In what has been perhaps the closest trial game so far, and despite stellar performances from the Cowboys old guard in Matthew Bowen and Jonathon Thurston, a Scott Prince conversion after the siren has handed the Titans a 24-22 win.

In a match played in abysmal decisions at Barlow Park in Cairns, it was a last minute try to Titans winger Clinton Toopi that gave Prince the chance to win the game for the Titans, a kick in which he slotted home.

It was the Bowen and Thurston show for a while however, as they look to re-kindle their previous partnership following some injuries to Bowen, who is now back at full fitness.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry, who has been given 6 weeks to stake his claim to remain as Cowboys coach was pleased with the performance of Bowen and Thurston, one he knows is needed more for the Cowboys to win games.

As would be expected, Cowboys new recruit Dallas Johnson was tireless in defence in what is a good sign for the Cowboys heading into Rd 1.

Henry was incredibly pleased with his side’s performance, and hopes for more of the same as the season goes on.

“They had a nice little combination there and they were both busy and Matt had some typically aggressive carries in wet conditions,” Henry said.

Despite wearing the number 6 jersey, Greg Bird spent a fair bit of time in the second-row, but he will be looking to shore up that five-eighth spot, as his own.

“He kicked well, tackled well and he’ll be pushing hard for that spot,” Coach John Cartwright said.

Despite a stellar performance from the young and livewire centre Shannon Walker, Cartwright said that the young gun would have to bide his time.

“Everyone expects him to be an automatic NRL star but he’s got to do an apprenticeship like anyone else. We have a lot of strength at fullback but it’s nice to know he can do the job,” Cartwright said.

By ricky

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