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NRL match review: North Queensland Cowboys 30-12 South Sydney Rabbitohs

Scoreboard

North Queensland Cowboys 30

Tries: Justin O’Neill (9m) Johnathan Thurston (42m, 74m), Antonio Winterstein (55m), Jake Granville (75m).

Goals: Johnathan Thurston 4/5 conversions, 1/1 penalties.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 12

Tries: David Tyrrell (2m), Alex Johnston (20m).

Goals: Issac Luke 2/2 conversions.

Match Review

The Cowboys romped to a third successive win 30 – 12 on the back of an emphatic second half performance.

Things weren’t so rosy in the beginning for the Cowboys, David Tyrrell striking in just the second minute to put the hosts on the board, an easy kick for hooker Issac Luke sending Souths to a six point lead. It wouldn’t take long for the Cowboys to strike back however with Justin O’Neill making a beautiful catch from a Johnathan Thurston. The kick was unsuccessful but brought the visitors to within two. Ten minutes later and Alex Johnston would strike this time for Souths, backed up by the boot of Luke Souths would take a 12-4 lead. The scoreline wouldn’t change before halftime, but not without plenty of drama. Greg Inglis would be denied a try that went upstairs, as would Michael Morgan in perplexing circumstances after some convincing acting from Glenn Stewart would sell the referees both on the field and upstairs on an obstruction call.

The Cowboys, no strangers to the feeling of getting the short end of refereeing decisions, would quickly remove the referees from the equation in the second half, Johnathan Thurston crossing the line in just the 42nd minute, beginning a second half onslaught that the Rabbitohs had no answer for. Antonio Winterstein would cross in the 55th, Thurston nabbing a double in the 74th, and then hooker Jake Granville shredding defenders to rub salt into the wound at the 75th minute mark. All told, the Cowboys would pile on 26 points in the second half with Souths failing to trouble the scorers.

Souths are renowned for their huge forward pack, but on ANZ Stadium it was the Cowboys forwards who stood tall, storming to over 1700 metres while Souths went a notch over 1200. Six Cowboys forwards eclipsed the 100 metre mark, with once again Matt Scott and Jason Taumalolo operating as unstoppable tanks dominating the middle of the field. Ben Hannant reminded fans why he was once a Queensland and Australian rep as he featured amongst the century makers.

In the great battle between the games 1a and 1b players, it was Thurston who would claim the spoils. Inglis had a try assist and 150 metres, but Thurston was instrumental, once again pulling the strings for the Cowboys with a try assist, but also scoring two tries of his own.

Despite winning their third straight, the Cowboys sit just 11th on the table. However, their three win, three loss record matches that of the sixth place Roosters, just points differential separates the six teams occupying the mid table logjam. The Rabbitohs can shake the loss off with the comfort that they are still fourth on the ladder, sharing the same record as the teams ranked second (Storm) through to fifth (Knights).

NothingButLeague Man of the Match: Johnathan Thurston

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