The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys under-20s team have turned on an attacking masterclass to defeat the Melbourne Storm 44-38 in their Round 10 National Youth Competition clash at Langlands Park in Brisbane today.
With seven first-half tries setting up a 28-10 halftime score, the Cowboys let in a number of soft four-pointers in the second 40 but were always in control in the nine-tries-to-seven win.
Led by classy fullback Kalyn Ponga – who scored a jaw-dropping solo try early in the second half when he ran 80m while palming off at least four defenders – the Cowboys’ attack was on-song for the full 80 minutes with some dazzling backline play.
All-time NYC single-season try-scoring record holder Gideon Gela-Mosby made a stunning return from a six-week injury lay-off with a hat-trick, including the first try three minutes into the match.
With a try being scored on average every three sets, there was plenty of attack on offer at the suburban Brisbane ground as both sets of forwards made easy metres up the middle.
Cowboys coaching staff would be disappointed with a 28-16 second half in the Storm’s favour – with defence in the centre of the paddock a real issue – but they had enough firepower to secure their seventh win from 10 games and entrench themselves in the top three.
NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS 44 (Gideon Gela-Mosby 3, Marcus Jensen, Nathan Traill, Coen Hess, Brandon Smith, Kalyn Ponga, Trey Kemp tries; Kalyn Ponga 3, Cooper Bambling goals) def MELBOURNE STORM 38 (Jaiden Hunt, Cory Parker, Angelo Leaupepe, Jess Arthars, Joel Gittins, Jacob Tonge, Beau Fermar tries; Arthars 5 goals) at Langlands Park, Brisbane.