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2021 NRL Round 22, Cowboys 16 Tigers 24 – Report

Chloe Schibeci reviews the second game of Super Saturday: North Queensland vs the Wests Tigers. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Cowboys 16

Tries: Jeremiah Nanai (36), Tom Dearden (73), Ben Hampton (78)

Goals: Valentine Holmes (37, 74)

Tigers 24

Tries: Stefan Utoikamanu (8), Ken Maumalo (19), Kelma Tuilagi (56), Tommy Talau (65)

Goals: Adam Doueihi (9, 21, 58, 67)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Adam Doueihi (Wests Tigers)
2 pts – Luciano Leilua (Wests Tigers)
1 pt – Scott Drinkwater (North Queensland Cowboys)

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MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The Tigers made a lot of ground, passing out to the wing of David Nofoaluma, who brought the ball back inside. Tackled just a few metres out, the ball was passed to Luke Brooks, who quickly passed a short ball into the hands of Stefano Utoikamanu, who scored the first points of the night. 

The Cowboys had a chance to hit back just a few minutes later, after receiving a scrum feed just short of the Tigers’ line. However, the Tigers’ defence held firm.

The second try was once again scored by the Tigers. The Cowboys scrambled to defend, while the Tigers thew slick, sharp passes from halfway in out to Ken Maumalo, who scored right in the corner. 

Just shy of half-time, the Cowboys scored their first points of the night after a short kick bounced in their favour. Kyle Feldt found the ball in his possession, kicking back in-field. The ball eventually found the hands of Jeremiah Nanai, who scored the first points for the Cowboys. 

HALF-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 6 Wests Tigers 12

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2nd Half

The first points of the second half didn’t come until the 56th minute, where the Tigers’ Kelma Tuilagi, who was playing his third first grade game, charged through the North Queensland defence and extended the lead of the Tigers. 

In a similar fashion, only a few minutes later, the Tigers scored their final points of the night. The lead up play began midfield, 15 metres out from the Cowboys’ line. There was quick, classy passes out to the wing, where Tommy Talau caught the ball and scored for the Wests Tigers. Their lead was extended even further, and the Cowboys needed to scramble in order to score more points, in the hopes of mustering a comeback. 

With seven minutes remaining, and the Cowboys 18 points down, desperation started to kick in as North Queensland aimed to score as many points as possible in the final minutes of the game. Ben Hampton took the ball and made space before passing to Tom Dearden, who scored a try in open space. Despite their time running out, the Cowboys remained hungry for points.

In a final attempt to close the gap, the Cowboys came close to scoring another try, however Daejarn Asi was denied the opportunity by Brooks, who was sent to the sin bin following the incident. 

North Queensland took the tap and drifted smoothly across field, the ball landing in the hands of Hampton, who scored in the corner to narrow the gap to just eight points with two minutes remaining to play. 

In the last minute of the game, the Cowboys were given a penalty, and decided to take an attempt at goal right in front, however Valentine Holmes hit the posts, and the Tigers found themselves in possession of the ball in the final seconds, leaving North Queensland no further opportunities. 

FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 16 Wests Tigers 24

Injuries

to be advised

Match Review Committee

to be advised

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