Round 5 – Match 4 Results: North Queenlsand Cowboys 16 v Wests Tigers 23

It was another solid win from the in-form Tigers on Saturday night when they claimed their fourth win of the season, defeating the Cowboys at Diary Farmers Stadium.

Tipped to be one of the best games of Round 5, North Queensland fans were let down by their team who suffered a hard loss after the brilliant playmaker Johnathan Thurston came off in the first half with a serious shoulder injury, thought to be at the time season-ending.

It was an extremely disappointing first half performance from the Cowboys, who failed to score a try before the half-time break. Their only points came in the form of a penalty kick by Thurston in the 26th minute.

The Tigers totally dominated from the get go, with Chris Lawrence opening their account seven minutes in.

Powerhouse Lote Tuqiri scored their second try just before the first quarter, and then Chris Heighington added more gloss to their strong first 40 minutes, scoring in the 28th minute.

Benji Marshall converted two from three and kicked himself a penalty in the final minute of the first half, giving Wests an emphatic 18 – 2 lead at half-time.

The Cowboys tried hard in the second half, battling on without JT, to score three tries.

Scott Bolton put their first points on the board seven minutes back from the break, which was followed by a try by Willie Tonga in the 65th minute. Williams, taking over the kicking duties following Thurston’s injury, only converted one shortening their deficit to six points.

But before North Queensland fans could get too excited, Robbie Farah kicked himself a field goal for the Tigers increasing their score by one point and then Chris Lawrence scored his second try of the game for the Tigers with three minutes to go.

In the last minute of play Anthony Watts scored a final try, pushing through from dummy-half, in what was a very gallant second half comeback for the Cowboys, but it wasn’t enough and they went down 16 – 23.

It was a tough defeat and the Cowboys lost more than just the match with vice-captain Aaron Payne also suffering an ankle injury in the final 10 minutes.

And it wasn’t only the Cowboys who felt the match’s brutality as Wests’ halfback Tim Moltzen was ruled out for the season after tearing ligaments in his left knee.