Cowboys end Titans' home ground streak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys end Titans' home ground streak

By Wayne Heming 31/07/2009 10:43:17 PM Comments (0)

Both coaches were lining up the superlatives for North Queensland dynamo Matt Bowen after his brilliant display in the Cowboys' 34-18 upset NRL win over Gold Coast at Skilled Park on Friday night.

Under normal circumstances, Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston would have walked in man-of-the-match honours but Bowen's sublime performance in attack and defence stole the show from his classy teammates.

"Matty Bowen was on fire tonight, he was everywhere," Titans coach John Cartwright said after the Titans' nine-game winning streak at home was brought to an end.

Titans skipper Scott Prince concurred.

"Matt B had a field day," was Prince's assessment of the 175cm fullback's best night out of the season.

Bowen took his NRL career try tally to 101 with his double but it was his courageous defence that impressed his coach and teammates the most.

"Everyone praises his attack but his two try saving tackles, that's what we value most," said Thurston, who was also at his dangerous best with the ball in hand.

"He's only a little man but he put his body on the line, that's what we expect."

Cowboys coach Neil Henry rated Bowen's exhibition as his best game of the year and a return to his brilliant best following a serious knee injury that ruined his 2008 season.

"Matty was very involved, and defensively he came up with two try saving tackles," said Henry who, also rated the team's first half as close to its best.

The game was all but over after the Cowboys raced in four first-half tries for 22-0 lead.

After applying most of the pressure in the opening 10 minutes but failing to convert several chances into points, the Titans were the first to crack.

Henry's tactic of going with a running pack paid off, especially when Matt Scott joined the game from the bench, smashing out some big metres along with Scott Tronc, who played 50 minutes without a break.

"It was a result we needed," enthused Henry.

"We needed to be desperate.

"I thought the first 20 minutes, our defence was outstanding.

"I don't think we've put 40 minutes together like that first half, we had to hang in early, they don't give you much.

"We were desperate for a win. We didn't want to drop out of the eight.

The victory will give the Cowboys some confidence going to Melbourne next week with a very tough run home including games against the Bulldogs and Broncos.

"Our draw is pretty tough but if we can get some momentum we will be battle-hardened going into the finals," said Henry.

Titans centre Brett Delaney is looking at four to six weeks on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring tear in the loss.

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