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2021 NRL Round 15, Cowboys 24 Sharks 26 – Report

Jack Harbidge reviews the points fest between North Queensland Cowboys and Cronulla Sharks at Queensland Country Bank Stadium….. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Cowboys 24

Tries: Tom Dearden (14), Francis Molo (28), Kyle Feldt (73, 74).

Goals: Valentine Holmes (16, 30, 73, 76)

Sharks 26

Tries: Connor Tracey (8), Aaron Woods (11), Ronaldo Mulitalo (37), Will Chambers (64)

Goals: Shaun Johnson (9, 12, 38, 66)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – William Kennedy (Cronulla Sharks)
2 pts – Kyle Feldt (North Queensland Cowboys)
1 pt – Aaron Woods (Cronulla Sharks)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The first half proved the more exciting of the two, with 32 points on the board in 40 minutes. Cronulla got off to the better start with Connor Tracey opening the scoring for the visitors. Aaron Woods quickly backed up the try with one of his own, barging through soft Cowboys defence from short range and extending the lead to 12-0 after a Shaun Johnson conversion.

The Cowboys didn’t fold as they have in previous games, however, and Tom Dearden got the home side on the board with a fine running try down the Cowboys’ right edge. With the pressure ramping up from both sides, Cronulla took an opportunity to convert a penalty to go two scores ahead with 25 minutes played.

With the visitors looking the better of the two sides for a large part of the first half, the Cowboys began to get back in the arm wrestle and answered the penalty conversion with a try from Francis Molo, though they couldn’t back it up and allowed Ronaldo Mulitalo to score and give his side a comfortable lead going into half time.

HALF-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 12 Cronulla Sharks 18

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2nd Half

The second half, for the majority, was a dour affair characterized by ordinary levels of skill. The two sides traded errors and sets for the best part of 25 minutes of the second half with Valentine Holmes coming the closest to scoring, before Will Chambers finally broke the deadlock and put Sharks three scores ahead.

Cronulla appeared to relax after the try and, much like their closing effort against Penrith, looked to be allowing a heartened Cowboys outfit into the game in the last ten minutes of the game. Kyle Feldt used every inch of the whitewash to score and close the gap to eight points after a classy touchline conversion from Valentine Holmes and then doubled his tally with another wiley try in the corner from the base of the ruck.

Holmes cut the lead to two points with another excellent conversion and North Queensland looked to have Cronulla on the rack with just over two minutes to go but a pair of errors from Reece Robson (including a contentious sin bin) all but killed the home team’s chances of winning.

FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 24 Cronulla Sharks 26

Injuries

to be advised

Match Review Committee

to be advised

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