The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NYC team continue to build on their winning form, defeating the Melbourne Storm 38-14 at 1300SMILES Stadium tonight.
Strong running from the Cowboys forwards laid a platform for Kalyn Ponga and captain Brandon Smith to put on five tries between them, with a hat-trick to Smith.
Good discipline earned the Cowboys the right to attack in the first 10 minutes, and they capitalised on the back of penalties to open the scoring.
The points came in an 11-minute burst, with Smith crossing for two close-range tries, and Ponga putting good field position and his right-foot step to use to score.
The Townsville heat seemed to affect both teams halfway through the first stanza, as errors began to creep into the game.
It was the Storm who broke the drought first with fullback Scott Drinkwater palming off Cowboys halfback Jacob Bourke to cross in the 34th minute.
It didn’t take long for Ponga to resume his try-for-try contest with Smith, streaking away down the sideline to bring up his own double.
The Storm opened the second half exactly as they would have planned, with winger Cory Parker crossing over in the corner 10 minutes in.
The fatigue that seemed to plague the Cowboys in the first half disappeared as the home team set up camp in the Storm half, scoring three tries in the space of 12 minutes.
Marcus Jensen mirrored his opposite number, crossing in the corner, and Smith followed up with another scoot from dummy half to bring up his hat-trick.
Ponga and Smith continued to devastate the Storm, this time combining to put second-rower Emry Pere over, bringing the score to 38-10 with 15 minutes left in the game.
The Storm took home a 70th minute consolation try, bringing the final score to 38-14.
The young Cowboys have consolidated second spot on the NYC ladder, and sit on 31 points, just two wins adrift of ladder-leaders Penrith, who suffered just their second loss of the season earlier this afternoon.
NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS 38 (Brandon Smith 3, Kalyn Ponga 2, Michael Carroll, Emry Pere tries; Jacob Bourke 5 goals) def MELBOURNE STORM 14 (Cory Parker 2, Scott Drinkwater tries; Jesse Arthars goal) at 1300SMILES Stadium.