North Queensland Cowboys came back from a 6-8 half-time deficit to keep the Gold Coast Titans scoreless in the second half on the way to a 20-8 victory at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville.
The Cowboys came into the game after having made one change, with Javid Bowen replacing Justin O’Neill in the centres.
The Titans were forced into several changes. Karl Lawton replaced Nathan Peats at hooker, Morgan Boyle started in the second row, pushing England international Chris McQueen to lock and Leivaha Pulu to the bench. Will Zillman and Max King both started on the bench.
After a scoreless first quarter Michael Morgan was the first to score for the Cowboys as he touched down near to the posts.
Kyle Feldt missed the conversion but added a penalty before the Titans scored eight points to take the lead late in the half, with halfback Ashley Taylor brilliantly combining with Dale Copley to touch down and then adding a penalty goal.
In the second half Coen Hess and Feldt added tries for the Cowboys, with Feldt converting the first and then adding a penalty to give the Cowboys a victory that was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested.
Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 22 Javid Bowen, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Ray Thompson, 7 Michael Morgan, 8 John Asiata, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper (c), 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Jason Taumalolo; Interchange: 14 Ben Hampton, 15 Coen Hess, 16 Shaun Fensom, 17 Ben Spina
Titans: 1 Tyrone Roberts, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Jarryd Hayne, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 Dale Copley, 6 Kane Elgey, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 14 Karl Lawton, 10 Ryan James (c), 15 Morgan Boyle, 12 Joe Greenwood, 11 Chris McQueen; Interchange: 13 Leivaha Pulu, 16 Paterika Vaivai, 19 William Zillman, 20 Max King,
Full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL matches can be found in Monday’s issue of League Express