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Tight loss better than a romp for Broncos


Steve Mascord

North Queensland 12 Brisbane 0

Backing up from Origin ... James Tamou.

Backing up from Origin ... James Tamou. Photo: Getty Images

MATT BOWEN told his coach earlier this week he was saving himself for the Queensland derby. He might now have to save himself for Queensland.


The standard of last night's North Queensland-Brisbane game at Dairy Farmers Stadium was such that Broncos coach Anthony Griffin thought the 12-0 loss was an improved performance on the 40-22 win over Sydney Roosters and even the 50-24 success against Newcastle the week before.

Try-scorer ... Gavin Cooper.

Try-scorer ... Gavin Cooper. Photo: Getty Images

Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott said it wasn't far off an Origin - and it was an arena in which Bowen shone.

The contest was scoreless for 62 minutes, before Johnathan Thurston scooped the ball behind the defence into the arms of a flying Bowen, who put second-rower Gavin Cooper over.

With Billy Slater (knee) likely to miss Origin III, Ben Barba has been mentioned in dispatches as joining the squad while Greg Inglis has been favoured to become the new custodian. Bowen, who has been outstanding all year, should now come into calculations.

"He wasn't making some targets with his running [at training], and he said he was saving his legs for tonight," Cowboys coach Neil Henry said. "I said, 'Fair enough.'

"I think he'd like to represent. I think that desire's still there with him. It was a great performance tonight. Queensland have got a few options there with Greg Inglis.

"You never know, Billy might bounce back and be right in two weeks. [Bowen] wouldn't let anyone down, he's in good form."

Scott agreed, saying: "He's been thereabouts, obviously, but tonight's performance wouldn't have hurt his chances. He's done the job before and he's experienced in that role …"

The Broncos had Sam Thaiday (shoulder), Justin Hodges and Corey Parker (both leg injuries) out and Petero Civoniceva rested but Griffin continues to assess them by his own standards rather than the scoreboard.

He thought putting 40 past Sydney Roosters last week was better than running up 50 over the Knights the week before, and he argued the showing last night was an improvement on both. "I thought that was a better effort than last week, physically and desperation-wise," he said. "I thought we let in a few soft tries last week. It was pleasing to see their work ethic. They were honest. They never stopped giving.

"On the night, the opposition had a couple of class guys that just put us away.

"I was very proud of them there tonight. We got our defensive game back. We didn't have it a month ago. We didn't have it against Melbourne and we certainly didn't have it against Newcastle. We've worked very hard and we've set a standard for ourselves again."

Peter Wallace was denied a 15th minute try because Hannant had obstructed defender Thurston. The Broncos had been unhappy with that.

Cowboy Glenn Hall crossed nine minutes into the second half but was held up by Ben Teo. The try was disallowed without video referee Chris Ward being consulted.

And 11 minutes after Cooper's try, Cowboys centre Kane Linnett crossed for the clincher, and Thurston converted from out wide.

But the true story of the match came in sweeping attacks and desperate cover defence and kick chasing.

NSW star James Tamou pinned Lachlan Maranta in his own in-goal in the 56th minute when his lungs must have been screaming. Battered in Origin, Brent Tate was so feisty and determined he was marched for dissent at one point.

Ray Thompson pulled off a try-saver on Josh Hoffman he was not entitled to.

Asked to compare the two matches he'd played this week, prop Scott said: "It was pretty much up there. It's not the sort of game you want. I was hoping for a slow game.

"It's the quickest NRL game I've played in. It was probably the best we've held in there in a long time."

"I thought JT was sensational. For him to get through the amount of work he does, two days after an Origin, was something special - and we needed it tonight.

NORTH QUEENSLAND 12 (G Cooper K Linnett tries J Thurston 2 goals) bt BRISBANE 0 at Dairy Farmers Stadium. Referee: Gavin Morris, Jason Robinson. Crowd: 20,367 


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NRL Season 2015

Round 1
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BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
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PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
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NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
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PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
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WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
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MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
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NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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Round 4
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PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
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NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
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NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
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NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
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CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
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MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
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PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
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PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22vs MAN 12 Report Stats
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CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
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SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
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WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
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CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
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Round 8
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CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
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NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
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PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
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Round 9
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BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
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MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
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SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
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Round 10
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CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
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PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
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STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
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MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
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CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
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NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
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Round 12
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GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
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Round 13
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NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
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CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
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Round 14
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WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
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GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
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MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
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Round 15
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MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
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STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
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NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
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WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
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MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
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WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
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CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
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NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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Round 19
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PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
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NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
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SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
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Round 20
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BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
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NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
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CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
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Round 21
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 38vs CBY 28 Report Stats
WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
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NZW 14vs CRO 18 Stats
NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
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STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
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GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
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Round 22
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 16vs CBY 18 Report Stats
MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
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NZW 0vs STG 36 Stats
CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
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MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
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Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs MEL 15 Report Stats
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 30vs SOU 0 Report Stats
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
PEN 30vs NEW 12 Stats
STG 32vs WST 30 Stats
NQL 42vs GCT 12 Stats
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
PAR 24vs CBR 28 Stats
CRO 12vs MAN 14 Stats
CBY 26vs NZW 22 Stats
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SYD 18vs MEL 20 Report Stats
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CBY 11vs STG 10 Report Stats
BRI 16vs NQL 12 Report Stats
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CRO 28vs SOU 12 Report Stats
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Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 38vs CBY 12 Report Stats
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
NQL 39vs CRO 0 Report Stats
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Telstra Premiership Finals Round 3
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI 31vs SYD 12 Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 12vs NQL 32 Stats
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Telstra Premiership Finals Round 4
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI 16vs NQL 17 Report Stats
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Team P W L D Pts
Sydney Roosters 24 18 6 0 40
Brisbane Broncos 24 17 7 0 38
North Queensland Cowboys 24 17 7 0 38
Melbourne Storm 24 14 10 0 32
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 14 10 0 32
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 24 14 10 0 32
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 13 11 0 30
St George-Illawarra Dragons 24 12 12 0 28
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