Rugby League

Doubles to Origin hopefuls help Cowboys fire against Tigers

May 25, 2024 4:31 am

Doubles to Queensland State of Origin hopefuls Valentine Holmes, Jeremiah Nanai and perennial try-scorer Kyle Feldt helped North Queensland Cowboys secure a 42-28 win against Wests Tigers.

The Cowboys were first on the board when Feldt – who missed last week’s win against the Rabbitohs with injury – picked up where he left off and scored the opening try of the match.

The next points were added by Holmes who kicked a penalty goal for an early 14-0 lead, keeping pace with the game clock, after a successful Captain’s Challenge gave them the opportunity, after Tigers forward Stefano Utoikamanu was ruled to have stripped at a ball when two players were involved in a tackle on Nanai.

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Feldt had his double after an unfortunate drop attempting to take a high from Solomon Alaimalo gifted the Cowboys the ball, with the home side wasting no time to convert their opportunity into points.

Alaimalo however was able to make up for his error when he scored the first try of the match for the Tigers, running through the last line of defence off a nice backline play from the Tigers.

This seemed to spark the visitors, who went back-to-back after exciting fullback Jahream Bula wrested the ball from the hands of his opposite fullback Scott Drinkwater to score and narrow the margin to 20-10 with just over 10 minutes left to the break.

It was an eventful end to the first half which ended on the same scoreline, with Holmes sent to the sin bin and put on report for a hip drop tackle on Isaiah Papali’i, where he and Tom Dearden got tangled up trying to bring the big forward down close to his line.

The second half started with the same level of high action, with the Cowboys denied on one end of the field, only to concede the opening try of the second half when Samuela Fainu was able to put his side on the front foot with a try in the opening minute to again narrow the scores.

In an end-to-end display from both sides, the Cowboys were denied again when Feldt was attempting to go over for his third, only to have the ball slapped from his grasp with desperate defence from the Tigers.

The home side were finally able to get back on the board when a strong run from Sam McIntyre was rewarded with a try next to the posts, pushing the scores to 26-16 with Holmes back on the field and able to convert the try.

That man was in amongst the action again, this time scoring a try of his own, with North Queensland’s intensity lifting to the challenge of the Tigers. Holmes again converted the try for a 32-16 lead, giving them some breathing space once more with over 20 minutes left on the clock.

After some back and forth from the teams, Nanai also got a double for the Cowboys to effectively tie up the win for his side, giving them back-to-back victories, however the Tigers didn’t stop trying.

Late tries to forwards Utoikamanu and Alex Twal ensured the Tigers scored more than 17 points for just the second time this season.

In all, it was another high-scoring match between the two sides, with scores of 74-0 and 66-18 reached last season.