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

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    Sharks vs Cowboys

    NRL, 10 September, 2017

    Allianz Stadium
    Fulltime - Sharks 14, Cowboys 15
    Sharks   Cowboys
    14 FINAL SCORE 15
    2 TRIES 2
    Referee: Ashley Klein
    Touch judges: Michael Wise & Clayton Sharpe
    Video Referee: Bernard Sutton

    Match result:

    The North Queensland Cowboys, despite not leading until the 85th minute, have won an extra time classic over the Cronulla Sharks after a Michael Morgan field goal.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    Cronulla Sharks 14
    North Queensland Cowboys 15

    Match preview:

    Reigning premiers the Cronulla Sharks will go into their elimination final as red-hot favourites, but standing in their way are the always brave North Queensland Cowboys. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 4:10pm (AEST).

    While the Sharks are always there and abouts, the Cowboys have had to fight every step of the way in the run to the finals. They snuck into the top eight, holding their spot with the Dragons losing to the Bulldogs in the final round.

    Brave is the word used to describe North Queensland’s season. No Johnathan Thurston and no Matt Scott hurt them, but they have had a slew of other injuries throughout the season, particularly over the last two months.

    A gutsy comeback win against the Tigers in Round 25 helped their retain their spot, and while they lost to the Broncos in Round 26, this is a side who have worked hard every step of the way.

    They have had to fight for wins, their forwards have stood up when it’s counted most. Jason Taumalolo, who has averaged more than 200 metres per game has led from the front, and been backed up well by Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper and John Asiata throughout.

    Along with their bench forwards, who have been led in recent weeks by veteran Shaun Fensom, the whole pack must be at the top of their game.

    If there’s one thing you know you’ll get from the Sharks, it’s a grinding, gritty sort of game. Andre Fifita, Luke Lewis, Wade Graham and Paul Gallen will make sure of it. They will ensure it’s low-scoring and played through the middle third of the field.

    The problem for the Sharks, who missed out on a top four spot, finishing fourth is that they have looked fatigued, and the form of James Maloney has been inconsistent at best.

    Maloney has been trying to force plays, and it’s led to the Sharks having to do more defence than they otherwise would have in most games this season. If he and Chad Townsend can’t control things, then it’ll bring the Cowboys big pack right into this game.

    Despite that, the Sharks have other attacking weapons. Graham and Lewis themselves have both been in good form, while young gun Valentine Holmes is a sensational runner of the ball at the back.

    The Sharks haven’t been setting the world on fire, but the Cowboys simply won’t have the petrol to go with Cronulla. Their injuries have caught up with them, and they will be knocked out in a close one.

    Sharks by 4.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this elimination final from 4:10pm (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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