Cowboys romp into decider against Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys romp into decider against Tigers

By Steve Jancetic 25/09/2005 08:14:47 PM Comments (0)

It was an ambush befitting their moniker.

The North Queensland Cowboys rode into town and stole what seemed an unlikely NRL grand final berth with a 29-0 romp over minor premier and premiership favourite Parramatta at Telstra Stadium.

Their five-tries-to-nil shutout set up a decider scarcely imaginable at the start of the season, with the Cowboys to take on the Wests Tigers in what shapes as one of the most exciting grand final clashes for years.

Parramatta, so powerful and dominant throughout the season, committed far too many turnovers and seemed guilty of stage fright, just as fellow title favourite St George Illawarra did in going down to the Tigers on Saturday night.

Written off as no chance for the title following their 50-6 hammering by the Tigers in the first week of the finals, the Cowboys responded with some of their best football of the season, led by Dally M medal winner Jonathan Thurston.

"We hit our straps at the right time I think," coach Graham Murray said.

"I thought we were played well last week (against Melbourne), contrary to what we caught from some people. I though it was good last week and was even better this week."

Murray said his side had been motivated by the negative press following the loss to the Tigers and felt justified in sticking with his players after the debacle.

"That (the criticism) does get your emotions going," Murray said.

"It's part of it, there no doubt about that, but the boys can't just rely on people who don't think they can win football matches. They just showed what a good football side they are today. I'm hoping we got recognised for that."

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