Cowboys withstand Storm to win 24-16 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys withstand Storm to win 24-16

By Laine Clark 17/09/2005 10:29:39 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland withstood a courageous second-half Melbourne fightback to book a berth in the NRL preliminary finals with a 24-16 win over the Storm at Aussie Stadium.

The Cowboys will play Parramatta at Telstra Stadium on Sunday week for a place in the grand final after winning through to their second-successive preliminary final.

The result also marked the third straight season Melbourne has been bundled out in the second week of the playoffs.

And it has brought to an end the rugby league career of Melbourne skipper Robbie Kearns, who succumbed to a dislocated shoulder before kick-off after announcing earlier this year he would retire at the end of the season.

Kearns has kept his fingers crossed that his Storm outfit would extend his 14-season career by winning the knockout clash.

But it wasn't to be as the Cowboys hung on against a spirited Melbourne in front of a healthy 16,810-strong Aussie Stadium crowd.

In a cruel twist, Kearns also missed Melbourne's 1999 premiership victory due to injury.

The Storm had their chances, with three disallowed tries. They also scored one through centre Steve Bell that shouldn't have been given.

After both teams spent the week accusing each other of the outlawed grapple tackle technique, the Cowboys and Melbourne got down to what they do best - playing entertaining rugby league.

Trailing 16-0 at halftime, Melbourne cut the deficit to 18-16 by the 69th minute by piling on three unanswered tries.

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