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Injuries marr NYC Cowboys win

Injuries marr NYC Cowboys win
Photo: Robb Cox ©

Aaron Payne’s brave young North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NYC team have scored a stirring 34-12 win over the in-form Parramatta Eels to get their season back on track at Pirtek Stadium tonight.

Ravaged by injury during the match and reduced to one fit man on the bench by game’s end, the Cowboys started well, faded in the middle section of the match but finished strongly to run out seven-tries-to-three winners over an Eels outfit backing up from a strong win over the Broncos last weekend.

Doubles to Coen Hess, and wingers Marcus Jensen and Nathan Traill punctuated the win as the visitors had to weather game-ending injuries to centre Bacho Salam and both hookers Reuben Cotter and Brandon Smith, while back-rower Cody Grills spent at least 20 minutes in the sheds.

Following a disappointing fadeout against the Sharks to open their 2016 season, the young Cowboys came out in hot conditions full of purpose and aggression.

A try out wide to winger Jensen set the early tone and when hulking back-rower Hess crossed five minutes later, the visitors were on their way at 8-0 in the opening 7 minutes.

Hess took just three more minutes to grab his double after showing great urgency to pressure the fullback, who failed to deal with a towering Ty Carucci bomb.

Hess picked up the crumbs and speared over with Cody Grills adding the extras as the Cowboys led 14-0.

Injuries to Cowboys centre Salam and reserve hooker Cotter stifled the visitors’ momentum and two Eels tries before the half-time break had the home side trailling by a converted try, 14-8.

Down on troops and confidence, NQ started the second stanza terribly with Eels centre Dane Aukafolau showing great speed and strength to barge over to have the hosts behind by just two points, 14-12.

The Cowboys got some breathing room with a good reply try to winger Traill and Cooper Bambling’s fortuitous conversion, where it hit the upright and dribbled over, had NQ leading 20-12 with 25 minutes left.

Traill would bag a double, when in the 60th minute he latched on to a lovely Kalyn Ponga pass and the Cowboys had some space, leading 24-12.

It was down to just one fit player on the bench at one stage after Grills spent 15 minutes in the sheds getting treatment.

A sixth Cowboys try to Enari Tuala sealed Parra’s fate and the visiting Cowboys celebrated a tough first-up win of their new campaign.

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS NYC 34 (Coen Hess 2, Nathan Traill 2, Marcus Jensen 2, Enari Tuala tries; Cody Grills 2, Cooper Bambling goals) def PARRAMATTA EELS NYC 12 (Tyrell Fuimaono, Mason Cerruto, Dane Aukafolau tries; goals) at Pirtek Stadium.

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