The North Queensland Cowboys gave the New Zealand Warriors a 48-4 hiding in Townsville to maintain their top four spot for the time being.
It was a triple blitz in just four minutes that effectively sealed the game and the Warriors could not produce the goods to bounce back as needed.
It would be the Cowboys who would then extend their lead when Murray Taulagi steamrolled Reece Walsh to score.
It was just one of several lowlights for Walsh in this contest, a game he will quickly want to forget. ‘
The Warriors breathed life into the contest when Marcelo Montoya was able to score rather opportunely but that would be the only time they troubled the scorers.
It was then that three tries in four minutes just both blew the Warriors off the park and their chances of winning.
First, it was Jeremiah Nanai and Chad Townsend combining to send the back-rower through a gap.
Then some razzle dazzle as the clock wound down saw the Cowboys score on the stroke of half-time via Peta Hiku.
The ball went down the left through Val Holmes who broke through and a string of passes found Hiku.
It went from bad to worse for the Warriors to begin the second half as Tom Dearden sliced through with a crafty run.
Recruit Luciano Leilua then got in on the act with a powerful run as he barged his way over almost effortlessly.
As the fans chanted, ‘we want 50,’ they got mightily close as they finished up with 48 points.
A second Dearden try capped off another stellar performance from him before a Chad Townsend grubber saw the halfback regather and his own kick to score.
Cowboys coach Todd Payten praised his side’s performance and their discipline.
“Really pleased to play the way we played,” Payten said.
“We started with great intent and some discipline.”
Interim Warriors coach Stacey Jones did not mince his words, criticising the team for a poor attitude throughout the game.
We just didn’t have enough players that wanted to play for the jersey, attitude has been a big word we have used the last couple of weeks, and when things were tough, poor attitude came into the game,” Jones said.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Tom Dearden (NQL)
2. Val Holmes (NQL)
1. Chad Townsend (NQL)