The North Queensland Cowboys have secured their place in the preliminary final next week trouncing the Cronulla Sharks 39-0.
The Cowboys left the field with their heads high tonight after an almost flawless performance guided by their co-captains Jonathan Thurston and Matt Scott, who played a crucial role in their side’s victory.
The in-form and experienced side looked sharp from the kick-off and continued through to a full 80 minutes of high intensity football.
Just three minutes into the first half Thurston slotted a penalty goal and from there on the points kept coming.
The Cowboys strong forward pack including Scott, James Tamou and Ben Hannant repeatedly bust through the Sharks defensive line and tested their right wing.
The Sharks showed great tenacity and courage defending, but poor ball handling saw them give away numerous turnovers and penalties.
Cronulla captain Paul Gallen put on a courageous effort for his side and continued playing through an injury but the wooden spooners turned finalists could not find their rhythm.
The Cowboys, considered the best team for completion in the NRL, handled their sets and plays well, allowing Michael Morgan to cross for two tries. The Cowboys meet the Melbourne Storm next week in Melbourne. – Ellen Conroy
Top photo from the North Queensland Cowboys’ website.