The Canberra Raiders NYC team have gone down to the Cowboys for the 2nd time this year losing 44-30 at GIO stadium this afternoon.
It was a disappointing afternoon for the Raiders with multiple errors and some poor defence the catalyst in the loss. The loss compounded by missing a chance to jump into the top 8 for the first time this season.
The Raiders struggled from the outset, a penalty off the last tackle of the first set of the game gave the Cowboys the first opportunity to score, Canberra survived the first set but repeat sets on the line was too much for the Raiders defence with Conor Carey scoring the first try of the game.
The conversion was unsuccessful by Cowboys captain Corey Jensen, the Cowboys leading a 4-0 after four minutes.
Canberra was looking vulnerable early on the edges and some nice backline moves led to another try to the Cowboys this time through Rainer Power. Jensen missed again, but the Cowboys led 8-0 after just eight minutes.
The Raiders then had four consecutive sets on the Cowboys line before Jared McIlwrick dropped the ball to release the pressure on the Cowboys.
Canberra looked to have scored a few sets later from a clever set play off a scrum, but winger Lachlan Hurst was unable to regather the Lachlan Lewis grubber. They were proving their own worst enemy dropping the ball again before the line.
It was a crucial error as the next set the Cowboys went 80 metres against the run of play and Villiame Kikau strolled over to score under the posts. Jensen added the extras to take the Cowboys out to a 14-0 lead after 18 minutes.
North Queensland looked to have scored again, but they too got the fumbles losing the ball before the try line. Hooker Josh Chudleigh was then placed on report the next set.
Finally Dylan McGrath was able to find a hole in the Cowboys’ defence beating two defenders close to the line to score the Raiders first points of the day. Doyle converted the try to reduce the Cowboys to an 8 point lead with 15 minutes to go in the first half.
An interference on a Matt Frawley kick gave the Raiders another chance at the line, this time centre Cleveland McGhie knocked on with the line at his mercy. The Cowboys scored next when replacement hooker Dan Clarke powered his way over the line.
Jensen added the extras to give the Cowboys a 20-6 lead after 32 minutes.
Doyle’s restart went out on the full and the Cowboys were on the attack the next set. It looked like the Cowboys were going to blow the Raiders out of the water, when Carey beat 3 defenders to have a double before half time. Jensen added the extras to give the Cowboys a 20 point lead after 35 minutes.
Two tries in the five minutes before half time gave the Raiders life. Hurst scored the first in the corner with Doyle converting from the sideline. Before a nice chip over the top from Frawley was gathered by Doyle who offloaded it to Creith who scored in the corner.
This time Doyle couldn’t convert the extras, but the Raiders halved the Cowboys lead in the 5 minutes leading into half time taking the momentum into the break.
Canberra were first on the board in the 2nd half following a nice break from Jono Kent. Frawley pass looked like it was going to be picked off but Carey couldn’t control it.
Creith jumped on the loose ball to put the Raiders on the board in the 2nd half, Croker took over the kicking duties and added the extras to bring the Cowboys lead back to just 4 points after 46 minutes.
When it looked like the Cowboys were going to be run over, Scott Schulte snuck up on the Raiders line, intercepted the ball running 70 metres untouched to score under the posts. Jensen added the extras to give the Cowboys a 32-22 lead after 52 minutes.
Kent looked to have scored a try after a Garard break, but the referee ruled that he lost it just before he put the ball down. Canberra was then put under immense pressure with the Cowboys continually dominating possession and territory early in the 2nd half.
Again the Raiders were sold the dummy in defence with Alex Grant extending the Cowboys lead when he scored next to the posts. Jensen added the extras to give the Cowboys a 38-16 lead with 15 minutes to go.
Canberra again their worst enemy when attacking the Cowboys line, after some good attacking sets, losing it 10 out from the North Queensland line.
Kent finally was able to get the Raiders points when he spun out of some lacklustre Cowboys defence close to the line. Croker hit the uprights with the conversion, and the Cowboys held onto a 38-26 lead with six minutes to go.
The Cowboys killed off any Raiders comeback with three minutes to go when Coen Hess broke some weak defence to score. A late consolation try from Ricky Garard was missed by Scott Doyle.
Mitchell Barnett was the Raider’s man of the match, the front rower was a strong performer in the loss and was missed early in the second half when he came off with injury.
Next week the Raiders will travel to Allianz Stadium on Saturday to take on the Roosters.
North Queensland Cowboys 44 defeated Canberra Raiders 30
North Queensland Cowboys 44
Tries: Carey 2, Power, Kikau, Clarke, Schulte, Grant, Hess; Jensen 6 Goals
Canberra Raiders 30
Tries: Creith 2, McGrath, Hurst, Kent, Garard; Doyle 2, Croker Goals