Tigers mauled by Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers mauled by Cowboys

By Jordan Baker 17/05/2003 10:41:58 PM Comments (0)

At least three players will be keen to forget North Queensland's 26-8 National Rugby League victory over Wests Tigers in Townsville.

In a match described as a "drop-a-thon", Terry Hill was sin-binned, Josh Hannay missed his chance at an NRL record and Glenn Morrison's State of Origin hopes were thrown into doubt.

The Tigers went into the match with strong motives to win.

They had never tasted victory at Dairy Farmers Stadium and their coach Tim Sheens left the Cowboys in mid-2001 amid a storm of controversy.

But the Cowboys needed to bounce back from a bad loss to Brisbane and had no reason to show their former coach any mercy.

There were mistakes galore from both sides as they struggled to control the ball in Townsville's steamy humidity.

The Cowboys were the first on the scoreboard with a try to white-hot winger Matt Sing.

But Hannay, with 23 straight goals behind him, ended his charge towards the NRL record of 30 consecutive goals when he missed the conversion.

The Tigers replied to the try within three minutes when Anthony Laffranchi crawled over the line to build a 6-4 lead at the break.

Morrison, playing his 150th first grade game and backing up from the City-Country clash, left the field with a suspected broken jaw late in the half.

If it is a fracture, it could put the NSW State of Origin hopeful out of action for at least a month.

North Queensland regrouped in the second half, sealing the match with tries to Michael Luck, Shane Muspratt and another to Sing.

In the dying minutes, Hill was sin-binned amid jeers from the crowd for a professional foul and Tigers' prop John Skandalis was put on report for a late tackle on David Myles.

Cowboys assistant coach Neil Henry, standing in for Graham Murray who is on City coaching duties, admitted both sides struggled with ball control.

"It was one of those games, it was a drop-a-thon for a while," he said.

"And it was going to be decided on who controlled the ball a bit more and we're lucky that we did that."

Sheens said the Tigers' mistakes cost them the match.

"I thought in most of the first half and a good proportion of the second half I thought we were actually the better side," he said.

"Then we fell apart due to our own errors ... at the end of the day they handled the conditions better than we did."

Sheens said Townsville's humidity led to poor ball control.

"You're really playing wet weather footy up here most of the year," he said.

Sheens admitted he would have liked to beat his old side.

"I'd be silly to say I wasn't keen to win the game but at the end of the day we were keen to win the game no matter who we were playing," he said.

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