Cowboys punish an error-prone Eels outfit in Townsville.
The North Queensland Cowboys showed what they are capable off after punishing a poor Parramatta Eels side at 1300 Smiles Stadium, winning 42-14.
North Queensland were first on the board through captain Johnathan Thurston, after he pounced on a Michael Morgan grubber kick.
Thurston added the extras for his fourth try for the season to give the home side a 6-0 lead.
The kick saw JT become the 17th player in NRL history to pass 1400 points and equal Paul Bowman as the Cowboys’ fifth highest scorer in club history.
North Queensland prop Matt Scott continued his sensational start to the game as he scored next to the uprights, as he carried two Eels’ defenders across the line.
His second try for the year saw the Cowboys jump out to a 12-0 lead to see the Eels continue to struggle away from home in 2014, but with plenty of time left in the game, Parramatta were not out of the contest yet.
Curtis Rona continued his sensational start to his NRL career as he scored on the right win, as the Cowboys left the Eels stunned, surging to a 18-0 lead.
Ken Sio scored to keep his side in the hunt, as the winger finished off some excellent phases on his inside before Chris Sandow landed the sideline conversion to see the score move to 18-6.
Rona went close to bagging his second for the game but was ruled to have knocked on in trying to ground the ball in the corner again.
Showing his ability to make an impact quickly, Eels interchange forward Pauli Pauli surged his way across the line to keep Parramatta in the hunt as Sandow landed the conversion to make the margin just six.
Sandow’s right foot continued to fire as he slotted a penalty goal on the stroke of half-time to see the Cowboys’ once healthy lead cut to just two at half-time.
Kane Linnett scored a vital try for the Cowboys, the first of the second half, as he showed great strength to reach out and slam the ball down.
Thurston’s conversion ensured the home side started to turn the game back their way, as the skipper made the margin 10 points in the 47th minute.
Linnett scored his second for the night as he pounced on a short grubber kick from Thurston, which was weighted to perfection for his centre, as the margin for the home side grew to 16.
Parramatta’s completion rate dipped below 50 per cent in the second half as they became their own worst enemies, as the sub-par Cowboys continued to do enough to keep their opponents at an arm’s length.
Rona scored his second for the game as he grounded another low kick into the in-goal a the home side continued to run away with the contest.
North Queensland scored their seventh try for the night as Morgan did all of the hard work himself, grubbering through and cleaning up the ball as the home team sealed deserving win against a wasteful Eels side.