North Queensland Cowboys 30
Tries: Kyle Fledt 2, Antonio Winterstein, Kane Linnett, Robert Lui
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 5
Field Goals: nil
Manly Sea Eagles 16
Tries: Steve Matai, Justin Horo, Clint Gutherson
Goals: Jamie Lyon 2
Field Goals: nil
North Queensland Cowboys faced the difficult task of the Manly Sea Eagles.
Manly rising rookie Clinton Gutherson started the game for Brett Stewart after suffering an ankle injury at training on Friday. Jayden Hodges started in jumper eighteen replacing the injured Matt Ballin.
The Cowboys were fast to get points on the board with Johnathan Thurtson converting a penalty after two minutes.
Manly took the lead five minutes later after with Steve Matai scored off the back of a Gutherson pass.
The Cowboys were determined to get back into the lead and went very close to the Manly try line on more than one occasion. On seventeen minutes Antonio Winterstien scored which put the home side ahead by two.
Kyle Feldt and Kane Linnett scored before half time for the Cowboys as they went into the break 18-4 ahead.
Three minutes into the second half, the Cowboys were back on the attack again and Feldt was over for his second try of the night.
Justin Horo scored for Manly five minutes later but the Cowboys were still in control at 22-8. This gave Manly a sniff of remaining in contention to win the minor premiership, but it looked like it was heading to Bondi for the second consecutive season.
Less than ten minutes later the Cowboys extended their lead through Man of the Match Robert Lui as they went out to 30-10 lead.
Manly’s poor options in attack let them down for most of the night. In the dying stages of the game Gutherson scored but it wasn’t enough as the Cowboys were too good 30-16.
Manly lost the opportunity to become minor premiers. Both teams are assured a finals spot.
The Sea Eagles will play Rabbitohs in the first round, and the Cowboys will face the 2013 Champions, the Roosters if New Zealand Warriors win against Penrith on Sunday night.