Newcastle Knights ended a seven-game NRL losing streak to hand North Queensland Cowboys a seventh-straight away loss.
What: NRL Round 15
Who: Newcastle Knights v North Queensland Cowboys
Result: Knights 36-28
When and Where: Monday, June 23 – Hunter Stadium
Match Rating: 7.5/10
80 MINUTES IN 80 SECONDS
Boasting the most tries scored from kicks in the NRL this season, the Cowboys were off to a flyer with a try in the opening two minutes – courtesy of a JT bomb and a Darius Boyd blunder. A Jeremy Smith strip, partnered with some Jarrod Mullen magic had the Knights over the line ten minutes later and trailing by two. The Cowboys defensive’ woes continued early in the second half as the Knights dominated proceedings, extending the score line to 28-6 in the 55th minute. Boyd was again in the spotlight as he made an 80m break to offload onto new hooker Tyrone Roberts.
What’s worrying for the Knights is as they became complacent, the Cowboys ran in an embarrassing four tries, including a controversial Robert Lui double. Luckily for the Knights it was ultimately too little too late as second half tries to Knights Dane Gagai and Aku Uate put the result beyond reach.
WHO KILLED IT?
The reformed Gidley/Mullen halves partnership was simply outstanding. The pair threatened the defence all night long and added structure to a side which has lacked so much in recent weeks.
WHO STANK IT UP?
The Cowboys completion rate was again to be scrutinised as it cost them in the first half, summed up by an exhausted Johnathan Thurston as he left the field “Every week our completion rate is killing us. We have to be better”.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Ray Thompson suffered a hamstring injury and left the field in the 25th minute. Rory Kostjasyn was back in the sheds in the second half with a suspected broken rib. Adam Clydsdale was escorted from the field in the last minute with what seemed to be a hip injury.
Robert Lui has one quality poker face. Diving over for his second ‘try’ the half’s convincing celebration swayed the referees to promptly give the all clear. Replays however showed the ball was dropped cold – much to the delight of the Hunter crowd.
LOOK OUT UP AHEAD
The Cowboys come up against the Rabbitohs back at home on Saturday night while the Knights are on the road as they take on the Eels in a Sunday afternoon match-up.
Article published on sportal.com.au – http://www.sportal.com.au/league/nrl-premiership/knights-hand-cowboys-another-away-loss/1wt1981fq0bmg10r1z4mcefrv9