North Queensland Cowboys 14
Tries: Ethan Lowe, Matt Scott
Goals: Johnathan Thurston (3/3)
Newcastle Knights 16
Tries: Joey Leilua (2), Akuila Uate
Goals: Tyrone Roberts (2/3)
The Newcastle Knights have staged a comeback to beat the North Queensland Cowboys 16-14 at 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville on Saturday night.
A 12-0 second half to the visitors meant that they would leave with the two points in a very physical affair.
The physicality was evident from the first whistle as enforcers Beau Scott and Jeremy Smith showed why they have earned that reputation.
However, it was the Cowboys who did their talking on the scoreboard when in the 13th minute they went over through Ethan Lowe. A clever kick from Johnathan Thurston who was under pressure was pounced on by Lowe who just stayed onside to score.
Thurston added the extras for a 6-0 lead.
An unfortunate injury to Justin O’Neill in the 17th minute put a sour on the game. A strong tackle from Kade Snowden saw the Cowboys winger leave the field with a suspected neck injury, a terrible thing against a team who has already been through that last season.
After the match restarted the Cowboys were in again. A bomb towards the posts was fumbled by Kurt Gidley and on the run Matt Scott pounced to dive over next to the posts.
Thurston converted his co-captains try but not before being on the end of a late shot from Scott in the build up. Scott was put on report as the home side lead 12-0.
In the 28th minute a penalty 15 metres out and right in front was awarded to North Queensland which Thurston duly slotted over for a 14-0 lead.
Just before half-time, the Knights finally got on the board. After throwing it from one side of the field to the other, it made its way into the hands of Joey Leilua who scored in the corner.
Tyrone Roberts couldn’t add the extras as the Cowboys went into the break with a 14-4 lead.
Scott was struggling to keep his aggression in check and was placed on report for the second time in the game, again against Thurston as he dumped him on his head.
However, Thurston wasn’t just on the recieving end when he was also put on report for a high shot on Akuila Uate.
It was the night of ad-lib football for the visitors but a try is a try and they got their second through Uate who finished off another section of entertaining football.
Roberts added the two points to put the Knights in striking distance at 14-10.
With seven minutes to go in the match, the Knights set up the grandstand finish. Leilua bagged his second of the game to send nerves into overdrive.
Roberts held his nerve to give the visitors the 16-14 lead.
The Cowboys almost sent the game into extra time when a penalty on the buzzer gave them a sniff. Kyle Feldt’s penalty goal attempt from 57 metres out had the legs but sailed right as the Knights start the season two from two and the Cowboys languish near the bottom yet to win a game.