Scott Drinkwater was exceptional for the Cowboys. Picture: Craig Golding
Scott Drinkwater was exceptional for the Cowboys. Picture: Craig Golding

Super Scott can’t cover powerless pack

North Queensland came agonisingly close to an upset win over Cronulla, but eventually fell two points short in a 16-14 loss at Shark Park.

Here's five things we learned from the clash.

 

The Cowboys fell short in Cronulla. Picture: Phil Hillyard
The Cowboys fell short in Cronulla. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

1) The Cowboys have a habit this season of almost winning matches but there's no competition points awarded for that. They seriously need to address their poor finishes after letting go another second half lead on Thursday night and allow a woeful Sharks side to come-from-behind and seal the win.

 

2) North Queensland might have size and speed but they lack a serious match winner. With skipper Michael Morgan sidelined due to an ongoing concussion injury, the playmaking responsibility lay on the shoulders of young halfback Jake Clifford who was good, without being great.

 

3) Scott Drinkwater has been a blessing for the Cowboys since arriving mid season. The talented fullback opened the scoring and was safe under the high ball. His try-saving tackle in the 63rd minute was crucial to keep the Cowboys in the game.

 

4) North Queensland's forwards had to step up on Thursday night and they failed to do so. Human wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo was limited to just 154 running metres and three tackle breaks. Veteran Matt Scott was probably their best, scoring a much-needed try on halftime but no other forward made more than 104m (Jordan McLean).

 

 

LISTEN! Matty's back with Kenty and Finchy and they run the rule over the Raiders premiership chances, try to understand what's happening at the Sharks and look back at the '89 grand final and ask what would have happened if the Tigers won.

 

 

 

 

5) He might have worn the blue and white of Cronulla but make no mistake, Ronaldo Mulitalo is a Queenslander. The youngster was in fine form, scoring a try, running for 128m, two tackle breaks and two linebreaks.