Chloe Schibeci reviews the final game of Super Saturday: North Queensland against Newcastle on a hot, humid night in Townsville.
North Queensland Cowboys 36
Tries: Tom Dearden (2), Kyle Feldt (24), Murray Taulagi (43), Valentine Holmes (46), Jeremiah Nanai (58), Heilum Luki (74)
Goals: Valentine Holmes 6 (3, 25, 45, 47, 60, 75)
Newcastle Knights 16
Tries: Dominic Young (10), Jacob Saifiti (29), Chris Randall (38)
Goals: Kalyn Ponga 2 (30, 39)
This match saw the Newcastle Knights travelling to North Queensland on a six-match losing streak. Meanwhile the Cowboys have been on a roll, winning their last three.
The temperature and humidity was high in Townsville, making ball handling in the first half difficult. The Cowboys dominated early, scoring through Tom Dearden after two minutes.
With even possession, the Knights hit back with a try to Dominic Young. The rest of the half was an even contest, with both sides threatening when in possession. The Cowboys extended their lead to eight with a try to Kyle Feldt, and then not long after, the Knights’ Jacob Safiti closed the gap to two with a try in the 29th minute.
The Knights started to dominate possession in the latter stages of the first half and a Chris Randall try in 38th minute put the Knights in front right on half-time. Kalyn Ponga and David Klemmer were strong for the Knights in the first half, while Jason Taumalolo and Jeremiah Nanai dominated for the Cowboys.
The first half was definitely a great contest, with both the Cowboys and the Knights having the capacity to carry their momentum right through into the second half.
HALF-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 12 Newcastle Knights 16
North Queensland came into the second half looking hungry for another victory under their belt. The Cowboys dominated possession and field position in the early stages of the second half, which resulted in early tries to Murray Taulagi and Valentine Holmes giving the Cowboys an eight-point lead.
The Knights lost two players in quick succession, losing Jack Johns to a possible broken arm and Edrick Lee to concussion. From that point on, it was going to be difficult for the Knights, who were down to just 15 players.
The Knights began to struggle, having little to no possession close to the Cowboys’ line, never taking advantage of having the ball and threatening the scoreboard.
The Cowboys added two more tries (from kicks) to Jeremiah Nanai and Heilum Luki to finish the scoreline at 36-16.
The Knights’ performance was an improvement on recent efforts but still lacked the quality of the Cowboys, who won their fourth game in a row.
FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 36 Newcastle Knights 16
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS
3 pts – Jeremiah Nanai (Cowboys), 2 pts – Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys), 1 pt – Reece Robson (Cowboys)
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