North Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks: NRL live scores, blog, highlights

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    Cowboys vs Sharks

    NRL, 19 August, 2017

    1300SMILES Stadium
    Fulltime - Cowboys 16, Sharks 26
    Cowboys   Sharks
    16 FINAL SCORE 26
    3 TRIES 4
    Referee: Gerard Sutton
    Touch judges: Michael Wise & Clayton Sharpe
    Video Referee: Bernard Sutton

    Match result:

    The Cronulla Sharks have picked up an uninspiring victory over an injury-decimated North Queensland Cowboys outfit by ten points to keep themselves planted in the top four with two rounds to play.

    ยป Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    North Queensland Cowboys 16
    Cronulla Sharks 26

    Match preview:

    Both the North Queensland Cowboys and the Cronulla Sharks will be under pressure for vastly different reasons when the two teams do battle in Townsville. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:30pm (AEST).

    The Cowboys might have started life without Johnathan Thurston strongly after the superstar was ruled out for the rest of the season with injury, but things have gone pear-shaped over the last few weeks.

    Three straight losses to the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers have left the 2015 premiers sliding down the ladder, and with other injuries piling up, Michael Morgan has been able to do very little to arrest the form slump.

    It’s left the Cowboys sitting in eighth spot and while the Dragons losing on Friday helps them in their quest to make the finals, they must get back into the winner’s circle sooner rather than later.

    Morgan, while leading the side hasn’t received the level of support he needs from others. Players like fullback Lachlan Coote and youngster Te Maire Martin must do more to capitalise on whatever momentum their pack can generate for them.

    The amount of momentum the Cowboys pack can generate could be a key feature of this evening’s contest. The Sharks will be determined to prove they haven’t lost the mettle in the middle that won them the 2016 premiership.

    Cronulla have spent much of the season winning when they shouldn’t have. Errors, a general lack of patience in attack and poor discipline have put them on the back foot more times than you could count on both hands.

    Despite that, they sit in the top four even after a pair of back-to-back losses against Brisbane and Canberra. A loss here though will see them stay two points behind the rampant Eels, leaving them facing the real prospect of not having a double chance in September.

    It does appear the wheels have fallen off for Cronulla though. The last two weeks has seen a poor effort on defence, and a tired-looking side.

    If Shane Flanagan can arrest the slide, then full credit to him and his staff, but for that to happen, Cronulla must settle in attack. They must slow the pace of the game and grind their way to victory and if fatigue is indeed the issue, then that’s going to be a lot easier said than done.

    Despite the Sharks ways of finding ways to win this year, the wheels look to have fallen off. The extra defence has finally caught up with them, and while the potential return of Brailey will help, the Cowboys are going to be too desperate at home.

    Cowboys by 4.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this all-important Round 24 fixture from 7:30pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment below.

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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