Positives in first run for NYC Cowboys
Saturday 16 February 2013 7:33 PM
The NYC Cowboys’ first pre-season trial ended with a 20-18 loss to the Northern Pride but had plenty of positives, especially their second-half defensive performance.
The Cairns-based Intrust Super Cup team, which included Cowboys NRL squad members Blake Leary, Ethan Lowe and Felise Kaufusi, was held scoreless in the second 40 minutes after scoring four tries in the first half to build a 20-12 lead.
A try to forward Corey Jensen, from an angled grubber kick by Jayden Hodges, was the only four-pointer in the second half and gave the under-20s the chance to start the year with the win.
However, the last 16 minutes passed without a point being scored.
“I thought it was a decent second half,” Cowboys coach Todd Wilson said.
“We had to spend a lot of time working out of our own but the boys did it well.
“There was plenty to be pleased about.”
Lowe was a major threat to his Cowboys clubmates in the first half with his edge-running providing plenty of impetus for the Pride.
They scored first via fullback Herzon Murgha but the Cowboys collected the next two tries to establish a 12-6 lead.
Back-rower Jack Kelleher scored his team’s opener, running a good line to split the Pride defence, and centre Javid Bowen crossed for the second on the half-hour mark.
The NYC team’s lead didn’t last long, with new Pride signing Semi Tadulala making the most of some poor North Queensland defence out wide to bring his team within two, and Lowe added the conversion from the sideline to bring the Pride level.
Good hands from Murgha allowed him to collect a double and the Cairns team backed up for a third straight try to centre Brett Anderson, after an outstanding length-of-the-field move, before the break.
The Cowboys picked up one injury of concern, with Queensland under-18 forward Patrick Kaufusi limping from the field with a medial ligament strain in the opening stages.
He is in doubt for next Saturday night’s clash with the Mackay Cutters at Virgin Australia Stadium.
Northern Pride 20 (Herzon Murgha 2, Semi Tadulala, Brett Anderson tries; Ethan Lowe 2 goals) d NYC Cowboys 18 (Jack Kelleher, Javid Bowen, Corey Jensen tries; Bowen 3 goals).