The North Queensland Cowboys yet again have the brilliance of fullback Matt Bowen to thank for helping them to a 29-16 win in excess of Wests Tigers and placing them into the best four on the NRL ladder on Monday evening.
Bowen single-handedly stored his crew in the game in a very first half dominated by the Tigers, setting up three tries and conserving another with a chase down of centre Chris Lawrence on 14 minutes.
The Tigers lost fullback Tim Moltzen to a hamstring injury in the warmup but started out effectively and virtually scored on eight minutes, but Chris Heigington was unable to get a correct hand on Robbie Farah’s grubber.
The Cowboys opened their account 3 minutes later on, Glenn Hall outjumping group mate Kalifa Faifai Loa to a Bowen cross-field bomb.
The Tigers dominated extended intervals of play in the very first half and have been terrorised by Farah’s working at their line.
The captain put his group equal on 15 minutes with a trademark dash from dummy half and passed within for second rower Liam Fulton on 21 minutes to bash more than and take advantage of some slack Cowboys tryline defence.
That defence again cost the Cowboys, Fulton locating himself in a lot of room and offloaded for injury replacement Masada Iosefa to score underneath the posts on 31 minutes.
But in spite of the Tigers’ dominance, the Cowboys managed to stay in touch with two very good crew tries inspired by Bowen.
Bowen was integral to a beautiful crew attempt on 24 minutes, getting the ball on his personal 30 metre line and running at the line just before setting up Faifai Loa to score in the corner.
Down 16-ten, the Cowboys fullback collected a ball from a turnover in the 36th moment and place centre Brent Tate via to score to make it 16-16 at the break.
Although the Tigers dominated the very first half it was mostly the Cowboys in the 2nd and they took the lead on 46 minutes via Anthony Mitchell.
The interchange hooker was unguarded from dummy half and beat three defenders to grab his initial attempt given that moving to Townsville.
Bowen place the match past achieve in the 77th moment, his drop-objective attempt taking a lucky deflection to give the Cowboys a 7-point benefit.
Gavin Cooper rubbed salt into the wounds on 79 minutes when he pounced on a Johnathan Thurston grubber to score.
The Tigers’ injury toll also incorporated dropping five-eighth Curtis Sironen to an arm injury in the very first half and Iosefa to a knee injury in the final ten minutes.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens said the injury toll had been also considerably in the finish, with Chris Lawrence (suspected higher ankle sprain), Sironen (shoulder) and Matt Groat (underneath-20s, broken thumb) all taken to hospital for remedy.
“We’re still disappointed in dropping the game contemplating some of the options we took but, offered we had been struggling with numbers, I guess there’s some solace.
“And the fact we attempted 200 tackles in the second half and only had 14 misses was a pretty good hard work,” Sheens mentioned.
“It really is just one particular of these days, some days it happens that way but the effort was wonderful.”
Cowboys coach Neil Henry praised his side’s enhanced defence in the second half, but explained there was still a lot of work to be done to overcome the slow commence.
“We conceded three tries and I believed they went via our line quite effortlessly and we essential to fix up our marker defence and essential a bit much more discipline about the ruck and to the boys credit score we did, there have been no factors in the second half,” Henry explained.
“We controlled our possession considerably better and our males in the middle went forward nicely.”
Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott praised Bowen’s hard work.
“He’s defied a great deal of critics I feel,” Scott explained.
“His knees seem to be fairly a lot sorted and it helps make such a big difference to begin our sets out with momentum he’s gaining.
“He’s making a great deal of metres at the moment at the back and in broken play he’s such a wonderful player.”