Rugby League

Drinkwater leads Cowboys to comeback victory

June 2, 2024 6:40 pm

[Source: NRL]

The Cowboys continued the upset theme of Round 13 after snatching a late 18-16 victory over the Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

It was all hands on deck with both sides missing several stars to Origin camps but it was Scott Drinkwater who stole the show, with a try, an assist and a late save on Dom Young to seal his side’s third consecutive win.

After skipper James Tedesco was called into Blues camp on game day, the Roosters were forced into a backline reshuffle that struggled with cohesion in attack.

Article continues after advertisement

After both sides traded sets early, the Roosters took an opportunity to open the scoreboard when Chad Townsend was caught offside and Sam Walker slotted a penalty goal for a two-point lead.

Another Townsend penalty four minutes later gifted the home side an opportunity to extend the lead and Terrell May cashed over when he charged onto a Walker short ball from close range.

The Cowboys opened their account in the 33rd minute when Drinkwater put Braidon Burns over in the left-hand corner with a long cutout pass but the star fullback couldn’t land the conversion.

Right on the stroke of halftime, Walker stamped his authority with some clever work out of dummy half, setting up Young in the corner for a 14-4 lead at the break.

The second half developed into an arm wrestle as the Cowboys looked to build pressure before losing young backrower Heilum Luki to the sin bin in the 50th minute.

But Drinkwater came up with a huge play four minutes later, backing himself from close range to reduce the deficit 16-10.

Several six-again calls on the line heaped more pressure on the home side but the Roosters’ defence held firm and when Luke Keary was pinged for being offside Drinkwater knocked over a penalty goal to make it 16-12.

The Roosters came up with another error which opened the door for the Cowboys to take the lead after some slick hands to the left put Kulikefu Finefeuiaki over for a try but another missed conversion left the scoreboard level 16-16 with ten minutes to play.

However, the Roosters’ fourth penalty of the second half handed the Cowboys an opportunity to steal the lead with Drinkwater slotting the match-winning penalty shot after Junior Pauga was caught offside.