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Live: Cowboys vs Raiders


Chris Wilson

The latest news out of the Raiders sheds is that it may be ankle ligament damage to Josh Dugan, perhaps not a fracture. But it's hard to put a positive spin on Canberra's performance tonight. The Raiders made 15 handling errors and the Cowboys made them pay for their lack of respect for possession The Cowboys raced in seven tries in front of a home crowd of 14344 and are now sitting pretty in the top four. Matty Bowen put his hand up for a Maroons recall if Billy Slater isn't fit for the Origin decider. The little fullback is just so creative in attack for the Cowboys. Canberra's season is in freefall, especially with a mounting injury toll. Joel Thompson broke his left hand, while Trevor Thurling injured his shoulder. Thanks for joining us, catch you next game.

FULLTIME: Cowboys win 40-18. We'll bring you a summary soon.

79min: Yep it could get worse for the Raiders. Scott Bolton has just crossed for North Queensland's seventh try. You could throw the conversion over from here, so Matt Bowen steps up to kick. He converts. Cowboys lead 40-18.

77min: Sorry, we've just had some technical trouble. And the Raiders are in deep trouble. Star Josh Dugan has just been taken from the field on a medicab with a suspected broken ankle. He was in possession and his ankle appeared to get trapped under Cowboys forward Gavin Cooper. Could this season get any worse for the Raiders!

The Cowboys have found Edrick Lee's weakness. That's the fourth bomb sent his way that the lanky winger has missed.

75min: We're still here. This game has finally become a bit of an arm-wrestle. 

66min: For the second time tonight, David Shillington drops the ball soon after a Raiders try. Matt Bowen knocks on too with the Cowboys on the attack, letting the Raiders off the hook.

64min: Young hooker Matt McIlwrick is giving the Raiders a little more venom around the ruck. Blake Ferguson slams down the ball for a try, running on to an offload from Josh Papalii. Croker converts, but you'd have to be an optimist to think the Raiders are back in this one. Cowboys lead 34-18.

62min: There's a new error for the Raiders ... Dugan fails to find touch from a penalty.

58min: That's the second penalty against the Cowboys in possession for infringements in the play-the-ball. It's the one stat that looks good for the Raiders.

54min: There is absolutely no structure to the attack at all, but Josh Dugan goes solo to break through and score for the Raiders. Croker converts. Cowboys lead 34-12.

Josh McCrone has remonstrated with the referees, trying to explain that he's the captain while David Shillington is off the field. I can excuse the refs for thinking the Raiders are rudderless.

51min: James Tamou is officially the meanest bloke I've ever seen in a pink jumper and pink boots.

49min: Kane Linnett has gone in for the Cowboys. They're checking for a possible obstruction, but it looks sweet and just a bad read in defence down the left by the Raiders. It's official, a try to Linnett - again the final pass from Bowen. Thurston finally misses. Cowboys lead 34-6. 

47min: A more promising start the the second half for the Raiders has just come undone. A dropped balled by Reece Robinson, followed by back-to-back penalties.

More bad news for Raiders fans on the injury front. Backrower Joel Thompson won't be back, he has a broken left hand.

Second half is underway and a decent set from the Raiders to start.

HALFTIME: Cowboys lead 30-6. The Raiders could have felt a little hard done by when Ashley Graham was awarded the first try for the Cowboys because it looked as though the North Queensland winger may have lost contact with the ball. But the Cowboys have trampled the Raiders in every facet of the game since. The Cowboys have had 60 per cent of possession and the Raiders have gifted them too many penalties and have made far too many errors. Canberra has completed only 6 of their 14 sets, compared to 15 of 22 sets to the Cowboys. If Bily Slater is unavailable for the Origin decider, then Matty Bowen is certainly putting his hand up to become the replacement.

40min: Yep, I called it. There's the try. Cowboys halfback Ray Thompson sells a dummy to Croker and Joel Thompson, strolling through untouched for a try. Thurston converts. Cowboys lead 30-6.

