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Photo: Colin Whelan |

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have drawn 28-28 with the Warriors in NYC after a Cooper Bambling field goal attempt hit the woodwork with a minute left on the clock.

The home side came back from 12 points down midway through the first half thanks to two tries to Viliame Kikau to level the match.


It was just on the 10-minute mark before the Cowboys got their first real chance in attack after Brandon Smith pounced on a dropped ball in the Warriors 20m.

From the next play, it went through the hands and out the back for Gideon Mosby to continue his purple patch of tries, running over for his ninth this season and handing the Cowboys a 4-0 lead.

However the winger’s dropped ball from a cross-field kick six minutes later would put the Warriors back into the game as Marata Niukore fell on the spilt pill to level it 4-4.

After a repeat set the Cowboys were again found out in defence, this time prop Toafofoa Sipley found space just out from the line to go over under the posts and extend the lead to 10-4.

Penalties continued to put the home side on the back foot and hand the visitors a free ride into their 20.

As the Warriors big men chewed up the ground, five-eighth Mafoa’aeata Hingano would send it out the back as they strolled over for their third of the half.

The Cowboys had a chance to hit back when Kikau busted through a yawning gap only to lose the ball over the line.

It would take Coen Hess’s large frame to finally cross for their second, dragging a few Warriors with him to make it 14-10 at half time.


After the home side were denied a try at the start of the second, the Warriors took full advantage and bullocked their way up the ground to again catch the Cowboys short on the right.

Paul Ulberg went over untouched to put them up by 8.

The North Queenslanders were struggling to keep pace, continually on the back foot and the Warriors exploited their lethargy close to the line.

By the 59th minute they had extended the lead to 22-10.

A Conor Carey kick chase resulted in a drop-out from the Warriors and in that set of six, Brandon Smith found a barnstorming Jordan Kenworthy to crash over under the posts.

Hess converted to make it 22-16 with less than 20 to go.

But a dropped bomb by Yamba Bowie proved incredibly costly when Sipley scored his second and nudged them out just enough as it got to the 70-minute mark.

The Cowboys weren’t about to roll over as Kikau put it under the posts and as Hess converted they were only one converted try away from levelling it 28-all.

That eventually happened as the big number 8 wrestled the ball down to make it a tense last two minutes.

Cooper Bambling had a chance to win it with a field goal 40 metres out – the halfback struck it beautifully but it would hit the posts leaving the game drawn.


Cowboys 28: Gideon Mosby, Coen Hess, Jordan Kenworthy, Viliame Kikau 2 tries; Coen Hess 4/5 conversions

Warriors 28: Brad Abbey, Marata Niukore, Toafofoa Sipley 2, Paul Ulberg tries; Mafoa’aeata Hingano 3/5, Brad Abbey 0/1 conversions

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.