Blog log from R2 of 2015: North Qld vs Newcastle

We are running a little late getting this one started, but that’s not out of the ordinary in this league. (Pre-match)
Cowboys kick off. (Pre-match)
Five and a bomb from both sides to start, fairly routine. (Pre-match)
A penalty at midfield gives the Knights the ball to start a set 30m out. (1H 0:39)
Gagai passes to Uate on a flowing move to the right, ref rules no try on a lunge to the corner, video ref gets his first work of the evening. (1H 1:33)
The refs got that call right, Uate had his boot on the sideline, no try. (1H 1:33)
Lowe draws a penalty on a carry to his own 30m to release pressure on the Cowboys. (1H 2:30)
Lui’s grubber from 10m is cleaned up by Roberts without incident. (1H 2:52)
Mullen bombs from 35m, Morgan takes it 15m out with ease. (1H 3:37)
Feldt shapes to offload from his knees and is tackled to force a knock on 30m out from the Knights line. (1H 4:41)
Mullen bounces a kick into the corner post from 30m. (1H 5:34)
A penalty for peeling out by the Cowboys at midfield gives the Knights a red zone set. (1H 9:06)
Gidley loses the ball on the next tackle 5m out from the line, O’Neill getting in the way to force it. (1H 9:06)
Not a huge amount of goal line action in the first ten minutes, a lot of technical penalties in the battle for field position. (1H 9:39)
Linnett and Gagai have a bit of a stink, handbags at ten paces but the ref calls them in for a schoolboy lecture. (1H 10:31)
Thurston grubbers from 5m, Wright catches and is tackled but twists over the line to ground it, ruled a try but it’s now a video ref decision. (1H 12:59)
Not offside, not double movement, Leilua couldn’t prevent the grounding in the tackle, it should be a try. (1H 13:01)
And ruled as such, to the delight of the home crowd. (1H 13:01)
Thurston converts from close in on the right side. (1H 13:14)
Gidley catches a high Lui bomb 5m out, no drama. (1H 13:17)
Matthew Scott touches down in goal but the ref rules no try for an infringement on Gidley off the ball. Video ref decision pending. (1H 17:20)
Ruled a try because the man interfering with Gidley’s attempt to catch the bomb (Cooper) was also going for the ball. (1H 17:56)
Thurston pops through the easy conversion. (1H 18:08)
Uate cleans up a grubber to the in goal and just manages to get out before two Cowboys tackle him. (1H 20:28)
NQ does some strong work in defence to restrict Newcastle to only 20m gain on their next set starting from their own goal line. (1H 20:55)
The next Cowboy set starts from over midfield. (1H 20:55)
But Kostjasyn passes forward from dummy half 10m out to kill momentum. (1H 22:12)
Gagi loses the ball just the other side of halfway trying one too many fend offs. (1H 22:53)
Another penalty in the ruck at midfield gives Thurston the opportunity for a quick tap from 40m, he bursts for a 20m run but hits his head on the knee of a tackler and is dazed. (1H 24:51)
Morgan gets a very high shot from Linnett on the attack 10m out, Thurston decides on the penalty shot. (1H 26:22)
Thurston scores the penalty goal, this is a bit of a cakewalk at the moment. (1H 26:22)
Another penalty in the ruck against Newcastle at midfield. (1H 28:01)
Mullen catches the next Thurston kick 5m out to stop another Cowboy raid. (1H 30:10)
A chaotic last tackle play by the Cowboys almost results in a score on a spalpsly populated left wing but the Knights hold on for the changeover. (1H 31:13)
Two Cowboys spoil each other going to a Thurston bomb to the left wing. The Knights are playing this game mostly in their own red zone at the moment, half time can’t come quick enough. (1H 33:37)
Morgan fields a nothing bomb 15m out from his own line, the Cowboys have barely had to defend in their own half in recent sets. (1H 34:39)
Morgan passes to Cooper who drops it 25m out from the line. (1H 34:39)
Uate is first back to chase a surprise chip after a scrum to an empty red zone but the Cowboys get back to defend… but on the next play a shift left gets Leilua the try in the corner! (1H 36:21)
