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Cowboys too hot to handle for Broncos

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Cowboys buck Broncos from finals

North Queensland Cowboys have ended the Brisbane Broncos season with 33-16 elimination final win.

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That's the end of the road for Petero Civoniceva and the Broncos but may just be the start of something special from the Cowboys. They win 33-16 in front of wild fans in Townsville and book a date with Manly next weekend. After that performance, even though it's away from home, you'd have to think they are a terrific chance of knocking over the premiers.

The Cowboys looked slick and confident in attack and had far too much for the Broncos to handle. Things were interesting in the middle of the second half as the Broncos made a mini-surge but they couldn't get close enough to really have the Cowboys quivering. Matt Bowen, in game 250, was absolutely sublime and halfback Michael Morgan scored three tries.

The men from the north look to be a complete package. They have strike out wide running off Thurston and Bowen and James Tamou and Matt Scott just dominated Brisbane in the middle of the park. Justin Hodges was a constant danger but he couldn't conjure enough tricks to keep Brisbane alive.

The game marks the end of the wonderful career of Civoniceva, who retires as one of the game's great props and ambassadors. Gordon Tallis ended his career with a semi-final loss in 2004 in Townsville. Now Civoniceva does the same.

FULLTIME Cowboys 33 Broncos 16.

78th min The game has been decided but Matt Scott grabbing his shoulder. They would hate to lose him. Looks ok - he's moving back into the line. And there's a field goal from Bowen to make it 33-16. Just for fun.

76th min Thurston slings it through to make it 32-16. Three tries for 20-year-old halfback Michael Morgan, who loves taking on the line. Yet another promising Queensland halfback in the making. Production line north of the border.

75th min Reed drops it cold on his line! Cowboys get a gift there. Morgan thinks he's got number three.... he has. That's a TRY to the Cowboys and they will meet Manly next weekend. Brisbane's season is over, as is the career of Petero Civoniciva. It's 30-16 with a kick in waiting.

73rd min Clever stuff from Wallace... kicks from himself and regathers but the Cowboys manage to bring him down. North Queensland now the side on the back foot but you'd think the clock will be their best friend. Not enough time for the Broncos. Cowboys 26 Broncos 16.

70th min Brisbane win a repeat set and must score now. And they do! Hodges all over it and Copley dives over in the corner for the TRY! Big kick coming up for Wallace. Magical pass from Hodges. Copley sprints and finishes like a boss. We have a game on our hands. It's 26-16 as Wallace lines up the kick... misses it. 

67th min That's exactly what they don't need. Terrible play from Ben Hunt. He runs from dummy half right into James Tamou at marker, then spills the ball and essentially hands it to him. Now a penalty to the Cowboys. Any sort of score here seals it, if it's not already a done deal.

66th min Pete Wallace kicks true and it's 26-12 to the Cowboys with just under 15 minutes to play. Broncos need a very quick score here to give them any chance of surviving.

64th min Linnett has done a pretty good job on Hodges last night. Brisbane seeking out their big centre now as they try to find a miracle to get back into this game. And they've made it over the line for Sam Thaiday to score the TRY for Brisbane. A forward pass earlier from Segeyaro gave the Broncos an opportunity and, well, there could be life in this yet. It's 26-10 with a kick on the way.

60th min Another Brisbane mistake takes their error count to 11. The Cowboys heat it up again. Brisbane on their heels but hold on to keep them out.

56th min Far too good. Brent Tate gets the TRY for the Cowboys and that's surely the end of the road for Brisbane. Bowen just sublime - what a player and what a performance in his 250th. Took the Brisbane kick on the fly and skinned the defence, lining up the one-on-one to put Tate clear. It's 26-6 and this could get even nastier if Brisbane don't tighten things up.

53rd min Tough call against the Broncos. Taumalolo lost the ball in the tackle but it was ruled a strip. A tad harsh perhaps and the end result is Thurston lining up a shot to take them past two converted tries clear. Curves it through - Cowboys 20 Broncos 6.

50th min Keystone cops there. Alex Glenn throws a crazy pass in his own half and Morgan skips clear. He's caught and then Brent Tate picks it up and throws it right into touch. Let's all forget that just happened. Cowboys 18 Broncos 6.

47th min Wallace thumps it through and it's 18-6. That's made things interesting at the very least. I wouldn't think the Cowboys would panic but another try to the Broncos and we have a game on our hands. They scored three in the second half against Penrith last week so can score in patches.

