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.”

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