Rugby League

Cowboys rally late to draw with Dolphins

February 13, 2023 6:30 am

A late try to Laitia Moceidreke on the stroke of full-time has helped the Cowboys salvage a 22-22 draw in a thrilling finish against the Dolphins at Barlow Park in Cairns.

The Dolphins appeared set to have stolen victory after coming from behind earlier in the match before the Cowboys crossed late to level the scores with Zac Laybutt unable to convert from out wide.

Young stars Jack Bostock and Isaiya Katoa stood tall for Wayne Bennett while Tom Chester and Thomas Duffy put their hand up for future selection at North Queensland.

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The Dolphins got out of the blocks early with a pinpoint Anthony Milford grubber bouncing perfectly for Illawarra Steelers junior Jack Bostock who touched down in stunning fashion just inside the line to score.

But just four minutes later, thanks to a pinpoint kick from Ben Hampton, young flyer Moceidreke hit back for the Cowboys and Duffy converted to put the Cowboys in front 6-4.

Six minutes later and Cairns Brothers junior Robert Derby intercepted a looping pass from Isaiya Katoa to run the length of Barlow Park, crashing over the line despite a valiant chase by Euan Aitken.

Come the 32nd minute of the match and it was Derby again, who cleaned up a Chester kick before crashing over in the right corner for an 18-4 lead.

Three minutes before the half time buzzer and Katoa delivered a neat inside pass to Lachlan Hubner who scored under the posts, reducing the deficit 18-10.

After biding time in the sin bin, Milford wasted no time after re-entering the fray, producing a perfectly weighted kick which Brenton Baira snared from Derby to reduce the gap to two.

Late errors cost the young Cowboys the chance to seal the win early with multiple missed scoring opportunities and the Dolphins took the lead in the 72nd minute through Mason Teague.

But a late try to Moceidreke on the stroke of full-time saw the two Queensland sides lock scores on the siren.