The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs held on to a 36-26 victory at 1300SMILES Stadium despite the match ending in controversial circumstances with a try awarded to Robert Lui.
The first half score two tries scored apiece with the game locked at 12-all after forty minutes. Bulldogs fullback, Ben Barba built up his confidence as he posted two tries. His first game after 23 minutes as he ran a support line to back up Greg Eastwood.
North Queensland returned serve with two quick tries five minutes later. Brent Tate with the first Cowboys points as he finished off a line break from Glen Hall. The second scored by second-rower, Dallas Johnson who strolled through the Bulldogs defence thanks to a secondary strong run from Glen Hall.
Ben Barba closed the half for the Bulldogs with his second four-pointer of the evening as he made the defenders look like amateur. At the break, the game in a dead lock at 12-all.
The Cowboys looked to be returning to form quickly in the second half as fill in fullback, Clint Greenshields dived on a mistake from Ben Barba in goal to score two minutes into the second forty.
Several penalties throughout the contest saw some inconsistency in the policing of the ruck. However the Cowboys capitalized on this as Robert Lui extended the lead to 8 points with a penalty goal, 20-12, after 50 minutes.
From that point on it was downhill for the Cowboys as the Bulldogs posted four unanswered tries in 20 minutes. Ben Barba was in the action once again, this time to provide a pin-point pass to his winger in Mitch Brown to dive over the chalk.
Tony Williams has been criticised as of late, however, tonight he managed to cross the white-wash and set up Greg Eastwood for his own try. Thanks to the man they call 'T-Rex', the boys from Canterbury blew the score out to 30-20.
Man of the match, Trent Hodkinson put the final nail in the Cowboys coffin with a simple 'show and go' dart from acting half to secure the victory. However, before the celebrations could be started, the Cowboys through Robert Lui posted the final points of the outing.
In a somewhat controversial situation, the video referee failed to rule on a knock on from Aston Sims to award the green lights. Luckily for the Bulldogs, their lead was large enough to secure victory in Townsville, 36-36 in front of 12,775.