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2022 NRL Round 11, Cowboys 36 Storm 6 – Report

Craig Cauchi reviews the top 4 clash between the Cowboys and Storm.

MATCHDAY RESULTS

SCOREBOARD

North Queensland Cowboys 36
Tries: Tom Gilbert (10), Reece Robson (18), Murray Taulagi (43), Jeremiah Nanai (47, 55), Scott Drinkwater (51)
Goals: Valentine Holmes (11, 18, 45, 47, 51, 55)

Melbourne Storm 6
Tries: Felise Kaufusi (31)
Goals: Nick Meaney (31)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

If the opening ten minutes was a gauge of how the match would turn out both sides settled in nicely and the late changes to the Storm side didn’t appear to impact their performance. The Cowboys were still the first to score after a short dropout attempt from Storm was claimed by Tom Gilbert who broke free from the defenders and streaked away for a try. As the match wore on, Melbourne weren’t quite at their most dangerous, unable to make the Cowboys pay for their mistakes. The Cowboys then marched down field from a penalty and after a couple of repeat sets crashed through the Storm’s defence with Reece Robson extending their lead. The Cowboys kept coughing up ball in good territory for Melbourne Storm and in the final ten minutes they were finally able to break the Cowboys defence. Harry Grant – shifted to the halves – brought Felise Kaufusi back under and the second rower broke through the cover defence. Errors and injuries cruelled the Cowboys momentum – Kyle Feldt and Jason Taumalolo ruled out for the match – with Melbourne finishing the stronger of the two sides.

HALF-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 12 Melbourne Storm 6

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2nd Half

The Cowboys started the second half in great fashion. First they forced an error from Melbourne off a last tackle kick and two plays later they shifted out to Murray Taulagi, who shimmied, launched, and stretched his way to score in the corner. It got worse for Melbourne, conceding a repeat set and the Cowboys were over again through Jeremiah Nanai blowing the lead out to three converted tries. Melbourne’s sloppy start to the second half turned into a nightmare after conceding multiple repeat sets they easily opened up for Scott Drinkwater to score their third try in the opening 15 minutes of the second half. The procession continued with Jeremiah Nanai scoring a second off a grubber kick that the Melbourne players didn’t seem too interested in stopping. Melbourne slowed the scoring rate down but weren’t able to stop their own errors. After the fast start to the second half the Cowboys were unable to cross again – with two tries being taken off them after a bunker review. It didn’t stop them from a dominant win over the second place Storm.

FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 36 Melbourne Storm 6

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 pts – Reece Robson (Cowboys), 2 pts – Jeremiah Nanai (Cowboys), 1 pt – Scott Drinkwater (Cowboys)

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