Cowboys post first win of the season
Saturday 9 February 2013 8:31 PM
The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys team have turned it on in the second half to beat the Brisbane Broncos 28-24 in their opening pre-season NRL trial in Mt Isa.
Down 20-6 at half time, the Cowboys scored four tries to one in the second 40 minutes, including the match-winner to prop Ricky Thorby, off some smart dummy-half play from Blake Leary in the final five.
It was an evening of good news for the Cowboys, with 2011 Rookie of the Year Tariq Sims playing three stints in his first game back from a double fractured leg, five-eighth Robert Lui making a successful return from his long absence and the 21-man squad ending the match with no serious injuries.
In front of a sold-out crowd of 4,000 at Alex Inch Oval, the Cowboys wasted a couple of good scoring opportunities in the first quarter, including a dropped ball over the line by prop Scott Bolton, and were 4-0 behind when Brisbane’s Lachlan Maranta opening the scoring.
Captain for the night Michael Morgan struck back right on quarter-time with a smart individual try.
With the siren sounding as North Queensland won a scrum, the halfback chipped ahead from himself and regathered before running untouched to the try line.
Kyle Feldt’s conversion in his first game as part of the Cowboys’ NRL squad gave his team a 6-4 lead.
The second quarter was dominated by the Broncos, who capitalised far better on their chances to their opponents, with three tries – via skipper Ben Hunt, his halves partner Luke Capewell and winger Delroy Berryman – sending them 14 points clear by the main break.
An intercept taken by winger Kalifa Faifai Loa sparked North Queensland’s third-quarter charge.
The Kiwi flanker linked with triallist BJ Munns who had a free run to the line from 40 metres out to post a memorable four points.
Blake Leary plunged over the play after prop Felise Kaufusi, another of the Cowboys’ first-gamers was held up, to bring the Cowboys within four and they hit the lead with the try of the game not long after.
Morgan, often a danger for NQ, started the move on halfway which featured Ethan Lowe, Matt Minto and Clint Greenshields before Wayne Ulugia stepped inside a Brisbane defender to score out wide.
Lowe’s superb conversion after taking over the kicking duties put North Queensland two points up with a quarter to go.
Brisbane’s first points of the half came from a try to winger Denan Kemp from a scrum win inside the Cowboys’ half but they were unable to hold on thanks to the combination of Leary and Thorby as time was running out.
The Cowboys can now look forward to heading to Cairns to meet the St George Illawarra Dragons next Saturday night, with several of their leading names to have their first run for 2013.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 28 (Michael Morgan, Blake Leary, BJ Munns, Wayne Ulugia, Ricky Thorby tries; Kyle Feldt, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Ethan Lowe goals) d Brisbane Broncos 24 (Lachlan Maranta, Luke Capewell, Ben Hunt, Delroy Berryman, Denan Kemp tries; Delroy Berryman 2 goals).