Cowboys steal the win at the death

The North Queensland cowboys and the Newcastle Knights would do battle in the first game of Friday night football coming from Townsville, with the Cowboys looking to avoid the wooden spoon by the end of the week while the Knights would look to try and start their run to the end of the season with an apparent upset.

The Knights would welcome back star rookie Kalyn Ponga after a few weeks off with a hamstring injury, however they would lose 5/8 Connor Watson to injury during the week. Jack Cogger would come into the side. The Cowboys would welcome back Jordan McLean and Matt Scott from injury, with Mitch Dunn and Corey Jensen dropping out of the side.

The Knights would get off to a flying start, with Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Aiden Guerra both scoring in the first 10 minutes of play. Fitzgibbon would be sent through a gaping hole by Cogger after just 3 minutes, leaving Jonathon Thurston grasping at air while Aiden Guerra would bustle through right in front without opposition to make it 12-0 after just 11 minutes.

Justin O’Neill would get one back for the Cowboys after 19 minutes, with a bulletlike pass from Jonathon Thurston sending the winger over for a comeback try. With JT’s radar buzzing like usual, the cowboys would be just 6 points back but a penalty goal for Ken Sio would see the margin back out to 8.

Fitzgibbon would bag his second try for the game, in what was a splitting image of the first try that he scored. Both JT and Kane Linnett were looking at thin air as Cogger would send the Knights second rower into the gap and away for the double. Ken Sio would miss the conversion, leaving the score at 18-6 by half time.

The Cowboys would come out of the half time break with a rocket strapped to their legs, with the first 10 points of the half going their way. Jonathon Thurston would put Coen Hess through the defense of the Knights, in what would be a pretty similar few seconds to the Knights third try of the night. Thurston would miss the conversion to leave it at 18-10.

It then would be the Cowboys legend who would do it all himself to bring the home side to within two points. The half would see send a ball out to Justin O’Neill, who would toe through a kick for the halfback who would plant the ball down and convert his own try to make it 18-16 with 30 minutes left.

Gavin Cooper would seal a memorable comeback win for the Cowboys in what was a night for the back-rowers after Te Maire Martin and JT worked some magic at the deal to ensure the two points. The Knights have now officially ended their run for the finals, while the Cowboys prolong their avoidance of the wooden spoon for at least another week.

Luke

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