North Queensland Cowboys secure just their second win at home for the season against the Gold Coast Titans.
A match that was seen as a bludger to start the Friday night fixtures for round 8 it was nothing short of exhilarating to watch. A high paced and free-flowing gameplan from both teams had the ball moving around the park with tries and denied points coming aplenty for the majority of the time played. It was penalties and errors which riddled the Titans who were allowing the home side to dominate them in their 20 metres for the first half, with Cowboys piling on 16 points to 4 with Jason Taumalolo being the beneficiary with a try on return.
After the half, the Gold Coast outfit was able to put pressure on North Queensland which allowed a pass from Ash Taylor to Kevin Proctor running a beautiful line through to ground the ball with the score 16-8 in the 45th minute. More pressure from the Titans with lovely kicks from Tyrone Roberts and Taylor forced dropouts for Cowboys which lead to another four-pointer through a beautiful set play down their right side channel with Taylor going into line with Aj Brimson sweeping to draw the man and give to Anthony Don to score to move to 16-14 with 20 minutes left in the match. Missed opportunities and the professional closing out of the match by Michael Morgan had the home side get two late tries after the earlier damage took its toll to the visitors with Roberts also leaving the pitch and Cowboys eventually winning 28-14.
Cowboys Claim The Win
North Queensland claim their third win in the eight rounds which has been, with just their second win out of five fixtures at Townsville. Gold Coast gave away multiple penalties inside their 20 metres in the first half which allowed the Cowboys to pin them early in the match with the home side creating two tries and converting two penalty conversions to be leading 16-4 at half time. A resurgence by the visitors allowed them to get as close as 16-14 with tries after the break, however, the dominance by the Cowboys forwards in the first half toppled the tired defence late a close out of the game through Michael Morgans playmaking had them win 28-14.
Jason Taumalolo back from injury performed incredibly with only having only played 96 minutes so far this season before that. The Tongan big man sparked a fierce win at home producing 217 run metres from 21 hit-ups, he was instrumental in the Cowboys go forward with an earlier injury to Josh McGuire. It was an impressive game that Jason had with more and more confidence building the lock barnstormed close to the line to score a four-pointer, no doubt he is back to where he left off when was scratched out after just two appearances.
Titans Tries Denied
The Titans through this match were unlucky not to score more points and win with many tries being denied throughout. Many of the impressive tries denied were off second phase football with the first being in the 13th minute from a right side breakaway that had Brian Kelly bust through, offload to Anthony Don who kicks back inside to Ash Taylor to gather but knocking on into Jake Granville for no try. Another had Aj Brimson fumble the ball at the back near his goal line with the fullback seeing a gap to steam down the sideline who then busted past 4 players and got the ball back to Tyrone Peachey to score, however, bunker reviewed that Phillip Sami in support interfered with Granville to then disallow the try in the 26th minute. No doubt these tries if finished correctly the Titans could’ve been well in front at half time.
AJ Brimson The Answer
A heavy head knock to fullback Michael Gordon allowed last years star rookie for Gold Coast in AJ Brimson take the field early off the bench. The youngster ignited the attacking power of his side early with him darting past players and breaking out of tackles consistently. Brimson was involved in a lot of what the Titans did with a try, 1 linebreak and try assist with nearly 150 run metres terrorising the Cowboys defenders for the entire match. A possible indication of the fullbacks stand-in for a veteran coming off through injury will show how deadly Brimson is in attack and should be the starting number one moving forward with Gordon potentially moving to the wing.
Tries: Granville, Taumalolo, Asiata, O’Niell
Goals: Kahu 6/6
Tries: Brimson, Proctor, Don
Goals: Taylor 1/3
Cowboys: 1. Jordan Kahu 2. Justin O’Neill 3. Tom Opacic 4. Enari Tuala 5. Ben Hampton 13. John Asiata 7. Michael Morgan 8. Matt Scott 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Josh McGuire 20. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Coen Hess 16. Scott Bolton 17. Francis Molo.
Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Brian Kelly 5. Phillip Sami 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. Jai Arrow. Interchange: 14. Alexander Brimson 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Keegan Hipgrave 17. Max King.