Cowboys Stun Eels in Townsville
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have been defeated 46-4 by the North Queensland Cowboys after a dominant second-half display of 36 unanswered points.
The Cowboys held a 10-4 lead at halftime and ran away with the game in front of 13,767 at 1300Smiles Stadium.
North Queensland looked to be on their game early, with an attacking shift to the left in the fifth minute forcing an error from the Eels, and Antonio Winterstein scoring a try.
Johnathan Thurston uncharacteristically missed the sideline conversion - his only miss of the night.
Ten minutes later Cowboys lock Jason Taumalolo crashed over the tryline for his first of two tries, and Thurston added the extras.
Both teams traded sets and errors in the first half, with knock-ons and easy penalties given away.
In the 24th minute, the Eels made the most of poor discipline from the Cowboys, attacking a short side play with Semi Radradra offloading to Reece Robinson, who finished the play perfectly scoring on the left wing.
Robinson was unable to slot the conversion from the sideline, with it floating wide.
The remainder of the half saw the Cowboys in control of possession but unable to add to their 10-4 halftime lead, with the Eels forced to defend 36 more tackles than the home side in the opening 40 minutes.
It was all Cowboys in the second half earned repeat sets, with forward Rory Kostjasyn scoring a try diving over from dummy-half.
Eels centre Brad Takairangi had a chance to score but was denied a try by the video referee, ruling he had lost the ball over the tryline.
A 40/20 kick from Thurston set up Taumalolo’s second four-pointer of the night, dragging the Eels defenders and crashing over for a try.
Cowboys hooker Jake Granville found a gap for Kane Linnett, who scored a try under posts.
Granville added one of his own in the 68th minute, earning the ball from a Gavin Cooper line break and finishing under the posts.
Two late tries to Lachlan Coote and Matthew Wright put the Cowboys comfortable 46-4 winners.
The Parramatta Eels will next take on the Gold Coast Titans on Monday August 3 at Cbus Super Stadium.
North Queensland Cowboys 46 (Taumalolo 2, Winterstein, Kostjasyn, Linnett, Granville, Coote, Wright tries, Thurston 7 goals)
Parramatta Eels 4 (Robinson try)