The North Queensland Cowboys have comprehensively beaten Wests Tigers 64-6 in their Round 22 clash at 1300 SMILES Stadium in Townsville.
Having already lost a stack of players to injury before the match, a suspension to Bodene Thompson and injuries to Luke Brooks, Keith Galloway and Pat Richards saw the visitors make seven changes heading into their Round 22 match, and unsurprisingly, it was the Cowboys who quickly took control in the match.
After gaining a repeat set from an error on the kick off, Matthew Wright touched down in the corner following a ball from Tautau Moga after just two minutes.
Johnathan Thurston was unable to add the extras from the sideline.
The winger soon had a double after 11 minutes when Moga turned provider, and completed his hat-trick after just 14 minutes of play when he out-jumped Kurtis Rowe to snare Thurston’s cross-field kick and score in the corner.
Incredibly, the Cowboys led 14-0 after just 15 minutes of play.
The hosts continued the assault of points when Michael Morgan sent Tariq Sims over after 19 minutes and then Robert Lui did the same for Jason Taumalalo after 26 minutes. Thurston made no mistake with the conversion on either occasion as the Cowboys pushed their lead out to 26-0 after 26 minutes.
Antonio Winterstein grabbed his first of the night in the 29th minute after he finished off a sweeping move involving several hands in the left corner.
Thurston again added the extras to push the lead to 32-0 after 31 minutes.
Wests Tigers would threaten to get on the scoreboard shortly before half-time but were unable to land the final pass, as the hosts preserved their 32-point lead as the two teams went into the half-time interval at 1300 SMILES Stadium.
The Cowboys quickly picked up where they left off before the break with Winterstein grabbing his second try of the night in the 42nd minute.
Thurston again added the extras to push the score to 38-0.
As the visitors struggled to put any polish at the end of their attacking chances, the Cowboys continued to put the points on, with Morgan running on to a sharp inside ball from Thurston in the 50th minute to grab his first try of the evening.
The five-eighth made no mistake from in front to push the lead to 44-0.
Wests Tigers would finally get on the board through Aaron Woods in the 58th minute, with Cory Paterson’s conversion taking the scoreline to 44-6.
However, it wouldn’t be long before the Cowboys continued their attacking potency, with Moga scoring himself in the 60th minute.
Thurston added the extras to push the score to 50-6, and it was soon made worse for the visitors when Kane Linnett barged over in the 63rd minute.
Taumalalo grabbed his second try of the night in the 72nd minute after an error from Curtis Sironen inside his side’s own 10m line, and Thurston once again came in to add the simple extras and push the score to 60-6.
Moga grabbed another try to push the score to 64-6 in the 78th minute, which is how it would remain at full-time following Thurston’s missed conversion.
Final: North Queensland Cowboys 64 def. Wests Tigers 6