Cowboys defeat flat Roosters 20-6 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys defeat flat Roosters 20-6

Liam Butterworth 28/05/2011 10:37:16 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland ran out comfortable 20-6 winners against a lifeless Sydney Roosters in their NRL clash at Townsville on Saturday night.

In an error-riddled match, the Cowboys piled on all their points in the back end of each half thanks to the magic of co-captain Johnathan Thurston.

The Queensland State of Origin halfback was involved in two of the Cowboys' tries before scoring himself to take his season tally to seven four-pointers.

After a dull start, the Roosters looked to have opened the scoring when Frank-Paul Nuuausala ran into a large gap in the 25th minute but his flick pass was unable to find the hands of centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

Thurston breathed life into the match on the half-hour when his dummy fooled Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and he put Glenn Hall across to score.

Just three minutes later the hosts thought they'd increased their lead, but Tariq Sims was unable to properly ground the ball after being put into a gap by Thurston.

The second half started much like the first and the Cowboys increased their lead in the 61st minute, when James Tamou pushed three Roosters players across the line to score from a penalty.

Matt Bowen thought he would score in the preceding play but Waerea-Hargreaves held him back from reaching Thurston's chip.

Thurston paid tribute to former Cowboys player Sam Faust, who died after a two-year battle with leukaemia earlier this week, after his own try in the 69th minute.

He played Gavin Cooper into a gap and then swivelled across the tryline to score.

The Roosters scored on the next set, after the Cowboys conceded a penalty from the kick-off, when Mitchell Pearce put Nuuausala into space for a consolation try.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry was glad his team had stayed patient after a scrappy start to the match.

"We turned the ball over a little bit, I thought our start was a bit scrappy and we didn't do a lot with the start of our sets but we were a bit patient in the second half and we played a good kicking game ... and we backed our defence," Henry said.

He said lock Dallas Johnson was cleared by the club doctor to return to the field in the second half after knocking his head on Waerea-Hargreaves' hip on 20 minutes.

Roosters coach Brian Smith was disappointed with his side's inability to hold onto the ball as the Sydney side finished the match with a completion rate of less than 50 per cent.

"I think tonight in the second half it was definitely due to us not adjusting our game to the slippery conditions. Thankfully they had a lot of errors as well," he said.

Captain Braith Anasta admitted to feeling "helpless" on the field in a "weird" second half, as his team made countless unforced errors.

"I couldn't really believe it being out there, it was a bit surreal. We just couldn't complete a set at all," Anasta said.

Smith said the injury toll had worsened after winger Steve Naughton fractured his collar bone and is looking at six to eight weeks on the sideline.

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