The Canberra Raiders have fallen to a one and one record in the 2022 NRL season after a loss against North Queensland Cowboys at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville on Saturday night.
It was a difficult evening in Queensland, with errors unfortunately stopping any momentum that Canberra was able to build throughout the evening.
After a few early errors from the Raiders the home side got the scoring underway, shifting the ball left through the hands of Tom Dearden to find Murray Taulagi in the sixth minute.
The winger was able to narrowly place the ball in the corner just before James Schiller took his left leg out, giving North Queensland the early lead.
After a high tackle from Semi Valemei the Cowboys were able to add two more to the score, taking the home side to a 6-0 lead in the 19th minute.
An obstruction call on Adam Elliott again gave Valentine Holmes the chance to add a penalty goal, with the centre converting to give the Cowboys an 8-0 lead in the 27th minute.
After withstanding a multitude of pressure Corey Harawira-Naera was able to capitalise on a late set penalty in the 30th minute. The second rower was able to crash over after burrowing through multiple Cowboys defenders to plant the ball down for our first try.
His job was not yet done, with the try scorer turned kicker converting from next to the post to bring the score to within two.
It was nearly a heartbreaking end of the half for the Raiders when the Cowboys thought that they had scored their second of the night in the 38th minute.
It was only a last-ditch effort from Schiller that denied Taulagi a double.
This disallowed try meant that the Green Machine would only head into the sheds 8-6 down, with a comeback needed in the second half.
It was unfortunately the Cowboys who got the first points after the break, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow outjumping Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad before planting the ball down in the 55th minute.
Valentine Holmes was able to slot the conversion, leaving the Raiders down by eight with 25 minutes remaining.
It went from bad to worse for Canberra when Hudson Young was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul on Jeremiah Nanai in the 59th minute.
The Cowboys were able to capitalise on the one-man advantage, with Peter Hiku finding Kyle Feldt off the boot to take the lead to 14 with just 10 minutes remaining.
North Queensland were able to score yet again in the 71st minute, after a Tom Dearden kick found Jeremiah Nanai to take the final score to 26-6.
The loss now leaves the Raiders with one win and one loss over the first two matches, with the Green Machine looking to bounce back when they return to GIO Stadium next Saturday against Gold Coast.
Cowboys 26 (Tries: Taulagi, Tabuai-Fidow, Feldt, Nanai Goals: Holmes 3) d Raiders 6 (Tries: Harawira-Naera Goals: Harawira-Naera)