North Queensland defeats Newcastle 36-16 for fourth straight NRL win as Sydney Roosters and Manly post victories
Posted On May 7, 2022
The North Queensland Cowboys have recorded four consecutive wins for the first time in five years after a comprehensive second-half performance powered them to a 36-16 victory over Newcastle.
In Saturday’s earlier matches, the Sydney Roosters defeated Gold Coast 44-16 in Mackay, while Manly downed Wests Tigers 36-22 at Brookvale Oval.
Down 16-12 at half-time, the Cowboys scored four unanswered tries in the second term in Townsville.
Two of the tries came in the space of three minutes soon after the break, with Murray Taulagi and Valentine Holmes crossing the stripe.
A Chad Townsend kick in the 58th minute was spilled by the Knights, with Cowboys young gun Jeremiah Nanai the beneficiary as he pounced and stepped two defenders to score the home side’s fifth try of the match.
Townsend then found a flying Heilum Luki, who scored with six minutes to play as the Cowboys handed an improved Knights outfit their seventh consecutive loss.
Humiliated 50-2 by the Melbourne Storm last week, the Knights showed resolve to lead at half-time, thanks largely to their halves Tex Hoy and Phoenix Crossland and skipper Kalyn Ponga.
Fullback Ponga had only three runs for 54 metres in the half but his involvement in the line gave his forwards the go-forward that had North Queensland’s defence stretched from end to end.
Completing at 89 per cent through 40 minutes the Knights found success in attack through six first-half offloads.
The Cowboys struck two minutes into the match when Tom Dearden scored the opening try.
Newcastle fired back when Dominic Young scored on an overlap in the 10th minute.
A barnstorming run by Jason Taumalolo in the 25th minute put the Cowboys just metres shy of the try line, before winger Kyle Feldt crossed for his fourth try in three matches.
But Newcastle then struck twice with a crafty Ponga grubber off the upright landing perfectly for Jacob Saifiti to score.
With 90 seconds left in the half some poor defensive discipline by the hosts gifted Newcastle deep territory and Hoy stepped two defenders before offloading to Chris Randall who scored.
Roosters overpower Titans
Sydney Roosters captain James Tedesco has reached a century of NRL tries as the Tricolours returned to winning ways with their defeat of struggling Gold Coast.
Tedesco scored a hat-trick and wingers Daniel Tupou and Joseph Suaalii bagged doubles as the Roosters ended a two-match losing run with the impressive win.
The loss is Gold Coast’s fifth in a row and leaves its season hanging by a thread with just two wins from nine matches in 2022.
Justin Holbrook’s team, playing without injured star David Fifita, made a perfect start when Beau Fermor pounced after Suaalii spilled a Will Smith grubber in the third minute to take an early 4-0 lead.
Tedesco reached his career ton in a quick reply by the Roosters in the sixth minute, combining with Joey Manu to score what would be the first of six tries through Gold Coast’s left side defence.
Despite losing Sam Verrills to a shoulder injury and having Lindsay Collins sin-binned for a shoulder charge on Corey Thompson, the Roosters extended their lead when Tedesco crossed for his second in the 24th minute.
Suaalii and Siosiua Taukeiaho then took advantage of the Titans’ left edge to blow the score out to 24-4 with five minutes to play in the first half.
Another kick by Smith led to the Titans’ second try when the ball rebounded off Angus Crichton’s leg into the grateful grasp of Sam Lisone, who crashed over to make it 24-10 at the break.
Gold Coast scored first in the second half through Herman Ese’ese to get within eight points of the Roosters, before Tupou and Tedesco scored tries to put Trent Robinson’s team back in command.
Tupou and Suaalii finished off late moves to put gloss on the scoreline for the Roosters.
Trbojevic brothers help Manly to victory
Tom Trbojevic has been upstaged on his return to the NRL by younger brother Ben, who scored a brace in Manly’s win over Wests Tigers.
Filling in as a back rower instead of playing in his usual position of centre, the youngest Trbojevic grabbed a try either side of the break in just his seventh NRL match.
The fixture was the first in which the three brothers have played together at Brookvale Oval.
Importantly for the Sea Eagles and NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler, Tom Trbojevic got through a full 80 minutes with a heavily-strapped knee after spending the last month on the sideline and finished the afternoon with two try assists and 198 running metres.
In front of 17,385 spectators, Manly cruised out to an 18-0 lead before the Tigers pulled within a converted score inspired by Jackson Hastings on his return to Brookvale Oval for the first time since his acrimonious split with the Sea Eagles.
The Tigers lost prop Thomas Mikaele and winger Ken Maumalo to first-half concussions and the pressure eventually tolled as the match wore on.
Despite the visitors being down on troops, Manly only had one try to its name after 30 minutes with Ben Trbojevic breaking the deadlock with a short-range effort.
The Tigers were deliberately attempting to slow down Manly’s quick play and referee Adam Gee lost patience, sending Stefano Utoikamanu to the sin-bin.
The damn burst with the Tigers down to 12 players as Reuben Garrick and Christian Tuipulotu scored on either flank to give the Sea Eagles a 14-0 buffer at half-time.
Daly Cherry-Evans extended the advantage but Manly was only 18-0 up given Garrick’s errant goal kicking.
The Tigers flashed a warning shot when makeshift centre Luke Garner hit back with a 65-metre effort as Hastings nudged a sideline conversion amid a chorus of boos from the Manly faithful.
Tyrone Peachey dived on a Luke Brooks grubber to cut Manly’s lead to 18-12 with 25 minutes to go.
But just when the Tigers needed to stick in the arm wrestle, they wilted under pressure.
A fumble on the kick-off return allowed Josh Aloiai to crash over on the next set for his first try in Manly colours before Ben Trbojevic and Garrick sealed their doubles.
Englishman Oliver Gildart scored his first NRL try and Joe Ofahengaue also crashed over but the Tigers’ late flourish was all in vain.