Knights hand Cowboys another away loss

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Newcastle Knights ended a seven-game NRL losing streak to hand North Queensland Cowboys a seventh-straight away loss.

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North Queensland Cowboys crush Sydney Roosters

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It was all too easy for the Cowboys as they cruised to a massive 42-10 win over the Roosters who are looking far from the side they were last season.

80 Minutes in 80 Seconds:

The Cowboys opened proceedings at a blistering pace with the Northerners scoring three tries in the first 20 minutes. However, the Roosters aren’t ranked the second best defensive team in the NRL for nothing, and it was the veteran Anthony Minichiello who got the Sydney boys on the board.

The Roosters were starting to gain momentum before a contentious decision saw Captain Johnathan Thurston diving over the line after a Brent Tate fumble.

Following another Roosters blunder, the Cowboys were impeccable in their retaliation and some expansive ball play saw winger Matthew Wright prove to be the embodiment of their revitalised formation, giving the Cowboys a 30-6 half time lead.

The second half was all North Queensland with the side dominating possession, territory and getting the rub of the green with the referees. The Roosters couldn’t keep up with the Cowboys relentless attack and by the 60th minute the Cowboys were up 36-6 with the game all but over.

Kane Linnett’s hat trick was the icing on the cake for the Cowboys as the centre went crashing over in the 71st minute, extending the Cowboys lead to 42-6. The Roosters managed a consolation try after some Tuivasa-Sheck brilliance to finish with a 42-10 drubbing.

Who Killed It:

Johnathan Thurston put NSW on high alert as his standout display summarised the brilliant talent the half contains. His influence on the Cowboys was consolidated by his combination with late inclusion Robert Lui, as the two terrorised the Roosters. Do New South Wales fans really need another reason to be worried about Origin?

Who Stank It Up:

Spectators of this encounter would be baffled to know that the Roosters only average 14 points conceded per game and are ranked as the second best defence in the competition. Their defence was a shamble tonight, and their inability to capitalise on opportunities highlighted their lack of venom in attack.

What Do I Need To Know:

Gavin Cooper was stretchered from the field in the 52nd minute after a hip dislocation, while Cameron King was carried off after reportedly “feeling his knee go.” Origin camp’s had their hearts in their mouths as Boyd Cordner (ankle) and Brent Tate (leg and hip) showed obvious signs of pain in a tackle they were both adversely affected in.

What The..:

What has happened to the Roosters? The reigning premiers’ performance emulated that of the wooden spooner’s and need to get back on track, soon.

Look Out Up Ahead:

The Cowboys take on the struggling Canberra Raiders, Sunday 3pm at Canberra Stadium, as they will look to make it three wins in a row. The reigning premiers are on the road as they shape up against the Bulldogs who have won five on the trot, Friday 7.45pm.

Sam Alexander

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North Queensland Cowboys v Parramatta Eels Round 8 Preview

What: NRL Round 8
Who: North Queensland v Parramatta
When: Saturday April 26 – 5.30pm
Where: 1300Smiles Stadium
I Can Watch It On: Fox Sports

Form guide:

Things You Need To Know:
Ray Thompson shifts to halfback for Robert Lui who has been dumped to reserve grade. Rookie Kyle Feldt also finds himself on the outer, making way for Kane Linnett.
Following the Eels’ heart-breaking loss last week, Brad Arthur has only made one change with back rower Pauli Pauli moving into the starting line up. Peni Terepo shifts to the bench. Kenny Edwards is set for a lengthy stint in the injury ward following a fracture to his hand, with reports that he could miss 4-6 weeks. The Cowboys have won their past three against Parra.

Reason To Watch:
When the Eels are in this sort of form, they are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the competition. Jarryd Hayne is in irresistible touch while we’re enjoying Chris Sandow’s revival.

Reason To Turn Away:
The only thing turning away NRL fans recently is the constant refereeing blunders. The match officials look like they are controlling the game with zero confidence. Both these teams copped raw deals last start. Maybe steer clear of the post-match press conference – it could prove ugly if there is another contentious issue.

Say What:
“Our fans want to know they are getting a fair rub of green.” – Paul Green following last week’s controversial loss to the Eagles. Surely the old NSW conspiracy theory won’t fire up again will it?

Final Word:
Parramatta has blown away better sides than North Queensland this year, so be wary of discounting them. The Cowboys showed their potential last week against Manly but they continue to blow hot and cold and butchered another potential win – with considerable help from the video refs. Eels by 8.

Sam Alexander

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Farah Injured as Tigers Maul Cowboys

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An elbow injury to Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah soured his side’s 16-4 victory over North Queensland at Campbelltown Stadium.

What: NRL Round 6
Who: Wests Tigers v North Queensland Cowboys
Result: Tigers 16-4
When and Where: Saturday April 12, Campbelltown Stadium – 7.30pm
Match Rating: 6/10

80 Minutes in 80 Seconds: The Tigers’ great win has been overshadowed by the departure of captain Robbie Farah who left the field in the dying minutes nursing a hyper extended elbow. The injury wasn’t pretty – early reports suggest he may have dislocated it – and comes on the back of a serious ankle injury to full-back James Tedesco last week. The Cowboys were completely outclassed in a match where the Tigers dominated possession and field position. Johnathan Thurston won the first round of his duel with Luke Brooks, scooping up a Brooks error and sending Brent Tate over. Things were looking good for the Cowboys but errors proved costly as they let the hosts back into the game. Farah called for ‘more energy’ at half-time and the Tigers certainly delivered, sealing their fourth win of the season.

