Check out all of the action from the second semi-final.
North Queensland’s Kyle Feldt scores the first of his side’s two tries in their 8-0 semi-final defeat of the New Zealand Warriors at the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park today.
After amassing almost 100 points in their previous four games the Vodafone Warriors failed to score at all as they were eliminated by North Queensland at the semi-final stage of the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park today.
The Cowboys needed just a try in each half to make the final of the $2.6 million tournament with an unlikely 8-0 win.
It was a result at odds with almost all that had gone before across two days, particularly from the Vodafone Warriors who had their attack singing when beating Canberra 25-14, Manly 27-4, North Queensland 28-23 and South Sydney 17-16. They’d scored 17 tries and tallied 97 points.
The had the means to do more of the same to move past North Queensland for a place in the grand final against traditional rival Brisbane, which eliminated Cronulla 18-14 in the first semi-final.
For the first time the attack didn’t gel, though. Captain Shaun Johnson later said the side had been guilty of moving the ball laterally too much; he also conceded the Cowboys had done a decent defensive job on them.
This was a North Queensland side which had sneaked into the last eight with just one win, a 24-0 success against Canberra, and then eliminated Penrith in the quarter-finals for a second win.
By the semi-final stage bodies were being asked serious questions as players lined up for their third match of the day, their fifth in two days.
North Queensland profited from an early-tackle error by the Vodafone Warriors, claiming possession near halfway and finishing the set with a try wide out; Kyle Feldt took Robert Lui’s floated long pass and put the ball down expertly.
No conversion and then another Cowboys try was on offer until Sam Tomkins snuffed out the threat with a much-needed spot tackle.
Finally there was more than a sniff. A kick and great chase forced a goal-line drop out but there wasn’t quite enough time to arrange a strike before halftime, the Cowboys going to the break 4-0 ahead.
When they hit their right edge early in the second spell they created a try for Javid Bowen, leaving the Vodafone Warriors in trouble trailing 0-8. There was no way back from the deficit as the Cowboys choked the home side’s attack expertly.