Cowboys show they’re real deal by shooting down Eels

The Cowboys entered Spherical 8 with the NRL’s second-best defensive report and so they proved their new-found resilience is not any fluke by upsetting title contenders Parramatta 35-4 at TIO Stadium in Darwin on Saturday night time.

North Queensland surged previous the Eels and Sharks on percentages into third spot behind competitors pacesetters Penrith and Melbourne and they’re on track to make the finals for the primary time because the unlikely 2017 run to the ultimate.

That they had overwhelmed 4 groups who didn’t make the finals final 12 months with their solely earlier win over 2021 finals aspect coming final week after they put away the struggling Titans.

However this win will make the remainder of the competitors sit up and take discover.

Cowboys coach Todd Payten faces a welcome choice headache with Scott Drinkwater firing at fullback and Maroons consultant Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow making a return from the bench after a month out with a knee damage.

The Eels had all the sector place within the first half hour of the match however the Cowboys’ defence held agency earlier than an uncharacteristic error from Eels fullback Clint Gutherson in coughing up a bomb gave them a uncommon foray into enemy territory within the NT. 

Scott Drinkwater spiraled an exceptional move to the best wing which Kyle Feldt wanted to speed up onto, which he did to the touch down out broad. 

Drinkwater was ignored for choice within the halves within the first 4 rounds however has been electrical at fullback over the previous month. 

Valentine Holmes, after opening the scoring with an early penalty objective, nailed the sideline conversion to offer North Queensland an 8-0 lead. 

They prolonged their lead a couple of minutes later when 200-gamer Chad Townsend lobbed a superbly positioned excessive kick for Feldt to outleap Hayze Perham on the flank. 

Holmes not solely drilled a second straight conversion from contact however added a subject objective because the half-time siren sounded for a 15-0 buffer. 

Shaun Lane crashed over from brief vary seven minutes into the second stanza however the ball slipped from the Eel’s grasp within the sweaty tropics.

Parra obtained a penalty for Townsend being offside at marker however North Queensland once more repelled yet one more attacking set.

“It’s like they’re defending with 14 or 15 players, the Cowboys, at the moment. There just looks no way through for the Parramatta side. As they continue to offload and ask questions, the Cowboys just continue to turn up,” Fox League analyst Michael Ennis mentioned in commentary.

Parramatta went near scoring within the 52nd minute, in opposition to the run of play, when Will Penisini crossed after a Cowboys error however a Mitchell Moses knock-on within the lead-up led to the bunker flashing up the crimson verdict.

When Feldt accomplished his hat-trick from a scrum transfer within the 57th minute the end result seemed over however Perham hit again six minutes later to make it 19-4 and provides the Eels a faint sniff.

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Coen Hess of the Cowboys looks to pass as he is tackled during the round eight NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the North Queensland Cowboys at TIO Stadium, on April 30, 2022, in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

(Photograph by Mark Kolbe/Getty Pictures)

However the match was sealed 5 minutes from the ultimate siren when captain Jason Taumalolo skittled 5 defenders in a barnstorming run and five-eighth Tom Dearden dived over on the subsequent play with the defensive position in tatters.

Tabuai-Fidow celebrated his return from damage when he backed up Drinkwater to hurry previous Gutherson to the road within the 77th minute. The Hammer then sparked one other attacking raid within the closing seconds and Drinkwater was the beneficiary of the ultimate strive of the night time after a intelligent chip and chase.

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