Benji Marshall won the game for Wests Tigers with a wobbly field goal in golden point against the Cowboys. (AAP: Michael Chambers)
The Cowboys’ big comeback against the Tigers proves all in vain in a golden point loss in Townsville, after a Queensland Origin forward goes down for the Titans in a defeat by the Warriors on Friday night football.
More to come.
Cowboys comeback in vain after Benji field goal
The Wests Tigers have won ugly in Townsville, beating North Queensland 27-26 in extra time thanks to a 73rd-minute penalty try to Michael Chee-Kam and a field goal to the evergreen Benji Marshall.
Chee-Kam was in the process of scoring a try on Friday night when he was caught across the head by Cowboys fullback Jordan Kahu which knocked the ball free.
The incident was sent to the bunker as a no-try by the referees but, on closer inspection, the decision was reversed to give the Tigers the lead.
After a Cowboys penalty goal equalled the scores at 26-26, five-eighth Marshall won the match, slotting a field goal in golden point.
North Queensland had fought out of an 18-0 hole, unable to stop an avalanche of early Tigers tries. Second-rower Chee-Kam, Ryan Matterson and David Nofaluma all scored to make up for their scoreless night the week before against Canberra.
But a fortuitous run of events turned the match the way of the Cowboys when Kyle Feldt, Javid Bowen and Michael Morgan all scored off Tigers errors.
Their comeback took full flight in the 68th minute when Morgan threw a marvellous cut out ball for Feldt’s second try to take the lead for the first time in the match.
But, after Chee-Kam’s controversial second try and a frantic period of extra time, when the Tigers had three attempts at Marshall’s winner, the home side were left with nothing.
It might get worse for North Queensland with representative forward Coen Hess unable to return to the field after being left clutching at his knee early in the second half.
Both sides have next weekend off. The Tigers will take on South Sydney on Thursday June 27, while the Cowboys will be away the following night to St George Illawarra.
Warriors hold off Titans for win on the road
The Warriors had less possession, but made almost identical metres gained against the Titans at Robina. (AAP: Dave Hunt )
An ankle injury to Jai Arrow has compounded Gold Coast’s 24-20 NRL loss to the Warriors.
The Titans, who spent most of Friday evening’s second half camped in Warriors territory, couldn’t find a way through in the dying seconds, despite Adam Blair being sin-binned in the final minute of his 300th NRL match for a late hit on Tyrone Roberts.
Arrow suffered a left ankle injury in the 28th minute of the clash at Robina, falling awkwardly in a two-man tackle.
The 23-year-old limped off the field with the assistance of trainers and didn’t return, putting him in doubt for Queensland’s June 23 State of Origin II clash in Perth.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters, commentating on the game for Fox Sports, tried to remain upbeat, reminding people Arrow played in the Origin opener despite suffering a hip flexor injury before the Maroons game-one team was named.
“He’ll be fine,” Walters quipped.
“He went down last game and came good.”
Arrow’s injury came moments after the Titans had overhauled an early 10-0 lead for the visitors.
Tries to Ken Maumalo and former Titan Karl Lawton had put the Warriors ahead before two tries in as many minutes for the hosts by Ryley Jacks and Brian Kelly cancelled out that advantage.
A penalty goal before half-time to the Warriors ensured a 12-12 scoreline at the break.
The Titans came out firing to start the second half but, despite their dominance, could add only a penalty goal to take a 14-12 lead.
In the 68th minute, Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was released after Blake Green stepped around an onrushing Nathan Peats to put the New Zealand team back in front.
A second try to Maumalo, who ran for more than 200 metres, extended that margin to 10 points with five minutes to play.
Titans youngster AJ Brimson burnt past Peta Hiku to give the hosts hope but, despite Blair’s late dismissal, they couldn’t find another score and the Warriors claimed a 16th win from their past 18 clashes with Gold Coast.