North Queensland Cowboys 2017 Season Review

NRL TelstraPremiership GRAD
Embed from Getty Images

Grand Final heroes fall short on the big stage - but pride remains.

The Cowboys in 2017 did what no Cowboys side has ever done - made the Grand Final without Johnathan Thurston or Matt Scott.

All year they were grimly hanging onto their top 8 spot on the ladder and very nearly lost it in the final Round.

They then won three straight unwinnable games to reach the Grand Final, but were not able to complete what would have been a most phenomenal season with a Grand Final victory.

Turning point

Round 14 - For two reasons. It saw Thurston suffer a season ending injury but it was also the first time they ran up a convincing victory against a top contender, when they beat Parramatta 32-6. 11 of their next 13 games were decided by 12 points or less as the Cowboys had to quickly adapt to life without Thurston, going from a sleek attacking unit to a gritty hard working one.

What worked

Cowboys Forwards - Every one of the Cowboys forwards lifted their game considerably in 2017, largely to cover for the loss of Matt Scott but later to help lay a platform for Michael Morgan to work off the back of.

What didn't work

Execution - Too often, especially after the Origin period, the Cowboys struggled through the first half to complete sets, before finally clicking in the last half hour of the game.

Best Players

Michael Morgan started out a little daunted by having to fill the immense shoes of Thurston but as the season wore on he slowly grew into the role before being one of the best players throughout the entire finals campaign, as he spearheaded the Cowboys astonishing run to the Grand Final. Jason Taumalolo was immense yet again as he took over the role of sole enforcer while Gavin Cooper was brilliant as he took over the captaincy. 

Lower Grades

The Northern Pride had a season of little joy, finishing third last, picking up just 6 wins from their 23 matches. In The NYC though, the Cowboys finished the season in fifth place, but bowed out in the first week of the finals as they lost 30-16 to the eighth placed Manly.

Looking Ahead

The brilliant performance of the Cowboys, especially during the vital finals campaign is enough to ensure they will be in the top 8 again next year. When you add Thurston and Scott back into that unit, it's easy to see why they will be regarded yet again as one of the top few teams of the competition. They will also welcome Storm front rower Jordan McLean to the side, which will further boost their already impressive forward pack

2017 Results

1
North Queensland Cowboys 20
Canberra Raiders 16
W
2
Brisbane Broncos 20
North Queensland Cowboys 21
W
3
North Queensland Cowboys 8
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 30
L
4
Gold Coast Titans 26
North Queensland Cowboys 32
W
5
North Queensland Cowboys 20
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6
W
6
North Queensland Cowboys 16
Wests Tigers 26
L
7
St George Illawarra Dragons 28
North Queensland Cowboys 22
L
8
North Queensland Cowboys 24
Newcastle Knights 12
W
9
North Queensland Cowboys 6
Parramatta Eels 26
L
10
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 14
North Queensland Cowboys 30
W
11
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18
North Queensland Cowboys 14
L
12
North Queensland Cowboys 0
BYE
13
North Queensland Cowboys 20
Gold Coast Titans 8
W
14
Parramatta Eels 6
North Queensland Cowboys 32
W
15
Melbourne Storm 23
North Queensland Cowboys 22
L
16
North Queensland Cowboys 14
Penrith Panthers 12
W
17
Canberra Raiders 18
North Queensland Cowboys 31
W
18
North Queensland Cowboys 0
BYE
19
South Sydney Rabbitohs 10
North Queensland Cowboys 23
W
20
North Queensland Cowboys 24
Warriors 12
W
21
Sydney Roosters 22
North Queensland Cowboys 16
L
22
North Queensland Cowboys 8
Melbourne Storm 26
L
23
Penrith Panthers 24
North Queensland Cowboys 16
L
24
North Queensland Cowboys 16
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 26
L
25
Wests Tigers 14
North Queensland Cowboys 22
W
26
North Queensland Cowboys 10
Brisbane Broncos 20
L
Finals Week 1
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 14
North Queensland Cowboys 15
W
Finals Week 2
Parramatta Eels 16
North Queensland Cowboys 24
W
Finals Week 3
Sydney Roosters 16
North Queensland Cowboys 29
W
Grand Final
Melbourne Storm 34
North Queensland Cowboys 6
L

By the Stats

30
Competition Points
13
Matches Won
0
Matches Drawn
11
Matches Lost
467
Points Scored
443
Points Conceded
0 Comments