2021 NRL Round 12, Cowboys 29 Warriors 28 – Report

Brad Inger reviews the Cowboys vs Warriors clash. Here’s how the game went.


Cowboys 29

Tries: Kyle Feldt (13), Murray Taulagi (26), Jake Clifford (36), Scott Drinkwater (38), Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (75)

Goals: Valentine Holmes (14, 36, 39)

Field Goal: Valentine Holmes (79)

Warriors 28

Tries: Euan Aitken (2, 43), Reece Walsh (47), Marcelo Montoya (59), Ben Murdoch-Masila (65)

Goals: Kodi Nikorima (4, 44, 48, 65)

Sin-Bin: Jazz Tevaga (30)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Valentine Homes (Cowboys)
2 pts – Reece Walsh (Warriors)
1 pt – Scott Drinkwater (Cowboys)


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1st Half

The Cowboys showed promise with their first attacking set, but a mistimed kick on the last handed the Warriors a seven tackle set, which resulted in the New Zealand side charging up the field. A decision to run on the last tackle gifted the Warriors the first try of the night when Euan Aitken crossed untouched. Valentine Holmes lost possession in the tackle but was successful with his Captains Challenge when the bunker deemed that the Warriors stripped the ball with three men in the tackle, gifting North Queensland good field position, however despite earning a repeat set, the Cowboys lacked the polish to get across the line, throwing a wayward pass across the sideline. The Cowboys continued to heap the pressure on the New Zealand side and, after earning another repeat set, wasted little time to get themselves onto the scoreboard when Kyle Feldt finished off a nice draw and pass to dive over in the corner. When they finally got hold of the ball again, the Warriors had a few threatening runs but struggled with their fifth tackle options. The game started to get messy with both sides losing possession, another successful Captains Challenge saw the Cowboys deep inside the Warriors half, and another simple draw and pass saw last weeks hattrick hero Murray Taulagi dive over in the corner to hand North Queensland the lead. On the next set, Jazz Tevaga found himself sent to the sin-bin for a late tackle, but a Cowboys knock-on let the New Zealand side off the hook, but they continued to make unforced errors, allowing the home side to pile on the pressure. With a one-man advantage, it was only a matter of time before the Cowboys got themselves across the line with Jake Clifford kicked through a grubber for himself to get his sides third try before Scott Drinkwater finished off a nice play on the next set to score a try of his own to give the Cowboys a large 22-6 lead as the sides went into the sheds.

HALF-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 22 New Zealand Warriors 6

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2nd Half

A handful of errors by North Queensland handed the Warriors the start they needed, with the New Zealand side probing the Cowboys line several times before skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck threw a no-look pass to send Aitken over for his second try of the evening. Another error by North Queensland saw Marcelo Montoya scoop up the loose ball before offloading to Reece Walsh, who ran the length of the field to score and reduce the home sides lead. The match was a competition once again, and you could see both sides stepping up the intensity, but neither side was able to seal the deal. After the Warriors were given a penalty on their try line after a crusher tackle and they took it with both hands, as their forwards put on some powerful runs before a Nikorima kick turned on a dime, allowing the Warriors to force a repeat set. A few tackles later and the rookie was at it again, throwing a cutout pass to Montoya to draw the match level. Momentum swung in favour of the visitors as they continued to control the middle of the park on the back of their forward pack. Another penalty against the Cowboys saw the Warriors continue to put their foot down when Ben Murdoch-Masila barged his way over to hand his side the lead once again. With the clock winding down, it looked like the Cowboys were out of ideas until Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow ran the length of the field to bring the game level once again. A controversial call against Coen Hess for a messy play, the ball gifted the Warriors prime position, but Chanel Harris-Tavita’s attempt at a field goal swung to the left, giving the home side a seven tackle set. It was a tense final few minutes, but the Cowboys got themselves the much-needed two points when Holmes slotted a field goal almost from 40 metres out.

FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 29 New Zealand Warriors 28


to be advised

Match Review Committee

Adam Pompey (Warriors) – Grade 1 Crusher Tackle – Early Guilty Plea 1 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 2 match ban.
Reece Walsh (Warriors) – Grade 1 Striking – Early Guilty Plea 1 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 2 match ban.
Mitchell Dunn (Cowboys) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact Neck/Head – Early Guilty Plea 1 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 2 match ban.
Jazz Tevaga (Warriors) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact Other – Early Guilty Plea $1,350 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $1,800 fine.

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