Who Killed It? Robbie Farah produced a brilliant captains knock before the injury. He controlled the game beautifully, picking up a try through some super vision at dummy half and setting up another for rookie half Blake Austin. James Gavet was a standout off the bench, making crunching tackles and some barnstorming runs.

Who Stank It Up? Rookie fullback Michael Morgan had yet another rough night, rarely looking comfortable under the high ball. In the moments you would expect the experience of Johnathan Thurston to pull through; it was nowhere to be found. Thurston’s most prominent failure being when he butchered a certain try on the back of a Brent Tate line break.

What Do I Need To Know? Martin Taupau limped off the field in the 40th minute with a hip flexor injury along with Kurtis Rowe who was later replaced at fullback by Tim Simona. Antonio Winterstein’s hamstring injury in the 63rd minute looked ugly and the flying winger could find himself in some trouble.

Look Out Up Ahead: The hot-and-cold Cowboys take on the dangerous Sea Eagles Friday night at Brookvale Oval. Wests Tigers are against the rampaging Eels in a Monday night match up at Parramatta.

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Snake lingers as Titans down Cowboys

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What: NRL Round 4
Who: North Queensland Cowboys v Gold Coast Titans
Result: Titans 13-12
When and Where: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Crowd: 9482
Match Rating: 6/10

We told you to watch out if the Cowboys scored first considering their tendency to get points on the board early, only to drop like flies. Well, they certainly kept tradition going. The Cowboys came out flying with an early try to Johnathan Thurston following a Robert Lui high ball, but it was all downhill from there. With the Cowboys consistently butchering chances in the opposition 20, and a very sloppy exchange between both sides, it was shaping up to be a long night.
Kevin Gordon’s first try (courtesy of a Michael Morgan shocker) set the tone for the Titans who kept the momentum going, which soon led to Brad Tighe bagging a four pointer.
And the Cowboys, well it’s safe to say they had a shocker. They showed unbelievable consistency, all for the wrong reasons. The Cowboys threw away possession in the first or second tackle, nearly every set. A completion rate of 25/47 sums it up for the Cowboys. Unbelievably they scored a Hail Mary try after the siren, but that didn’t stop JT giving the boys an absolute spray before converting the two. They allowed an extremely average Titans side to roll over them.

It was hard to find a standout in such an ugly contest, but man-of-the-match Aidan Sezer did the job for his team. Both Titans tries came from his boot, and then he sealed the match with a cool as they come field goal. Albert Kelly was also a standout, always looking dangerous in attack, often seen haring down field.

There were more than a few Cowboys who should be featuring in this section, but Michael Morgan and Kyle Feldt come on down. Their blunders led to both Titans tries. But they shouldn’t feel too bad – most of the Cowboys were woeful.

Paul Green’s Cowboys side are going to be a tough one to pick this season, continuing their hot and cold form.

Spectators were astounded to see a 1m brown snake take the field in the 13th minute as it occupied the south-east corner. No wonder the crowd was sparse in that area.

The hot and cold Cowboys take on the Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium Monday night, while the Titans look to continue their winning form against the Storm at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Sam Alexander

NRL Round 3 Preview Cowboys v Warriors

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What: NRL Round 3
Who: Cowboys v Warriors
When: Saturday, March 22 – 8.00PM (QLD Time)
Where: 1300SMILES Stadium
I Can Watch It On: Fox Sports

Form guide:
Cowboys: WL
Warriors: LL

Things You Need To Know: Notoriously strong at home, the Cowboys will be coming into the match looking to bounce back from their disappointing Round 2 loss against neighbours Brisbane Broncos. The Warriors will be searching for some form following two big losses to start the season, both against slightly lacklustre line-ups of the Dragons and Eels. Cowboys’ enforcer Tariq Sims moves into the starting line-up, while Glenn Hall shifts back to the bench. The Warriors receive a massive boost in the return of rampaging winger Manu Vatuvei, while Sione Lousi joins the bench. Konrad Hurrell wears the number 18 jersey with Ben Henry (knee, round 10) and David Fusitua out of the side.

Reason To Watch: The Shaun Johnson factor. After a quiet start to the season, dynamic half-back Johnson is due to deliver one of his memorable standout performances for the Warriors this week. Johnsons attack leaves players, and spectators, speechless. His impact can be just what the Warriors need to overcome their losing ways. However, it really is going to have a standout performance, as the Cowboys at home are going to be one monstrous task to overcome

Reason To Turn Away: If you’re a NSW fan, the only thing you will take out of this game is seeing two rampaging, rival forward packs tearing shreds out of each other. Furthermore, there is also the fact that there will be some serious cross-town talent on display, with high-profile outsiders Johnathan Thurston, Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins all displaying their immense talent, that sadly, will never grace a New South Wales origin team.

Say What: “Shaun Johnson is a freak. He’s the reason why people come through the gates and if we are 5 or 10 per cent off our game, he will make sure we get beaten again.” – Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston as he prepares for his much anticipated duel with Shaun Johnson.

Final Word: Shaping up to be an absolute cracker of a match between two very exciting attacks, the X-Factors from each side are going to play a massive part in their team’s performance. Players like brutal forward Jason Taumalolo, who has been in remarkable form this season, and hard hitting back-rower Tariq Sims are going to have to do the dirty work in the middle for the Cowboys. Warrior’s marquee men Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins will need to link together, using their influence in attack to give their team a chance. Slightly favouring the Cowboys, with a home ground advantage and some steady on-field form they are looking just too tough for the Warriors, who will be playing their first game in North Queensland since Round 23, 2012.