Cowboys in huge comeback win over Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys in huge comeback win over Raiders

Matt Saddler 05/06/2011 06:57:16 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland produced a mighty comeback to stun Canberra 40-24 in an incident-packed NRL clash in the national capital on Sunday.

As if blowing a 22-0 lead wasn't painful enough for the Raiders, they also lost star duo Josh Dugan and Terry Campese to leg injuries, with Dugan now in serious doubt for NSW's State of Origin return bout with Queensland on Wednesday week.

The classy fullback suffered a syndesmosis injury and will have scans on Monday, but seems likely to be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks.

Dugan hurt his ankle in the 24th minute before Campese's long-awaited comeback from a knee reconstruction lasted even less when he came on as the replacement only to depart minutes later with a groin injury.

The visitors, who appeared to be in for a long afternoon, woke from their slumber and quickly took advantage of the Raiders' predicament.

The Cowboys scored quick tries to Johnathan Thurston and Glenn Hall, then second-rower Tariq Sims took over as star of the show.

He scored a try just before halftime and another just after the break to level the scores at 22-22.

Canberra centre Jarrod Croker briefly put the Raiders back in front with a 67th-minute penalty goal before the Cowboys piled on late tries through hooker Aaron Payne and a double to winger Kalifa Faifai Loa to complete the amazing comeback.

Sims, who only made his first grade debut in round two, set up North Queensland's next try to Aaron Payne and made several more strong runs.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry praised the rookie forward.

"He's quite quick and can be a handful carrying the ball," Henry told reporters.

"He's willing to learn and he's just a young player that the boys like playing with."

Henry conceded that his side played poorly in the first 20 minutes, but commended the fightback.

"I thought that try just before halftime was crucial and we came in pretty pumped up."

"We thought we were in striking distance well and truly. There's a fair bit of self belief in the boys."

Canberra coach David Furner rued a game which the Raiders allowed to slip from their grasp and while admitting the loss of Dugan and Campese was tough, he said it was no excuse.

"We had players out of position and we just needed to be clear with our roles there, and I think we got found out at the back end of that first half," he said.

Captain Alan Tongue said the Raiders made too many mistakes.

"We shot ourselves in the foot a few times," Tongue said.

"Our season is on the line again next week."

For the Cowboys, it was a vital away win as they consolidated their place in the top four.

The Raiders' finals chances, though, now look bleak with their mid-season revival apparently snuffed out.

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