Cowboys end Manly's NRL winning streak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys end Manly's NRL winning streak

By Zane Bojack 28/04/2007 10:53:26 PM Comments (0)

Obstruction and Matt Bowen remain the buzz words in North Queensland after the Cowboys scored a heart-stopping 30-26 victory over Manly in Townsville.

Eagles coach Des Hasler was left fuming after a contentious no-try ruling in the second half appeared to cost his side the game and their undefeated record in the NRL.

The former Australian halfback said he would need to consult referees co-coordinator Robert Finch about what constitutes an obstruction.

This was after centre Steven Bell was denied a four-pointer which would have put the visitors only two points behind midway through the second half.

Video referee Paul Simpkins ruled that Manly forward Glenn Stewart had stopped Cowboys veteran Jason Smith from making a tackle in the 55th minute, the decision confusing Hasler and the rest of his coaching staff.

"I thought we were actually on top and the momentum had swung but it comes back to that obstruction rule again doesn't it," Hasler said.

"I will have to look at it again closely but the defender (Jason Smith) ran in front of our player (Glenn Stewart) so try and work that one out."

The Eagles coach said he was bitterly disappointed to lose the game after failing to capitalise on a number of scoring chances in the first half.

"We were guilty of too many basic errors in both good field position and poor field position," Hasler said.

"We were our own worst enemies especially in the first half."

Cowboys coach Graham Murray believed his side was also denied a fair try in the first half after a Matt Bowen try was denied due to a Johnathan Thurston knock-on.

However, for Murray the issue of whether or not Bell had scored was cut and dried.

"I saw a defender trying to get out to Steven Bell and he wasn't coming in to make a tackle, with Jason Smith in line trying to get out, and you can't knock that bloke over," Murray said.

"It's different if that guy is turned in and trying to tackle that bloke who is not getting the football, and I think there is a major difference there and no try for sure."

While Murray was loathe to speculate on whether or not Bowen will wear a Queensland jersey this year, he was quick to praise his fullback for another sparkling display in front of his adoring fans at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

The Cowboys mentor thought Manly were a bit off their game and it was his number one who capitalised, with two tries after good work from his forwards.

The Hopevale product also pulled off a number of try-savers close to the line, including running down Brett Stewart after the renowned speedster had taken an intercept late in the second half.

"Bowen is special and can pull out tries particularly when the forwards are going forward and the side is defending well," said Murray.

"Matty is a great player and he would never let any rep side down."

Australian and Queensland halfback and Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston added he would not like to go into Origin without the diminutive fullback.

"I don't want to get caught up in it but I think it would be pretty silly to leave him out," Thurston said.

The surprise result has helped the Cowboys answer their critics about a slide similar to the one which saw them miss last year's finals series after winning their first six matches.

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