45th min Te'o turns it over. The offload was on but no Broncos in support and it goes right to a blue and yellow shirt. The Cowboys take it to the Broncos line and now Beale makes a massive break! And now Norman gets clear and he's gone over! Gone upstairs though as they look for an obstruction. They've gone 100m in two plays and good to see Norman carry the ball - he doesn't run it enough. Going to be a try I'm sure... it is. TRY to the Broncos and it's 18-4 with a kick on the way.

41st min Play has resumed and the Broncos need a spell of about 10 for none to get back in this game. More easy metres though from the Cowboys - Tamou and Matt Scott just rumbling onwards like renegade bulldozers and the Broncos have little answer.  

HALFTIME Cowboys 18 Broncos 0.

39th min Ad-lib touch footy style attack from the Cowboys and the Broncos do brilliantly to hold on. They trail by a mile but will take a lot of confidence from that defensive effort near the break.

39th min The Cowboys had them on toast on the right but Thurston couldn't get it away! Loses it as he tries a quick kick but Brisbane have knocked it on. Surely the Broncos can't hold on here. They are out on their feet.

38th min McCullough has tried his best for Brisbane but knocks it on from dummy half as he tried to pass it on the fifth tackle. Cowboys get a massive chance to end this contest before halftime.

32nd min TRY to the Cowboys. They are absolutely on fire and the North Queenslanders have it on a string. The kick through from Bowen is plucked majestically from the air by Morgan and he races clear for his second try. Exceptional football. Thurston makes it 18-0 to the Cowboys.

30th min Hoffman still on the deck for Brisbane after a crowd of players compete for the bomb. Brisbane looking knackered. They play at a quick pace, which is great if you can turn that into points. They haven't at the moment and the Cowboys are carving out huge metres when they go forward. It's 12-0 to North Queensland.

27th min Hoffman stands firm on that Bowen bomb but Reed pinged for taking out Bowen, who kicked the ball and chased. Thurston going to eat an easy two points, which is a strange option. They have them in all sorts. Anyhoo, he gets it and the score is 12-0 to the Cowboys.

25th min McCullough 40-20. Brisbane feed the scrum about 15m out. But they lose it on the first tackle through Norman! Terrible stuff from the Broncos. Unbelievable.

23rd min Break for the Cows. Tate drops the Bowen pass just a few metres from his own line but Copley is ruled to have got a touch on it first. Just seeing the replay, I'm not too sure about that but Tate was positive as he made his thoughts known to the officials. Cowboys 10 Broncos 0.

21st min Hoffman gets the key touch this time. Thurston just killing it and his grubber is a good one. Hoffman gets a hand to it and knocks it clear. Cowboys get a fresh set. Te'o on for the Broncos - they need something from their bench man and get a break here as Matt Scott knocks it on to dissolve any pressure being built.

19th min Thurston converts. North Queensland lead 10-0.

17th min Awful mistake from Brisbane and it's a second TRY for the Cowboys! Hoffman drops a sitter off the Thurston  bomb and Morgan just picks it up and plonks it down. Lots of good defensive work undone there by the Brisbane fullback and the Cowboys go out to an 8-0 lead with a kick on the way.

15th min Feel for Copley there... looks to have injured his leg and he limped back the kick return - then was cleaved in twain by Dallas Johnson. Payne has a cork to the leg and could yet be back, reports Nine's Darren Lockyer from the sidelines.

13th min Segeyaro on with injury dramas to Payne. That kick wasn't very smart though as he dribbles it right to Copley on the fifth and final tackle. Cowboys lead 4-0 in a high-tempo sort of affair. The Broncos have got themselves in the game though and that's huge for them if they are to upset the home side.

10th min Double movement! Reed was so close but just couldn't resist having an extra dig. Think he dropped it as well as he tried to extend the arm. No dice and the Cowboys keep the 4-0 lead. 

8th min Jack Reed gets the Brisbane cross-kick and goes close but his offload goes to - yep - Bowen. Now the Cowboys counter and drop it as Cooper forces the pass. Brisbane back with the ball. Good fast game at the moment with both sides keen to attack. A big difference from the other game tonight, when Melbourne put on a clinic for the inept Rabbitohs.

5th min TRY to the Cowboys. Matt Bowen gets a miracle ball from Ash Graham and goes over for the four-pointer. Graham was into touch it seemed but he got off the deck and the Hail Mary finds the fullback. That's a try in his 250th game for the brilliant little Cowboy. It's 4-0 as Thurston misses that fairly simple conversion.

2nd min Cowboys get their first set away and Dale Copley goes all Karmichael Hunt on the kick return. Smashes into the defence and Brisbane's first set is a good one. The Cowboys almost muck up that bomb but Morgan runs it out of the in-goal and an early emergency is cleared. And now Beale knocks it on for the Broncos as he fields the kick. He slipped just before he grabbed it. That's bad luck but it sets up the Cowboys beautifully.

