Ricky Thorby

It was not the start they wanted to begin with, but resolve and a resurgent North Queensland Cowboys outfit have scored a come-from-behind trial victory over the Brisbane Broncos, winning a nail-biter 28-24 in Mt Isa earlier today.

With the score 20-6 at one stage in favour of the Broncos, it was a try by prop Ricky Thorby that proved to be the match-winner, on the back of some fantastic work from youngster, Blake Leary.

In front of 4,000 fans at Alec Inch Oval, it was young halfback Michael Morgan who captained the side – with the man believed to be the favourite to partner Johnathan Thurston in the halves, doing his chances of starting in 2013 no harm.

“Yeah, it was good. It was good to get the win as we fell away a bit there in the second quarter, but we fought our way back in the third and we were lucky enough to get the late try in the fourth,” said Morgan.

Whilst coming from behind is never easy, Morgan was pleased with how the side responded to the deficit as a team, as they began to execute their plays more clinically, as well as their improved defensive performance.

“Definitely our defence, I think,” said Morgan.

“We came out with the right attitude in the second half, just slowing them down, and we didn’t really push passes, you know?”

“We concentrated on that and spoke about it half-time, and it worked.”

Morgan, who has the experience playing alongside Thurston in the halves for the Cowboys, will be looking to build on this trial performance, scoring a nice try of his own in the fixture.

“Curtis said there was 10 seconds left and they rushed up, so I did my best, yeah.”

Whilst only a trial, the games are important to gauge where players are at, with Morgan pointing out several team-mates he believed played well.

“I thought Felise Kaufusi went good for his first NRL trial – he played a fair few minutes and he blew out a bit at the back end, but while he was on there, he did a really good job,” said Morgan.

“Tyson Martin was good as well and I gotta give credit to all our forwards on a really got afternoon, as I can’t imagine how tough it would have been for them up the middle.

Cowboys assistant coach Terry Matterson was relatively pleased with how the Cowboys played, but cited continual improvement before the start of Rd 1.

“Yeah, it was good – bit of a lull in the second quarter there, where they scored 2-3 tries,” said Matterson.

“Overall, we’re fairly happy – the boys came back, played some good footy and I think it’s great for the people of Mt Isa that they got a fairly close game.”

With all eyes on the return of Tariq Sims from two horrific leg injuries, Matterson was pleased with his effort, as he is eased back into full-time rugby league.

“Tariq Sims gained some confidence and Scotty Moore, Clint Greenshields, they bettered themselves.”

The catalyst for the Cowboys roll-on in the second half was down to their forward pack taking ownership of the game, particularly Scott Bolton and Ricky Thorby.

“When those guys are on, we played on the front foot all game,” said Matterson.

“We missed a little bit when those guys were off, but they’re going to be there or thereabouts really pushing for first-grade and that was part of bringing them out here to get them a little bit of footy, and lead the way for the guys.”

By ricky

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