REPORT | Sydney Roosters 26-20 North Queensland Cowboys

The Sydney Roosters consolidate their spot inside the top four with a thrilling win against a gutsy North Queensland Cowboys outfit at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

MATCH DETAILS

The Sydney Roosters opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Tedesco took advantage of numbers on the short side and some quick hands from Boyd Cordner put Latrell Mitchell over in the corner. The pass from Cordner was silky smooth, showing he is adding more subtlety to his game.

After the Roosters made a mistake off the kick-off, the Cowboys added their first points through a Jonathan Thurston penalty goal. And they took the lead soon after when a move down the left side, which didn’t quite come off, saw the ball worked back into the middle and into the hands of Jason Taumalolo.

From there he tore the Roosters defence apart, stampeding over James Tedesco to make his way under the post. But the lead didn’t last long, the Roosters providing some quick hands down the right and a kick back into the middle of the field for a wonderful try to Joseph Manu. The Roosters finished the half with two penalty goals to take a 16-8 lead into the break.

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The Cowboys pushed early at the start of the second half but they soon cracked when the Roosters scored off a scrum move through Blake Ferguson. And four minutes later his fellow winger Daniel Tupou scored out wide from a lovely Cooper Cronk pass.

The Cowboys were the next to score, through none other than Jonathan Thurston, taking the ball to the line and showing and going to crash over. And suddenly the Cowboys began to surge and were a massive chance when they scored through Gavin Cooper to bring the score back within six.

This set up a final twenty minutes that was intense and hard to turn away from as the Cowboys pushed hard for the equaliser but ultimately couldn’t get across. The Roosters will be disappointed they let the game get so close, taking out a 26-20 victory.

FOUR POINTERS

WORLD CLASS FULLBACK

The Roosters outside backs have been terrific in the past few weeks and none have been more impressive than James Tedesco. He has taken the confidence gained out of the Origin series and continued it the past few weeks. Tonight he got through a mountain of work and the fact that he can pop up on any side of the field makes him one of the most dangerous players in this game.

SHOWING FIGHT

They won’t appear in this years finals series but North Queensland Cowboys haven’t given up on playing in 2018. Sitting at the foot of the ladder they are doing all they can to build on something for next year. They weren’t able to get the points in this one but they never gave up against a team that had far too much to play for to let this one slip. And seriously, how close was Jake Granville?

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UNCHARACTERISTIC DEFENCE

The Sydney Roosters attack has been impressive the last few weeks but they will be disappointed with the easy tries they have been conceding. Tonight the tries they let in allowed the Cowboys to get themselves back in the game and only some desperate defence at the end kept them from extending the game into extra time. The Roosters will need to prove they truly are the best defensive side when they face arch-rivals South Sydney Rabbitohs next week in another top four clash.

ONE LAST TIME

Much of the build up to this match was centred around the 22nd and last matchup between Jonathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk. Both of them were integral in directing their teams around. Cooper Cronk’s team won the match but Jonathan Thurston was instrumental in bringing the Cowboys back into this one. The Jonathan Thurston farewell tour continues next week with a massive contest against bitter rivals Brisbane Broncos.

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THE RESULT

Sydney Roosters 26
Tries: Latrell Mitchell, Joseph Manu, Blake Ferguson, Daniel Topou
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 5

North Queensland Cowboys 20
Tries: Jason Taumalolo, Jonathan Thurston, Gavin Cooper
Goals: Jonathan Thurston 4

SQUADS

Sydney Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Ryan Matterson, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Isaac Liu, 13 Victor Radley interchange: 14 Dylan Napa, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Mitchell Aubusson, 20 Sean O’Sullivan

North Queensland Cowboys: 1 Te Marie Martin , 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Enari Tuala, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Justin O’Neill, 6 Jake Clifford, 7 Jonathan Thurston, 8 Matt Scott, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Jordan McLean, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo interchange: 14 Ben Hampton, 15 Shaun Fensom, 16 John Asiata, 17 Scott Bolton

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