TAU­MALOLO FINDS THE LINE AT LAST IN BRU­TAL FASH­ION

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - CHRIS GARRY

JASON Tau­malolo has proven his de­ter­mi­na­tion to be “ruth­less” is more than just lip- ser­vice, as the Cowboys fi­nally found their killer in­stinct.

Tau­malolo had his best game of the sea­son in a twotry per­for­mance against the Par­ra­matta Eels which broke his try- drought this year.

The Cowboys in­flicted their big­gest win this sea­son and big­gest win over the Eels in a 46- 4 dom­i­na­tion.

It was their 14th win this year, which should see them set a new record for wins and com­pe­ti­tion points by sea­son’s end.

The Eels were meant to be thrashed in Townsville but they were in con­tention for an up­set dur­ing the first 60 min­utes.

They were bril­liant in at­tack at times but were their own worst en­e­mies in a first half that should have seen them score more than one try.

For 60 min­utes they looked ca­pa­ble of orches­trat­ing a boilover and then the Cowboys found the next gear they have been search­ing for all sea­son.

The Cowboys’ fi­nal 20 min­utes was among their

most pol­ished all sea­son as they scored five tries. While they fin­ished the game pro­duc­ing the type of at­tack­ing football pre­mier­ships are made of, the Cowboys’ first half in­cluded some of their worst football since their loss to Cronulla last month.

Tau­malolo was ex­cep­tional all game. Two bar­geover tries, tram­pling hap­less Par­ra­matta de­fend­ers, gave the Cowboys a 22- 4 lead with 15 min­utes re­main­ing and from there North Queens­land put their foot on the pedal.

It was the first time the Cowboys have won by more than 20 points this sea­son.

They are now on 32 com­pe­ti­tion points and with six games re­main­ing can re­al­is­ti­cally make it to 40 points, smash­ing their pre­vi­ous best of 34 com­pe­ti­tion points.

The Eels have been to hell and back this sea­son and they were clearly dis­tracted.

The Eels butchered tries, were pas­sive in de­fence and lacked struc­ture but the Cowboys were al­most as bad dur­ing the first half.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween the teams was the Cowboys of­ten backed up their er­rors with de­fen­sive re­solve, while the Eels dropped their heads.

Eight of the Cowboys’ 14 wins this sea­son have been by six points or less. They were gritty if un­able to dom­i­nate.

That changed last night.

Pic­ture: IAN HITCH­COCK

BREAK­ING THROUGH: Jason Tau­malolo of the Cowboys is tack­led by Manu Ma'u of the Eels dur­ing North Queens­land’s 42- point win at 1300SMILES Sta­dium last night.

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