NRL: Cowboys thrash Roosters in hot Darwin

Ashton Sims of the Cowboys is tackled. Photo / Getty Images
Ashton Sims of the Cowboys is tackled. Photo / Getty Images

Cowboys 50
Roosters 12

The Sydney Roosters' decision to play their NRL home game against North Queensland in Darwin proved a disaster as the Cowboys ran in nine tries to embarrass the tricolours 50-12.

Played in hot and humid tropical conditions more suited to the Cowboys, the Roosters looked flat from the opening whistle.

Cowboys Jason Taumalolo, Antonio Winterstein and Matt Bowen all scored doubles to inflict the 11th loss from as many home games the Roosters have taken away from their Sydney base since 2006.

North Queensland ran in five tries to take a 28-0 halftime lead in the match played in close to 80 per cent humidity and nearly 30 degrees.

The Roosters were on the back foot from the opening minute when they conceded a ruck penalty before Cowboys centre Winterstein scored in the eighth minute, strolling through some feeble defence to score under the posts.

Winterstein had a double three minutes later when he scored on the left edge and Johnathan Thurston added the extras to make it 12-0.

The Roosters continued to backpedal and struggle in the conditions before winger Ashley Graham finished off a nice backline move to score in the right corner to make it 16-0.

Three minutes later, the Cowboys produced another sweeping backline play with Kalifa Faifai Loa diving over in the corner which Thurston converted to make it 22-0.

A drinks break stemmed the flow of points for the Roosters but, soon after the resumption, Thurston produced a brilliant banana kick that fullback Bowen pounced on to score next to the posts.

The Roosters sat in a coolroom at halftime and it looked to have brought them to life with centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall spectacularly climbing above the pack to snare a Mitchell Pearce cross-field kick to score six minutes after the break.

Braith Anasta put a towering cross-field kick up with centre Joseph Leilua bringing it down close to the posts to score a converted try and there was a faint hope of a comeback at 28-12.

But the Cowboys killed off any hope the Roosters had when powerful interchange forward Taumalolo burst through from close range to score on the back of a penalty to score under the posts to make it 34-12.

The Cowboys dominated the final 12 minutes with soft tries to Ray Thompson, Taumalolo and Bowen.

North Queensland front-rower Ashton Sims was placed on report for a high shot on Roosters back-rower Jack Bosden in the second half.


NORTH QUEENSLAND 50 (M Bowen 2 J Taumalolo 2 A Winterstein 2 K Fai Fai Loa A Graham R Thompson tries J Thurston 6 M Bowen goals) bt SYDNEY ROOSTERS 12 (S Kenny-Dowall J Leilua tries B Anasta 2 goals) at TIO Stadium. Referee: Gavin Morris, Ashley Klein. Crowd: 10,008.

- AAP

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