18-12. A Sandow penalty goal on the stroke of half time made it 18-14 as the Eels finished the half strongly, scoring 14 unanswered points.

In the 45th minute a sweeping back line move by the Cowboys saw Kane Linnett stretch out and score, converted by Thurston to make it 24-14.

Both sides came close to scoring tries as the half continued until a deft grubber by Thurston was pounced on by Linnett to extend the margin. Thurston added the extras and after 57 minutes, the Cowboys led 30-14.

Ray Thompson grubbered for Curtis Rona to score his second in the 65th minute, converted by Thurston, before a brilliant individual try to Morgan rounded out the scoring; yet another Cowboys grubber resulted in a try and Thurston converted to give his side a much-needed two points.

The Eels had been in excellent form coming into the match, winning three of their last four matches and the loss has brought them crashing back to earth. The Cowboys have been threatening to put a performance like this together all season and head coach Paul Green would be very pleased. The only negative for the Cowboys was conceding 14 unanswered points going in the first half, something you can’t afford to do on a weekly basis.

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