It wasn’t always pretty and they gave away more penalties than they’d be comfortable with, but the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have won their second straight road match and fifth overall in succession with a dominant 34-18 result over the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.
Two late consolation tries to Manly in the dying stages adding respectability to the scoreline, but it was the Cowboys, leading 22-6 at half time, who dug deep in the early stages of the second half as the hosts looked desperate to claw their way back into the match.
FELDT LIKE A SPECIAL NIGHT
Having gone into the match in nice touch and lauded for his nose for the tryline, Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt continued to impress with a couple of winger’s classics.
The first try saw Feldt dive over in the corner off a kick and ground a ball he had no right to.
The second, three minutes later, was also off a kick, with the Townsville product having to leap high to a bouncing ball and find the turf quickly.
LEFT EDGE WANTS IN TOO
The Cowboys were in a mood early, enjoying over 70% possession and completing at 90%, and left winger Antonio Winterstein crossed for the visitors’ third try in seven minutes as the defending premiers raced to an 18-0 lead.
Manly to their credit did show some pluck in the first half, and although they were cruelled by their own ill discipline, they scored as soon as they had some good field position.
Jamie Lyon grounded a neat grubber kick to narrow the gap after 22 mins.
MIC-ED UP MORGS
Having been named in the Kangaroos side earlier in the week, Cowboys five-eighth and right-edge menace Michael Morgan scored a special individual try in the 31st minute, using his trademark speed and strength to pierce the Manly line.
An 18-6 lead ballooned to 22-6 and the Cowboys were in control.
FIRST FIVE FAIL
Despite an impassioned plea from Cowboys head coach Paul green to complete their first five sets in attack, the Cowboys could only manage two before making an error, allowing the Sea Eagles good field position, a situation that was worsened by a couple of penalties.
But all that pressure was soaked up with aplomb and the NQ side showed the grit they possess in spades this year.
THE OLD FIRM
A fifth-straight win was sewn up in the 62nd minute as Gavin Cooper was the willing recipient of a tasty Johnathan Thurston pass, on the end of runarounds, shifts and general attacking majesty.
The conversion made it 28-6 and the Cowboys juggernaut rolled on.
Kane Linnett would cross for the Cowboys’ sixth soon after as co-captain Thurston showed sublime vision to shift the ball back to the blind side as Winterstein found his left-edge partner to score untouched.
NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS 34 (Kyle Feldt 2, Antonio Winterstein, Michael Morgan, Gavin Cooper, Kane Linnett tries; Johnathan Thurston 5 goals) def MANLY SEA EAGLES 18 (Jamie Lyon, Daly Cherry-Evans, Pita Godinet tries; Lyon 3 goals) at Brookvale Oval.