South Sydney’s decision to take a ‘home’ game to the North Queensland city of Cairns backfired on Sunday, when they went down 10-23 to North Queensland Cowboys, who again shrugged off the absence of Johnathan Thurston to register a convincing victory.
Souths were quickly on the scoreboard in the heat of Cairns with a try to Cody Walker.
But from the rest of the half the Cowboys dominated, with tries to Kiwi Four Nations star Jason Taumalolo, former Junior Kangaroos winger Kyle Feldt and Origin utility Coen Hess.
The locals went to ‘oranges’ with a solid 16-6 lead.
The Cowboys stretched the lead with a try early in the second spell.
But neither side seemed to want to win, with a surfeit of sloppy play and a succession of unforced errors.
Winger Braidon Burns brought Souths back within striking distance with 13 minutes remaining.
However, Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote snapped a late field goal to seal the winning lead.
Rabbitohs: 1 Cody Walker; 2 Alex Johnston, 3 Bryson Goodwin, 4 Robert Jennings, 23 Braidon Burns; 6 John Sutton, 7 Adam Reynolds; 8 Tom Burgess, 9 Robbie Farah, 10 David Tyrrell, 11 Tyrell Fuimaono, 12 Angus Crichton, 13 Sam Burgess (c). Subs: 15 Jason Clark, 16 Zane Musgrove, 17 George Burgess, 22 Cameron Murray.
Tries: Walker, Burns; Goals: Reynolds 1
Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote; 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein; 6 Te Maire Martin, 7 Michael Morgan; 8 John Asiata, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper (c), 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Jason Taumalolo. Subs: 14 Ben Hampton, 15 Coen Hess, 16 Shaun Fensom, 17 Corey Jensen.
Tries: Taumalolo, Feldt, Hess, Granville; Goals: Lowe 3; Field goal: Coote
Monday’s edition of League Express, available in the shops or online, will feature full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL matches.