North Queensland Cowboys Try Scorers: Linnett, Winterstein, Thurston, Morgan
Goals: Thurston 3/4
Jonathan Thurston backed up from a disappointing Origin loss to come up with a superb display in leading his Cowboys side to a 22-0 victory over a depleted Storm side.
Cameron Smith surprisingly started in the halves after being ruled out with an ankle injury but he couldn’t inspire a victory as they struggled without Slater and Cronk.
The Origin players who did back-up played well and will be sore for the next few days as the game was contested down the middle.
The video referee will be a talking point but it is now four wins in five for an improving Cowboys side as they look to mount a challenge for a top eight spot despite their poor start to the campaign.
Matthew Wright should have opened the scoring when he contested a high ball with Tonumaipea who spilled it to the Cowboys winger however the video referee saw that Wright interfered in the contest for the ball.
Kane Linnett got the games opener after 20 minutes when Winterstein got to Thurston’s delicate chip and knocked it back for his centre to score. Thurston hit the upright with his conversion attempt.
The Cowboys kept knocking on the door and finally breached the Storm defence for a second try of the half as Winterstein dove over in the corner. Thurston’s second attempt just found its way over.
It didn’t take long for the home side to get over for a third as Thurston breached a gap which opened up in front of him to score. He converted another on the hooter to send them into the sheds 16-0 up.
It took 25 minutes of the second half for the scoreboard to change and it was thanks to some inventive play from Thurston who grubbered through before kicking ahead again for Morgan to dive on and score.
With just five minutes remaining Matthew Scott was denied a try when he looked to have grounded the ball but the video referee, who wasn’t having the best of nights, couldn’t find evidence to reverse the referee’s decision.
It was fortunate for the referees that this wasn’t a close game as two tries, which seemed to be certain tries, were chalked off by the video referee. Despite that the Cowboys, marshalled by star man Jonathan Thurston, recorded a win to nil as they continue to climb the ladder.