They may not have had the best season so far given all the expectations placed on them but they got the win they needed, as the North Queensland Cowboys now lie two points outside the top 8, after a 24-4 win over the Cronulla Sharks.
In what had been a bit of a low-scoring game, it was two try assists by captain and five-eighth Johnathan Thurston that put the game to bed, as the Cowboys burst out of the blocks and got the opening try courtesy of Kane Linnett.
The Sharks were in the game early on when Luke Lewis crossed, but it was the Cowboys who played the role of aggressor and used that and the ability to grind out the game when the going was tough, to get the much needed win.
They will face a nervous wait when it comes to prop Ashton Sims, however, who was placed on report in the first half for a knee to the head of Cronulla Sharks fullback Nathan Stapleton.
Cowboys Buy Levitra coach Neil Henry was after a lift in intensity in the second half and was pleased with the way his players responded.
“Obviously the second half was good, we had a fair bit of possession there and got some nice tries,” Henry said.
“(It was a) tough game really, I thought the first 60 minutes had a bit of end-to-end stuff there at times but I’m very pleased with our defensive effort as well to only concede four points.”
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was blunt in his assessment of the game, knowing full well that their error rate hurt them and that long defensive periods caused tired players.
“We had 13 errors with the ball and you just can’t do it and the Cowboys capitalised,” Flanagan said.
“We had probably six or seven drop-outs in that time and it took too much petrol out of them and some poor execution and it wasn’t our night.
“We weren’t very good at all.”
3. Tariq Sims
2. Johnathan Thurston
1. Gavin Cooper