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13 hours ago
The Cowboys defy everyone yet again to beat a more highly fancied opponent, a 24-16 win over Parramatta seeing them move to within a game of an unlikely Grand Final appearance.
So, North Queensland's fairytale season just keeps on keeping on. Despite being without key players Johnathon Thurston and Matt Scott, they continue to defy the bookies by winning games against more fancied sides while playing a long way from home.
Just like last week when they played the defending premiers Cronulla, the Cowboys were playing in Sydney against a highly fancied Sydney side and the result was seemingly a foregone conclusion.
No one told them they were supposed to lose. Despite starting the game on the back foot after a stunning try by Semi Radradra, who diffused a bomb and then ran the length of the field to score under the posts. Moses converted to give the Eels a 6-0 lead.
North Queensland though wasted no time hitting back, thanks to an amazing piece of work by Kyle Feldt who miraculously scored in the corner. Ethan Lowe's sideline conversion curled its way through the posts as if it was Thurston who kicked it, to level the scores.
Michael Morgan was struggling with his short kicking game, unable to find any gaps in the Eels defence. One such grubber was blocked by Will Smith, who regathered the deflected ball and ran 90 metres to score. Moses was unable to convert from out wide. The Eels taking a 10-6 lead to the sheds at halftime.
The Cowboys needed to score first in the second half and they did just that. Morgan's bomb found open space. Will Smith regathered the ball off the bounce but was stripped one-on-one by Asiata who scored an easy try. Lowe nailed the extras from in front to give the Cowboys a 12-10 lead.
Just 6 minutes later, the Cowboys struck again when Coen Hess steamed onto a sweet inside ball from Te Maire Martin and ran through a huge gap to score. A scuffle ensued after the try before Lowe knocked over another easy goal.
With the Cowboys leading by 8 points, both sides went through passages of trying to get the upper hand over the other, but it was the Eels feeling pressure and starting to turn over the ball cheaply more frequently as the game drew closer to a close.
With 5 minutes remaining, Morgan spotted the Eels defence back pedalling and he ran hard at the line, getting the ball down for the match winning try. Lowe converted to give the Cowboys a 24-10 lead.
Parramatta scored a consolation try right on the bell when a Moses chip was spilled by Feldt. Jennings swopped through, cleaned up the ball and scored. Moses converted but it was too little too late as the Cowboys won 24-16.
Parramatta Eels 16 - North Queensland Cowboys 24
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Halftime Score: Parramatta Eels 10 North Queensland Cowboys 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Michael Morgan
2 points - Gavin Cooper
1 points - Nathan Brown
PARRAMATTA EELS (16)
Tries: Semi Radradra, Will Smith, Michael Jennings
Conversions: Mitchell Moses (2/3)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (24)
Tries: Kyle Feldt, John Asiata, Coen Hess, Michael Morgan
Conversions: Ethan Lowe (4/4)