7.51pm Teams on the park. Justin Hodges celebrating his 200th NRL game. He must deliver if Brisbane are to be any chance. Matt Bowen and Johnathan Thurston man-hug and we are away.

Preamble Good evening everyone. Thanks for joining our coverage of Cowboys-Broncos. The North Queenslanders have the form and the superstars but the Broncos don't believe for a moment they are making up the numbers in the top eight. Let's see if they can spring an upset at Dairy Farmers Stadium.


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NRL Season 2016

Round 1
Thu, 03 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs BRI 20:05Pirtek
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs STG 19:00AAMI
Fri, 09 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 10 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
vs 00:00TBA
Sun, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Thu, 10 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN vs CBY 20:05Pepp
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs NZW 20:05SUN
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
MEL vs GCT 18:30AAMI
Mon, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs MAN 19:00VAS
Fri, 16 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 17 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Thu, 17 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL vs SYD 20:051300
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY vs PAR 20:05ANZ
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CBR 17:30HS
PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
Mon, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CRO 19:00BO
Fri, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU vs CBY 16:00ANZ
BRI vs NQL 20:05SUN
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs GCT 17:30GIO
SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
WST vs PAR 16:00ANZ
CRO vs MEL 19:00Shark Park
Sun, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Thu, 31 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs SOU 20:05BO
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
GCT vs BRI 20:05Cbus
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs NEW 15:00AAMI
WST vs CRO 17:30CSS
NQL vs STG 19:301300
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
Mon, 04 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CBR 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Thu, 07 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:50SUN
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs SYD 19:50ANZ
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBR 15:00Pirtek
NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs GCT 14:00Shark Park
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs CBY 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Thu, 14 AprTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PAR 19:50BO
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:501300
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT vs STG 15:00Cbus
CBY vs NZW 17:30Westpac Stadium
BRI vs NEW 19:30SUN
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 14:00GIO
WST vs MEL 16:00VAS
Mon, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PEN 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SOU 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs GCT 15:00ANZ
CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
NQL vs PAR 19:301300
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs PEN 16:00Shark Park
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
STG vs SYD 16:00AS
MEL vs NZW 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs WST 19:50ANZ
PAR vs CBY 19:50ANZ
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 15:00Carrington Park
SYD vs NEW 17:30CCS
MAN vs NQL 19:30BO
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 12:00MSS
GCT vs MEL 14:00Cbus
CRO vs BRI 16:00Shark Park
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Thu, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 19:50Jubilee Oval
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SOU 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NZW 15:00AMI Stadium
MEL vs NQL 17:30SUN
MAN vs BRI 19:30SUN
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
WST vs CBY 16:00ANZ
Mon, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SYD 19:00Cbus
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Thu, 19 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:50ANZ
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
NQL vs BRI 19:501300
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
NZW vs CBR 17:30Yarrow Stadium
CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs GCT 14:00Pepp
CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
Mon, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs MEL 19:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
Mon, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PAR 19:00HS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 19:50GIO
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs BRI 15:00MSS
NQL vs NEW 17:301300
MEL vs PEN 19:30AAMI
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WST 16:00AS
SOU vs GCT 18:30nib Stadium
Mon, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CRO 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBR 19:50SUN
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:50ANZ
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs NZW 15:00HS
PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 16:00BO
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
CRO vs NQL 19:00Shark Park
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs MEL 19:30WIN
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 16:00MSS
Mon, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:50Pepp
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs STG 15:00HS
CRO vs NZW 17:30Shark Park
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus
MEL vs WST 16:00AAMI
Mon, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NQL vs MAN 19:001300
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CBY 19:50AS
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:50SUN
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs GCT 15:00MSS
WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
CRO vs PAR 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 14:00GIO
SOU vs NQL 16:00Barlow Park
Mon, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs STG 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SYD 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:30ANZ
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CRO 16:00Pepp
Mon, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 19:00GIO
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs GCT 19:50Jubilee Oval
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MEL 14:00HS
PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
Mon, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO vs NEW 14:00Shark Park
STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
Mon, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
PAR vs WST 00:00ANZ
SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
MAN vs NEW 00:00BO
NQL vs MEL 00:001300
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
GCT vs NZW 00:00Cbus
WST vs NQL 00:00VAS
PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 00:00ANZ
BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
STG vs CRO 00:00Jubilee Oval
NEW vs PEN 00:00HS
SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
SYD vs STG 00:00AS
NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
NQL vs NZW 00:001300
MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
NQL vs GCT 00:001300
MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures

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