Rugby League

North Queensland Cowboys v Canberra Raiders

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The Cowboys have won a seesawing, end-to-end encounter. As always Thurston was brilliant, while Matty Bowen's replacement Michael Morgan chimed in well from the back. Up front, Taumo and Taumalolo monstered the Raiders' defence but it was Canberra's errors in Cowboys territory that let them down. Ricky Stuart will be spitting chips - his side were in this match until the last seconds - but there are signs the green machine will be one of the NRL's better teams this season. A great opener for the Cowboys and their rookie coach Paul Green.

Cowboys 28 Raiders 22

78th minute:

Can Milford or Campese pull something out of the hat? The Raiders are rolling forward again. This is their last chance. 30 seconds to go. A huge bomb from Campese... but Robinson grabs it - after a bobble. All over.

Cowboys 28 Raiders 22

76th minute:

Brent Tate is as fearless as ever tonight. For man who's had the injuries he's had, it's a massive performance. The Raiders are powering forward with Jack Wighton orchestrating from five-eighth. 

Cowboys 28 Raiders 22

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74th minute:

Winterstein looked like he had been dumped into touch but he's got the ball down flying through mid-air. What a fantastic winger's try. Power and agility. The cut-out ball from Thurston was magic - of course. He converts.

Cowboys 28 Raiders 22

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73rd minute:

Now it's the big-bearded Tamou hurtling towards the Raiders line. He's looking ferocious.

Cowboys 22 Raiders 22

71st minute:

Raiders on the attack as Campese lunges for the line and fires a low slung pass to Fensom who can't gather it in with the line wide open. That would have been a certain 4-pointer.

Cowboys 22 Raiders 22

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68th minute:

Now it's the Raiders on the rampage. They've come 90m from the kick-off and almost gone in under the posts. Instead they've won a penalty for lingering in the tackle. Milford kicks the two. We're locked up with 10 to go.

Cowboys 22 Raiders 22

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65th min:

What a seesawing match. Reece Robinson has latched onto a funky Thurston pass gone wrong and sprinted 90m to score in the corner. Sheer pace. Conversion unsuccessful.

Cowboys 22 Raiders 20

51st min:

The Raiders make great yards with the ball. They have a great roll-on, but Campese's kick on the sixth is a shocker, dribbling about for 10m or so.

Cowboys 10 Raiders 16

 

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57th min:

Rory Kostjasyn has darted over from dummy half, catching the tiring Raiders defence out. That was just a tad soft. Ricky Stuart will be cursing. JT converts. Crowd tonight is 12,000.

Cowboys 22 Raiders 16

56th min:

It's three tries a piece and the Raiders have a penalty in their own half for a 10m infringement. Big boy Tilse barges forward but the six ends abruptly with Winterstein barrelled into touch 2m out. 

Cowboys 16 Raiders 16

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53rd min:

It's all level. Brent Tate stepped of his right foot and passed inside to Thurston, who sent Cooper away. Great foot work from Tate. JT converts.

Cowboys 16 Raiders 16

49th min:

The pressure almost pays off. A bomb from Thurston is grabbed mid-air by Kane Linnett who falls over the line. But the replay shows he's bobbled the ball during the put-down. That's NO TRY. Raiders off the hook.

Cowboys 10 Raiders 16

47th min:

Cowboys repeat set ends with a delicate Tate kick and the Raiders are caught in goal again. The Cowboys' attack was a bit lethargic that time around - to be honest.

Cowboys 10 Raiders 16

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45th min:

Good pressure from the Cowboys. Robert Lui zigs and zags towards the line, grubbers then buries Morgan in-goal. Great play Lui.

Cowboys 10 Raiders 16

43rd min:

Pinpoint grubber from Campese is batted over the deadball line by Morgan. That was a good set of six from the Raiders. They carved up 80m.

Cowboys 10 Raiders 16

41st min:

Raiders kick off and the Cowboys make fantastic progress on the back of a barnstorming run from Taumalolo.

Cowboys 10 Raiders 16

HALFTIME NRL icon

Half time, and the Raiders will be happy to get back in with their lead intact. HT - Raiders lead 16-10

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The Cowboys are back in this, quick thinking by Thurston to take the quick tap, an outrageous dummy taking out a couple of chasing Raiders and then a sprint to the line. Magic stuff from JT, who adds the extras this time to bring his side within a converted try of the Raiders.

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