A double to five-eighth Ty Carucci helped the NYC Cowboys start 2015 with a 20-16 win against the Mackay Cutters in their pre-season trial at Stadium Mackay this evening.
Carucci scored the first and last tries for the Cowboys in a sloppy 80 minutes that featured strong goalline defence from North Queensland who didn’t have their line crossed until the final quarter.
The Cowboys led 10-0 at half time after the No.6 wriggled his away over and then Sam Smith finished off the best attacking move of the game.
Great hands on his inside from Yamba Bowie and Akeripa Tia Kilifi allowed the winger to touch down in the corner.
Front-rower Viliame Kikau made plenty of ground for the Cowboys in the opening 40 and it wasn’t a surprise when he crashed his way through three Cutters to plunge in for a four-pointer two minutes into the second half.
NQ should have had a fourth try right on three-quarter-time but a pass from Tia Kilifi to Smith went to ground with the covering defence beaten.
Replacement halfback Sam Clune and Samoan Test hooker Michael Sio posted quick back-to-back tries for Mackay to give them some hope of a come-from-behind win inside the final 10 minutes.
However, Carucci’s second try, after he collected the rebound from a grubber-kick ahead from Delayne Ashby, sealed the deal for the Cowboys, who will take on Intrust Super Cup opposition again next Saturday when they face Northern Pride in Cairns.
“The boys will take some confidence out of this,” coach Todd Payten said.
“A win against state cup opposition is always something to be proud of.
“We were guilty of dropping too much ball but we really did well defensively when we needed to.”
After playing in the NRL Auckland Nines last weekend, back-rower Coen Hess played the opening 40 minutes for the young Cowboys but sat out the second half.
Akeripa Tia Kilifi
Fellow forward Nick Brown was replaced due to concussion early in his stint and will be assessed during the week.
NYC COWBOYS 20 (Ty Carucci 2, Sam Smith, Viliame Kikau tries; Coen Hess, Cooper Bambling goals) d MACKAY CUTTERS 16 (Sam Clune, Michael Sio, Blake Atherton tries; Buchanan Rawhiti 2 goals).