38min: Cowboys hooker Aaron Payne charges down a Josh Dugan kick and sprints 85m, to be dragged down just 5m short. The try might come in this next repeat set though.

36min: That's a rare let off for the Raiders. The Cowboys drop the ball first play from a scrum, just 10m from the tryline.

33min: Matty Bowen kicks out on the full, but the Raiders can't capitalise. Josh McCrone grubbers the final play over the deadball line, and then Canberra give away their fifth penalty of the match.

30min: Prop Glenn Hall is a try-scoring machine, that's his second! He barges over one pass off the ruck. This could get messy for the Raiders if they don't start respecting the ball. Thurston converts. Cowboys lead 24-6.

28min: That's the third time the Cowboys have bombed in the direction of Edrick Lee and the young fella hasn't gone close to catching one. Another repeat set to the Cowboys.

26min: The Raiders have a chance to attack after Cowboys centre Kane Linnett drops it 20m out from his line. But Canberra blows it, fumbling again.

24mins: The Raiders have completed three of their seven sets. It's all Cowboys.

They were underdogs to start, but the Raiders have just blown out to $9 to win this one.

20min: That appears to be an unlucky call on Raiders fullback Reece Robinson. He appeared to have made it out of his own in-goal and stayed in the field of play, only for a second-effort tackle to take him over the sideline. The Cowboys are riding their luck, however, winger Antonion Winterstein scoring from the next set. Matty Bowen delivered the final pass and is having a ripper so far. Thurston converts and Cowboys lead 18-6. 

17min: Jarrod Crocker lunges at a grubber kick from Josh McCrone, but he grounds it over the deadball line. No try for the Raiders.

16min: Graham penalised for walking off the mark. That's a change in momentum. Raiders on the attack.

The Raiders better fix up their discipline or the refs will need to replace the peas in their whistles.

11min: Not much defence in this game so far, especially when it comes to Canberra's infamous left-edge. Cowboys prop Glenn Hall barges over to extend the home team's lead. Thurston grunts with disgust as he hits his kick, but it splits the posts. Cowboys lead 12-6.

9min: Dugan doesn't get away with this long kick-off. Out on the full and the Cowboys are on the attack again.

7min: Raiders skipper David Shillington is crunched from the restart, dropping the ball. The Cowboys capitalise from the next set, winger Ashley Graham running on to a long ball from Matt Bowen to dive across in the corner. It's referred to the video referee, with doubt over whether Graham dropped the ball. The benefit of the doubt ruling seems dubious to me. Thurston converts. It's 6-6.

4min: That's a better last-play option by the Raiders, running the ball again. A long cut-out pass from Dugan gives Jarrod Croker early ball, who twirls around Brent Tate and slam-dunks the ball over the tryline out wide. Croker converts his own try from the sideline. Raiders lead 6-0

2min: Poor last play option by the Raiders, centre Blake Ferguson tackled and forced to hand it over to the Cowboys.

Deep kick-off from Josh Dugan and Jonathan Thurston knocks it over the deadball line. Perfect start for Raiders.

The Cowboys are now out on the field and in a tight circle, with the entire ground taking a minute's silence to honour Matt Scott's mum.

Cmon Cowboys, the Raiders are out on the field waiting. Let's get this started!

There's been one change to each side prior to kick-off in this match. It's fitting the Cowboys will be decked out in pink tonight for the Women in League week, given Cowboys prop and co-captain Matt Scott will miss this game to mourn the death of his mother, Dianne. Scott has been replaced in the starting team by Ricky Thorby. The Raiders have also made one enforced change, given Bronson Harrison was unable to shake-off a niggling injury related to his back and hamstring. Trevor Thurling comes on to the Canberra bench to play his 100th NRL match. 

Preamble: Join Chris Wilson as he takes us through all the action from North Queensland.

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