Cowboys outmuscle Raiders in Townsville

The Cowboys outmuscled an undermanned Raiders outfit to score a clinical 26-6 win in Townsville on Saturday night.

Led by superstar lock Jason Taumalolo and star recruit Chad Townsend, North Queensland dominated possession and field position before running over the top of Canberra late in the match.

Taumalolo ran a game high 161 metres with the ball and was supported by young forwards Jeremiah Nanai, Tom Gilbert, Griffin Neame and Heilum Luki as they powered through the middle of the ruck.

Townsend and five-eighth Tom Dearden enjoyed playing behind a dominant forward pack to create opportunities for outside backs Hamiso Tabuia-Fidow, Valentine Holmes, Murray Taulagi, Peta Hiku and Kyle Feldt.

The only sour note for Cowboys coach Todd Payten was a season-ending knee injury to forward Mitch Dunn in the first half.

In contrast, the Raiders last tackle options were poor, with Matt Frawley being the third halfback used by Ricky Stuart in the past three matches after Jamal Fogarty suffered a knee injury in the pre-season and Brad Schneider was ruled out with COVID-19. 

Canberra were also missing Nick Cotric, Jordan Rapana, Josh Hodgson and Harley Smith-Shields. 

Source: NRL