Thurston injured as Storm beats Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thurston injured as Storm beats Cowboys

02/05/2010 10:34:13 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk looked to have played his way into a Test jersey as Johnathan Thurston was injured the Storm's 34-6 NRL demolition of North Queensland on Saturday night.

Kangaroos halfback Thurston is set to miss Friday's Test against New Zealand after injuring his right shoulder at Dairy Farmers Stadium, but Cronk proved he was ready to step up with another dominant display for the troubled Storm.

Thurston copped a heavy shot from backrower Adam Blair in the opening exchanges that rattled his right shoulder and was forced off the field when a Brett Finch shot aggravated the injury in the 12th minute.

Medical staff strapped the shoulder, which has suspected AC joint damage, but he was unable to return to the field and is expected to be sidelined for at least three weeks.

"It doesn't look good," Cowboys coach Neil Henry said.

"It's going to be a few weeks I would imagine.

"He's pretty shattered obviously with the Australian game coming up and he won't be right for that."

Cronk pulled all the strings for the Storm and is understood to have the support of Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens with the Test team to be announced on Sunday afternoon.

His only obstacle to the No.7 jersey will be Titans skipper Scott Prince, who was also impressive in the Gold Coast's 32-18 win over Penrith on Saturday night after making his return from a broken thumb.

But Storm coach Craig Bellamy backed his No.7 to fill Thurston's boots.

"I think he has (done enough)," he said of Cronk, who toured with the Kangaroos last year.

"Without a doubt, he's been wonderful for us this year.

"He had a late start to the season, he had a limited preparation.

"He's come back on fire ... Cooper would do a tremendous job."

The Storm again proved the salary cap scandal gripping the club is not going to derail their on-field performances anytime soon in the rout.

A season-high 19,853 Cowboys supporters flooded through the gates in Townsville to watch the club's season unravel horribly after a fourth straight loss.

The game was over at halftime with the Storm running in four tries through Bryan Norrie, Matt Duffie, Greg Inglis and Brett Finch.

Inglis showed some of his best touch, waltzing through some transparent Cowboys defence to face 60 metres and score.

Cronk laid on the try of the game though, starting a beautiful set piece in the 52nd minute that saw the ball move through the hands of Inglis and Billy Slater before ending in Anthony Quinn's hands to score.

Dane Neilsen and Jeff Lima completed the demolition with their four-pointers.

Scott Bolton laid on a consolation try in the 58th minute and the Cowboys only other chances came through Willie Tonga and Steve Rapira, with Test aspirant Tonga nearly latching onto an intercept.

Instead he fumbled the ball which led to Duffie's try.

Kiwi hopeful Rapira did get over the line in the first half but couldn't force the ball and injured his shoulder in the process, a problem likely to keep him out for four-to-six weeks.

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