Hooker a handful in win over Rabbitohs
JAKE Granville has upstaged some of biggest crowd- drawing stars of the NRL to help the Cowboys to a 23- 10 win to continue their dominance over the Rabbitohs in Cairns.
The hooker made the most of a powerful performance from the North Queensland forwards at Barlow Park yesterday, particularly unstoppable lock Jason Taumalolo, who scored a try and made two linebreaks on top of 173m up the middle.
The Rabbitohs looked the most likely early and took the lead in the 13th minute when Adam Reynolds stepped around some retreating defenders and popped a slick pass to Cody Walker to score under the post.
Tom Burgess dropped the ball off the kick- off and it allowed the Cowboys to put their stamp on the game.
The next set Taumalolo produced a typically dynamic charge, dragging four defenders over the try line to put the Cowboys on the board in the 17th minute.
From there the Far North favourites put on a rugby league clinic, building pressure over the next 10 minutes before Kyle Feldt crossed in the corner to make it 10- 6.
Coen Hess entered the fray and made an immediate impact to score in the 32nd minute on the back of the momentum of a Granville dummy- half run.
The two teams went to the sheds at 16- 6 and the Cowboys picked up where they left off five minutes after the resumption. Granville spotted a massive hole on the Rabbitohs’ tryline and forced his way over from dummy- half as just rewards for his man- of- thematch efforts.
The Rabbitohs gave their fans some hope when winger Braidon Burns scored in the corner in the 67th minute.
Lachlan Coote sealed the Cowboys’ third- consecutive win with a field goal in the 77th minute.
Innisfail’s Scott Bolton also had a wow of a game, churning out 50 minutes in his first stint before finishing with 166m and 26 tackles.
Cowboys coach Paul Green said the middle third was a Rabbitohs strength and knew it would take a solid performance from the forwards to get the job done.
“It’s an area of our game that we needed to be good at today and I was proud of the way our forwards matched them through there. It was good to see,” he said.
Green lauded the “smart attack” of his side, led by Granville and the blossoming partnership between Te Maire Martin and returning Origin star Michael Morgan.
“He was really good today, both sides of the ball,” he said.
“He set up a couple of tries, scored a try himself. Defensively when he was out there he tightened us right up and forced that error off the drop- out on one of the big Burgess boys and you know I thought he was outstanding.”
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire was almost stunned at his side’s inability to hold the ball, while captain Sam Burgess said despite far too many errors, his side should have been good enough to defend them.
“In those conditions, against a high completing team, it’s going to cost you and we just didn’t defend well enough,” Burgess said. “We let in a few soft tries on our line, which at this level is not good enough.”