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Tahanui Tutavake | Photo: Scott Davis © NRL Photos

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NYC team have cemented their place in the top 2, notching up their third straight win by defeating Manly 40-10 at 1300SMILES Stadium.

The match was a classic tale of two halves, with Manly opening the scoring in the first half, but unable to keep up with the Cowboys in the second.

Playing in the opposition’s half

Manly knocked the Cowboys out of the finals series last year, but a decimated lineup gave them little staying power against a firing Cowboys side tonight.

Still, the visitors opened strongly, adhering to the philosophy of playing in the opposition’s end.

After 15 minutes the Cowboys cracked, and Jayden Hocking scored the first points.

The Cowboys returned serve courtesy of a Manly pass that found the hands of Gideon Gela-Mosby.

The speed-man made quick work of 70 metres, scoring under the posts to put the Cowboys in front after the successful conversion.

The Cowboys extended their lead, but Manly were far from out of the competition, as both teams scored on the backs of errors and penalties.

Ty Carucci gave the Cowboys a boost going into the sheds at half time, slicing through the Manly defence to score a solo try.

Gideon Gela-Mosby | Photo: Scott Davis © NRL Photos

Seize the day

The game would be played in two very different halves, as the Cowboys came out firing in the second 40, taking only two minutes to score in the second stanza through winger Marcus Jensen, who dived over for his 17th four-pointer of the year.

Manly didn’t have an opportunity to respond as consistent errors and penalties continued to hand possession back to the Cowboys.

The home team responded, piling on another three tries and a penalty goal, to bring up the final score of 40-10.

Hooker Brandon Smith showed particular brilliance, breaking the Manly defence with a swift dummy-half run, and finishing it off with a kick and chase for himself to score next to the posts.  

This marked the end for Manly, as they barely made it out of their own half for the rest of the game.

Tries to Nathan Traill and a second for Carucci rounded out the impressive victory, as the Cowboys now look ahead to their round 17 clash against South Sydney – the last team to beat them – at Redfern Oval. 

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 40 (Ty Carucci 2, Gideon Gela-Mosby, Marcus Jensen, Hiale Roycroft, Brandon Smith, Nathan Traill tries; Cooper Bambling 6 goals) def Manly Sea Eagles 10 (Jayden Hocking, Nicho Hynes tries; Treymaine Brown 1 goal), 1300SMILES Stadium.

Nathan Traill | Photo: Scott Davis © NRL Photos