A below-par second half consigned the Toyota Cowboys NYC team to a 38-22 loss against Brisbane in their round two clash at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Well in the contest at 14-10 behind at half time, North Queensland had huge problems completing their sets of possession in the second 40 minutes.
Even following their first try after half time – to hooker Josh Chudleigh from dummy-half in the 70th minute – they dropped the ball from the restart and the Broncos cashed in with their seventh try of the night.
Brisbane have now won two from two to start the under-20s season, with the Cowboys on a 1-1 win-loss record heading into next Saturday night’s home clash with the NZ Warriors.
The Broncos had the Cowboys on the back foot early in the first Queensland derby for 2014, with tries to fullback Jayden Nikorima and second-rower Brett Greinke on either side of the field helping them to a 10-0 lead after nine minutes.
After seeing off a couple more Broncos threats, North Queensland turned to fullback Alex Grant to get their first points on the board.
Fresh off two tries against Canberra, the fullback made it three for the year after taking a cutout ball from halfback Delayne Ashby.
It was 10-all with 15 minutes left in the half thanks to a storming run from bench forward Viliame Kikau, who carried two defenders over the line to end off a 15-metre charge for his first try in Cowboys colours.
A Kikau flick pass offload almost led to a third straight try for North Queensland but they ended up going into the break four points behind after Brisbane centre Jack Tuttle cleaned up a spilled kick ahead to score in the corner.
It was the Broncos who also crossed first in the second half as North Queensland struggled to mount any serious pressure in their opponent’s end.
After conceding a six-again call followed by a penalty, the Cowboys defence, which had been sturdy following the restart, eventually allowed prop Francis Molo through from close range near the posts.
Nikorima’s conversion extended the lead to 10.
Within a couple of minutes, the Broncos had kicked more than two converted tries clear via replacement Alex Barr and it became even worse for the Cowboys when Nikorima found his way over for his second with 20 to go.
The Broncos ended up outscoring the northerners 24-12 in the second 40, repeating their strong finish against Canterbury in round one.
A spilled pass with the line open in the final two minutes summed up the Cowboys’ night although they did manage to post the final try, thanks to centre Lenny Magey right on full time.