2023 NRL Round 11: Cowboys 42, Dragons 22

The Cowboys’ effort in the first half was enough for them to win, despite a competitive second half from the Dragons.


North Queensland Cowboys 42
Tries: (7) Kyle Feldt 8th, 71st; Heilum Luki 25th, 51st; Tom Dearden 28th, 80th; Jack Gosiewski 20th
Goals: (6) Valentine Holmes 9th, 22nd, 29th, 53rd, 72nd, 80th

Two-Point Field Goal: (1) Valentine Holmes 39th

Dragons 22
Tries: (4) Jack De Belin 3rd; Jaydn Su’a 55th; Mikaele Ravalawa 69th; Moses Suli 78th
Goals: (3) Jayden Sullivan 4th; Jack Bird 57th; Moses Mbye 79th

Embed from Getty Images


The Cowboys hosted the Dragons on Saturday evening at Queensland Country Bank Stadium for a promising contest between the two sides. This was a particularly important one for the Dragons, who were celebrating Ben Hunt’s 300th NRL game. 

The Dragons were the first to score, after Jack De Belin crossed after just four minutes of play. It didn’t take long for the Cowboys to hit back, with Kyle Feldt scoring the first points of the evening for North Queensland. 

The further into the first half they got, the stronger the Cowboys looked. The Dragons were solid, but the momentum the Cowboys were building looked promising. 

A second try came for the home team from Jack Gosiewski. This was the beginning of a big momentum shift in favour of the Cowboys, who went on to dominate the first half, as Heilum Luki and Tom Dearden scored tries.

The Dragons were denied a try with just less than 10 minutes to go. Had it been awarded, it would have closed the gap to just 10 points. 

Just on the stroke of half-time, Valentine Holmes kicked a field goal from the halfway mark, giving the Cowboys 24-6 lead going into the break.

The Cowboys carried their momentum into the second half, while the Dragons had a lot of work to do to catch up and put themselves back in the contest. Their biggest area of improvement needed to be in their attack, which was a bit lacklustre in comparison to the Cowboys. 

The Cowboys were the first to score in the second half, after Chad Townsend threw a clean pass across to Luki, who scored his second try of the evening. Holmes converted, giving the Cowboys a 24-point lead. 

The Dragons put themselves back on the board after Jaydn Su’a grounded the ball following a perfectly placed and timed kick from Hunt. 

With just 10 minutes left in the second half, Mikaele Ravalawa intercepted the ball while the Cowboys were on the attack and ran the length, scoring another try for the Dragons. The gap was now only 14 points. 

The Cowboys hit back, with Feldt scoring his second try of the night. With the conversion, the Cowboys were once again up by 20 points. 

In the dying minutes, the Dragons were able to score another try. Moses Suli was the one to break through the Cowboys’ defence. 

The Cowboys hit back once again, scoring a try off a lost ball from the Dragons with only 30 seconds remaining. 

Had it not been for the big effort from North Queensland in the first half, the game would have been a lot closer. The Cowboys walked away victorious, winning by 20 points. 


Embed from Getty Images

3 – Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)

2 – Tom Dearden (Cowboys)

1 – Valentine Holmes (Cowboys)

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