Cooper wins it late for the Cowboys

North Queensland won 20-18, their first game in six, with a late Gavin Cooper try, having been 12-0 down to the Newcastle Knights.

The Knights were all over their opponents early and scored two tries in the first 10 minutes of the game. Jack Cogger put Lachlan Fitzgibbon through a hole and then Aidan Guerra did the same after Danny Levi’s pass.

Levi’s game took a turn when he was sin binned after multiple team offences. A minute later, Justin O’Neill scored after nice work from Johnathan Thurston.

But normal service was resumed when the Knights’ hooker came back onto the field. Fitzgibbon grabbed his second, again, thanks to Cogger.

The pressure was all with the Cowboys after the break. It told when Coen Hess crashed over off a Thurston pass. Three minutes later, the Cowboys were within two points when O’Neill was freed on the left and kicked back inside for the supporting Thurston.

It took until the 78th minute for Thurston to earn the Cowboys the win. His inside pass found Te Maire Martin. He drew and passed to Gavin Cooper who won it for North Queensland.

Cowboys: Martin, Feldt, Tuala, Linnett, O’Neill, Clifford, Thurston, Asiata, Granville, McLean, Cooper, Hess, Taumalolo; Interchanges: Bolton, Hampton, Fensom, Scott
Tries: O’Neill, Hess, Thurston, Cooper; Goals: Thurston 2

Knights: Ponga, Sio, Mata’utia, Ross, Kenny-Dowall, Cogger, Pearce, Lillyman, Levi, D Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Barnett, Guerra; Interchanges: Buhrer, Heighington, King, Ese’ese
Tries: Fitzgibbon 2, Guerra; Goals: Sio 3
Sin bin: Levi (18) – professional foul

Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.