Santo opens his ac­count in un­der- 20s de­but

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport - by Michael Thompson michael. thompson@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au Mon­day, March 21, 2011 Townsville Bul­letin

CHAR­TERS Tow­ers prod­uct Zac Santo scored on de­but for the North Queens­land Cow­boys un­der-20s in their 24-20 win over the New­cas­tle Knights on Satur­day.

Santo’s try came in the sec­ond half of an en­ter­tain­ing con­test that went down to the very last play, with the Cow­boys fend­ing off a late Knights fight­back af­ter lead­ing by 14 points with 25 min­utes l eft at Dairy Farm­ers Sta­dium.

Cow­boys f i v e - e i g ht h Michael Parker-Wal­she made a bust up the mid­dle of the park be­fore pass­ing to Moses Pan­gai, who off-loaded for Santo to race in and score un­touched and put the home team up 24-10.

The play cov­ered the length of the field and capped off a per­fect in­tro­duc­tion for Santo, who made his way on to the in­ter­change bench fol­low­ing the late with­drawal of Chris Grevs­muhl with in­jury.

Santo’s de­but co­in­cided with the Cow­boys’ first win of the NYC sea- son, as the team made amends for their shock 46-24 de­feat at the hands of the Bris­bane Bron­cos in round one.

It was the Knights, how­ever, who threat­ened to pull off yet an­other am­bush in the same style as the Bron­cos.

Two New­cas­tle tries in­side the first 14 min­utes could have proved fa­tal for less classy sides, but an av­er­age team the young Cow­boys are not.

Cow­boys hooker Jay Lob­wein got his team back in the game with a pow­er­ful try in the left-hand cor­ner, and in­ter­change for­ward Nathan Nor­ford added an­other with a crafty run from dummy half from 15 me­tres out.

The Cow­boys led 12-10 at half­time and ex­tended that ad­van­tage by six points when 17-year-ol d Santo crossed for his try 12 min­utes into the sec­ond half.

Hul k i n g s e c o n d - r o wer J a s o n Tau­malolo was next in af­ter tak­ing a hit-up just inches from the Knights line, his show of sheer force prov­ing too much for two New­cas­tle de- fend­ers who were left hap­lessly hang­ing off the fu­ture NRL star.

Up 24-10 and back to the form of pre­mier­ship favourites, the Cow­boys faced a test of nerves as the Knights surged back with two unan­swered tries.

But a much-im­proved de­fen­sive ef­fort held off the come­back and the Cow­boys ended the close-run con­test with a de­served win.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.