Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys: NRL Finals live scores, blog

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    Roosters vs Cowboys

    NRL, 23 September, 2017

    Allianz Stadium
    Fulltime - Roosters 16, Cowboys 29
    Roosters   Cowboys
    16 FINAL SCORE 29
    3 TRIES 4
    Referee: Gerard Sutton
    Touch judges: Nick Beashel & Chris Sutton
    Video Referee: Bernard Sutton

    Match result:

    The North Queensland Cowboys are through to the NRL grand final after a 13-point roller coaster victory over the Sydney Roosters in the second preliminary final at Allianz Stadium.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    Sydney Roosters 16
    North Queensland Cowboys 29

    Match preview:

    The Sydney Roosters might be favourites to advance to the grand final, but the North Queensland Cowboys have already forced two September upsets. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:40pm (AEST).

    Supposed to be making up the numbers, the Cowboys have been the story of the NRL finals.

    The Townsville-based club first went past the Cronulla Sharks in an extra-time thriller, defending their heart out for 90 mintues to make the reigning premiers eat the dust, before they ran away from the Parramatta Eels with a genuinely brilliant second-half performance in last week’s semi-final.

    Bolstering North Queensland spirits, co-captain and representative prop Matt Scott has been named on the reserves and is an outside chance to make his return. It would be a huge boost to have a big-game player of Scott’s calibre back on the park.

    Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo have led the charge though. Morgan’s options, vision and short-range kicking game have been phenomenal. Taumalolo meanwhile, is doing his usual metre-eating, running for 250 in both matches.

    If the Roosters are going to live up to their favouritism and get through to the big dance, they need to stop Taumalolo. He averaged over 200 metres during the regular season though, and for most clubs, it’s proven nearly impossible.

    They will have had a week to think about it. Trent Robinson’s men put on an uninspiring performance in the first week to go past the Brisbane Broncos in a qualifying final.

    While the Roosters dropped a lot of ball, made bad defensive reads and poor decisions in attack, they did just enough to scrape over the line and avoid having to play last week or a trip to Melbourne this week.

    Instead, they get home-ground advantage and a huge opportunity against a club who have been battling.

    While the Roosters’ forwards must stop Taumalolo, the whole side must play 80 minutes. They have drifted in and out of games like a yo-yo at times in the last two months, and the Cowboys at this time of the year will make the tri-colours pay dearly if they were to drop off.

    I wrote off the Cowboys against the Sharks, got on the bandwagon last week and won’t be dropping off now. There’s just too much doubt in what the Roosters are going to serve up. You know exactly what to expect from the Cowboys, and in this case, it should be enough.

    Cowboys by 2.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the second NRL preliminary final from 7:40pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section 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.