The fullback was nowhere to be seen in the vicinity of the drop of that excellent kick over an overconfident Cowboy line. (1H 36:55)
The conversion attempt from the sideline is a miss. (1H 36:55)
That very late try was completely against the run of play, which was dominated more by NQ the more it went on. Which is why it was so surprising! (1H 38:04)
Now one has to wonder if the Cowboys didn’t capitalise enough on their control of the game, as the Knights are less than two converted tries behind. (1H 38:04)
Mullen bananas a kick from 35m in touch in goal. (2H 40:33)
Lui bombs high to the right wing, McManus catches and is tackled in goal but it’s a penalty to the Cowboys for offside. (2H 41:59)
Lowe drops the ball at midfield, on the next play Thurston draws a penalty for a dangerous tackle which causes a rather soft melee. (2H 43:17)
The miscreant was Scott, who is already on report for another incident. The home crowd bays for a card. (2H 44:39)
No wait, it was Houston who was the culprit. He’s on report now. (2H 44:39)
A Lui grubber from 10m is cleaned up by Mata’utia without problem. (2H 45:17)
Things a bit sloppy as both sides make mistakes near midfield. Players a bit stroppy as well, bit of niggle creeping in. (2H 45:28)
Lui bombs to the in goal on the left wing but Uate rises above the pack to take the mark. (2H 46:42)
Leilua jumps with Morgan for a bomb 15m out but knocks it on. (2H 49:47)
Neither side showing a massive amount of creativity on attack, especially with kicks which are being cut out rather easily. (2H 51:39)
Two line breaks for the entire match tells a story, it’s mostly boot work. (2H 52:45)
More kicking, more fullbacks with relatively easy jobs to kill them off. (2H 53:33)
Gidley finally breaks a line after Thurston is shepherded out, he reaches midfield but his pass hits a Cowboy and the cavalry descends. (2H 56:34)
At the end of that set, Mullen’s pass goes to ground in the last 5m. (2H 57:35)
Uate gets a pass on the right wing, two Cowboys go to him, he falls on his back over the line, did he ground it? Referee says yes, try to Newcastle! (2H 59:52)
Snowden it was with the pass from his back to set up that try. (2H 59:52)
The flags are up from the sideline conversion. (2H 62:22)
Mata’uita knocks on a kick to 5m which bounces dangerously in front of him, off his knee and then hand! (2H 62:22)
Big chance here for NQ< which hasn't attacked nearly as much this half. (2H 62:46)
Taumalolo drives towards the line from 5m under a double tackle and powers over the line, but as he tries to gets his arms free for the touch down he drops it forward! (2H 62:46)
Snowden makes a barnstorming run to get the Knights into the red zone. On the next play, Leilua beats two on the left wing to score! (2H 69:12)
Kick from halfway in from the sideline to take the lead… Roberts splits the middle! (2H 69:44)
In a game without much in the way of inspiration on attack, the Knights have ground their way back into the contest with hard graft and a few individual efforts. (2H 72:04)
Mata’uita drops another high kick just outside his own line but recovers and runs out to 15m. (2H 72:04)
Thurston goes high once again with a kick but this time Mata’uita comes forward and catches it with more confidence. (2H 74:55)
NQ not kicking from dangerous positions, all they can hope for is another mistake and Mata’uita hasn’t delivered it. (2H 76:50)
The Cowboys start their last set from their 10m line. They reach 40m just before the final hooter blows and get a penalty. (2H 78:41)
Thurston weighs his options. He can’t kick a penalty from there… (2H 78:41)
Wait, JT thinks he can make the distance with a kick! (2H 78:41)
But it’s Feldt who steps up for the fateful kick! (2H 79:43)
The distance would have to be 70m on the fly, since he’s at his own 40m near the sideline. (2H 79:43)
It was long enough but way right, Newcastle wins! (2H 79:43)