NQ shock Eels to win in boilover

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - STEVE ZEMEK SYD­NEY

NORTH Queens­land has moved to within 80 min­utes of the un­like­li­est NRL grand fi­nal ap­pear­ance in modern his­tory fol­low­ing a shock 24-16 semi-fi­nal win over Par­ra­matta last night.

The Cow­boys pulled off one of the big­gest boilovers of the year in front of 41,287 at ANZ Sta­dium.

The Cow­boys only snuck into eighth spot when St Ge­orge Illawarra were beaten by Can­ter­bury in the last round but will now take on the Syd­ney Roost­ers on Saturday for a spot in the sea­son de­cider.

The Townsville side was ef­fec­tively writ­ten off af­ter co­cap­tains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott were ruled out for the year but con­tin­ues to defy the odds.

Half­back Michael Mor­gan was out­stand­ing, dic­tat­ing terms with his kick­ing game be­fore scor­ing the match-seal­ing four-pointer five min­utes from full­time.

The Eels melted un­der the pres­sure, mak­ing 13 er­rors and com­plet­ing just 26 of 39 sets as a sea­son which promised so much came to a dis­ap­point­ing end.

Cow­boys lock Ja­son Tau­malolo only so­lid­i­fied his rep­u­ta­tion as the best for­ward in the com­pe­ti­tion, run­ning for 236 me­tres from 21 runs as well as mak­ing 33 tack­les.

Two of Par­ra­matta’s tries came from length-of-the-field kick re­turns.

Semi Radradra opened the scor­ing in the sev­enth minute when he leapt to take a Te Maire Martin kick and run 100 me­tres to score.

But con­tin­ued er­rors on er­rors meant they couldn’t build any pres­sure in at­tack.

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