Craig Cauchi reviews the clash between two sides searching for early season confidence. Here’s how the game went.
North Queensland Cowboys 18
Tries: Coen Hess (2), Valentine Holmes (47), Jake Granville (57)
Goals: Valentine Holmes (4, 48, 58)
St George Illawarra Dragons 25
Tries: Mikaele Ravalawa (10), Josh Kerr (27), Ben Hunt (53), Zac Lomax (60)
Goals: Zac Lomax (12, 28, 55, 62)
1 Point Field Goals: Corey Norman (40)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Ben Hunt (Dragons)
2 pts – Andrew McCullough (Dragons)
1 pt – Daniel Alvaro (Dragons)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
After going 80 minutes against Penrith without scoring, the Cowboys crossed for their first try inside the first 5 minutes through a leaping Coen Hess. The Cowboys second rower was the only one to contest the bomb with the Dragons players standing by, failing to make it a contest. The Dragons came close to conceding a second try and only prevented it with some desperate defence. When the Dragons completed their first set of the match, it was the Cowboys turn to make a mistake coming out of their own end. The Dragons were able to answer back when a crisp pass from Ben Hunt hit the flying Ravalawa who held off defenders to get to the line. Both sides had good attacking sets in the middle of the field but failed to turn that into field domination or even into points. A mistake from Esan Marsters gave the Dragons a set attacking the line and they were able to send a charging Josh Kerr over from close range. The Dragons came close to scoring a third try but finished the half with a Corey Norman field goal.
HALF-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 6 St George Illawarra Dragons 13Embed from Getty Images
The Cowboys survived an early scare from the Dragons and turned it into attack. Valentine Holmes took the chance to show what he can do as he chased through his own grubber kick to cut the lead down to one. They weren’t able to hold the advantage for too much longer and after a few repeat sets, Ben Hunt took the line on and dragged a defender over the line to score. The Dragons made an error off of the kick off and the Cowboys took advantage with Jake Granville scooting quickly out of dummy half to crash over. This time it was the Cowboys who turned the ball over off the kick off and – while the set looked clunky – the Dragons were able to score. Ben Hunt timed his kick perfectly to add another assist to his night with Zac Lomax coming down with the ball over the line. The try scoring finished after that with the Cowboys pressing – and with all the momentum – but the Dragons defence held strong.
FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 18 St George Illawarra Dragons 25
Match Review Committee
Kyle Feldt (Cowboys) – Grade 2 Dangerous Throw – Early guilty plea – 2 matches.