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Match Report: vs Cowboys

Wests Tigers have suffered their first defeat at Magic Round, falling 36-12 to the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium.

Inspired by the debut of Junior Tupou, Wests Tigers fought valiantly but were unable to overcome a Cowboys outfit brimming with confidence.

With his backline decimated by injuries, Michael Maguire named Tupou on the wing and there didn’t appear to be any early nerves from the 19-year-old, who was forced to make a tricky catch under the high ball.

Despite a promising start from the joint-venture, the Cowboys got the scoring underway on the back of an audacious flick pass from Murray Taulagi.

Not to be outdone by his opposite number, Tupou’s dream debut soon became even better as he snatched a kick out of the air to score his first NRL try.

Taulagi soon reclaimed the lead for North Queensland, but it wouldn’t be long before Luke Brooks put his side back in front with a perfect cutout ball to Luke Garner.

Late tries to Kyle Feldt and Reuben Cotter gave the Cowboys an eight-point advantage as both teams hit the sheds.

Already down on troops, the task soon became tougher for Wests Tigers as Luke Brooks (Hamstring) and Jake Simpkin (Concussion) failed to return for the second half, before Zane Musgrove (Shoulder) was forced to leave the game early.

Tries to Murray Taulagi, Peta Hiku and Jeremiah Nanai extended the Cowboys’ lead and sealed the victory for Todd Payten’s men.

Despite the loss, there were several strong individual performances for Wests Tigers across the park, with multiple players forced to play out-of-position.

Five players ran for over 100 metres, while Kelma Tuilagi and Alex Twal led the tackle count with 43 and 39 respectively.

With just five days between matches, Wests Tigers will now shift their attention to Friday’s match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Leichhardt Oval.

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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