Cowboys bounce back to beat Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys bounce back to beat Broncos

By Dave Donaghy 22/07/2006 09:49:52 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland rebounded from the crippling loss of star playmaker Johnathan Thurston to get its NRL season back on track with an upset 26-10 win over Brisbane at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

Thurston suffered a medial ligament strain and a dislocated right kneecap when he was sideswiped by a Tonie Carroll hit on Matt Sing in the opening stages of the local derby.

A pin could be heard dropping amongst the sellout crowd of 24,658 as Thurston, the Queensland State of Origin halfback, was ushered by stretcher from the ground in the fourth minute.

He will undergo further scans early next week to discover the full extent of the damage.

Thurston's injury sprung the Cowboys into action with livewire fullback Matt Bowen playing the role of attacking general to perfection, setting up all five of his team's tries.

Bowen, who conceded prior to the match he was in the worst form slump of his career, created North Queensland's three first-half tries after being handed additional duties in Thurston's absence.

He also set up Sing's second try in the 63rd minute with a crossfield kick that sealed the win for the club.

Sing, who departs for Hull at the end of the season, picked up a hat-trick seven minutes later off yet another Bowen kick.

Bowen's cunning display proved an inspiration to his teammates who were forced to battle for the final 35 minutes with only 14 players.

In a night of carnage for the Cowboys, giant prop Robert Tanielu (heavy concussion) and Matt Scott (cork) joined Thurston on the injured list early in the second half.

Tanielu was also taken from the field on the medi-cab after copping the full brunt of an accidental elbow.

North Queensland, which had lost nine of its past 11 matches prior to the match, took a 14-4 lead into halftime with Ashley Graham, Josh Hannay and Sing crossing in the space of 10 minutes.

A Hannay penalty goal in the 50th minute made it 16-4 before Sing capped a golden night for the club with two more tries.

Brisbane gained the early ascendancy with a Darren Lockyer try in the fourth minute but the visitors had no reply to the Cowboys' three-try response.

Hulking second-rower Brad Thorn scored a consolation try for the visitors in the 79th minute.

The Broncos have made a habit of falling away in the build-up to the finals over the past five years and coach Wayne Bennett will be praying that this is not the start of another downward spiral.

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