With the wet conditions taking its toll on both teams in the early stages, it was actually the Eels who started off with the ascendancy, producing a solid first set, before the Cowboys took over and dictated terms.
It was the impact of one player that made all the difference – with boom rookie Jason Taumalolo targeting the weaker defenders in the Eels side with great effect – scoring one try himself, and setting another one up.
The only downside for the Cowboys, will be interchange hooker James Segeyaro facing the NRL match review committee, for his late hit on Eels five-eighth, Ben Roberts.
Neil Henry, the Cowboys coach, could not be happier with his side’s performance, and was pleased with how they controlled the game for long periods.
“You’ve got to be happy with a result like that in some difficult conditions, good ball control and it was a great result for the club,” he said.
“We trained in wet conditions yesterday and we knew it was going to be like this and it’s good when we talk about playing a type of game that we’re able to execute the plan and it takes a lot of work from the boys and I’m very pleased with our defensive commitment as well.”
Co-captain Matt Scott was also pleased at how the club bounced back in their 2nd home game of the year, after their poor showing at home in Rd 1, against the Gold Coast Titans.
“I think the way we bounced back, we spoke about it during the week, so the ball control in the first half in particular and our defensive effort and we knew if we could complete it and defend well, points would come.”
Eels coach Stephen Kearney did not have a great deal to say about the game itself, but was disappointed with his side’s defensive effort.
“With the short turnaround, you don’t get a great deal of time to prepare, but I didn’t pick that tonight. Regardless of the circumstances, it was totally unacceptable on our part,” he said.
An added downside for the Eels, was some leg soreness to halfback Chris Sandow – although Kearney said it is nothing serious.
NRL News Dally M Points
Jason Taumalolo – 3
Ashley Graham – 2
Matthew Keating – 1