• Leeds Rhinos
  • 4 - 38

  • North Queensland Cowboys
  • Leeds Rhinos
  • HT 4 - 4
  • North Queensland Cowboys
21st February 2016 | KO 19:00 | Emerald Headingley | World Club Challenge

Leeds Rhinos 4 North Queensland Cowboys 38

Leeds Rhinos lost out to NRL Premiers North Queensland Cowboys in the Dacia World Club Challenge after suffering a second half blitz from the Johnathan Thurston-inspired visitors.

The Rhinos came into the game with the hopes of the First Utility Super League resting on their shoulders. With internationals Danny McGuire, Tom Briscoe and Carl Ablett joining the likes of Stevie Ward, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Beau Falloon and Ashton Golding on the sidelines it was always going to be a huge challenge for the Super League Champions.
 
However, the side that Brian McDermott did field produced heroics in the first half to turn the form book upside down. The Rhinos, backed by a vocal capacity home crowd, took the game to the Cowboys and were not afraid to play their trademark offload game.  They enjoyed a long spell of pressure on the visitors line however the NRL Premiers produced some impressive goal line defence to keep them out.
 
When the Cowboys did get a chance to attack they were clinical. From a penalty in midfield, they had a platform to attack and Johnathan Thurston attracted two defenders before putting Michael Morgan through the gap to score. The Golden Boot winner hooked his conversion attempt wide so it remained 4-0 after 21 minutes.
 
Leeds did not go into their shell after suffering that set back and Headingley was alight when the Rhinos made their pressure count as Adam Cuthbertson offloaded near the line to Rob Burrow. The skipper ducked under the tackle and forced his way over. Jordan Lilley pushed his conversion attempt wide to leave the scores level.
 
The Cowboys rallied in the final minutes of the first half and looked certain to retake the lead before the break only for the Rhinos to produce some breath taking defence to keep them out and keep the game in the balance at half time.

The home side needed a big start to the second half but instead they suffered at the hands of the Cowboys. The visitors were gifted a try inside the opening two minutes of the half when Ash Handley spilled a high kick and Gavin Cooper picked up the loose ball to put centre Kane Linnett over. Thurston added the conversion to make it 10-4.
 
The Cowboys extended their lead when Kyle Feldt held off the challenge of Ryan Hall to score in the corner.  Thurston missed the conversion but the Cowboys now had a two score lead and they made sure of the result around the hour mark.
 
The Cowboys continued to pepper Handley with high kicks but he kept his nerve and the Rhinos almost got themselves back into the contest when the impressive Lilley was literally thrown back from the try-line.
 
Any hope of a fightback, however, was finally snuffed out when the NRL champions scored two further tries in a five-minute spell.
 
Full-back Lachlan Coote picked up a loose ball to touch down in fortuitous fashion after Thurston's grubber kick rebounded off the boot of Sutcliffe and then the world's best player went over for a solo score.
 
Leeds' earlier tremendous efforts then began to take their toll as centre Justin O'Neill strolled past some tired tackling to score two tries in the last 12 minutes and Thurston took his goal tally to five from seven attempts.
 
Both teams finished with 12 men after North Queensland's James Tamou was sin-binned for taking a swing at prop
Keith Galloway and Leeds had Mitch Garbutt sent off for a more blatant punch on Tamou.

"It was a bitterly disappointing result in the end but I am proud of our players, especially the young guys who will learn immeasurably from this."

Brian McDermott, Leeds Rhinos

"We knew Leeds were a proud club and they would be very physical in the first half regardless of the people they had missing and it was important that we stood up to that."

Paul Green, North Queensland Cowboys

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Leeds Rhinos 4 North Queensland Cowboys 38

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Leeds Rhinos 4 North Queensland Cowboys 38

Leeds Rhinos lost out to NRL Premiers North Queensland Cowboys in the Dacia World Club Challenge after suffering a second half blitz from the Johnathan Thurston-inspired visitors.

The Rhinos came into the game with the hopes of the First Utility Super League resting on their shoulders. With internationals Danny McGuire, Tom Briscoe and Carl Ablett joining the likes of Stevie Ward, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Beau Falloon and Ashton Golding on the sidelines it was always going to be a huge challenge for the Super League Champions.
 
However, the side that Brian McDermott did field produced heroics in the first half to turn the form book upside down. The Rhinos, backed by a vocal capacity home crowd, took the game to the Cowboys and were not afraid to play their trademark offload game.  They enjoyed a long spell of pressure on the visitors line however the NRL Premiers produced some impressive goal line defence to keep them out.
 
When the Cowboys did get a chance to attack they were clinical. From a penalty in midfield, they had a platform to attack and Johnathan Thurston attracted two defenders before putting Michael Morgan through the gap to score. The Golden Boot winner hooked his conversion attempt wide so it remained 4-0 after 21 minutes.
 
Leeds did not go into their shell after suffering that set back and Headingley was alight when the Rhinos made their pressure count as Adam Cuthbertson offloaded near the line to Rob Burrow. The skipper ducked under the tackle and forced his way over. Jordan Lilley pushed his conversion attempt wide to leave the scores level.
 
The Cowboys rallied in the final minutes of the first half and looked certain to retake the lead before the break only for the Rhinos to produce some breath taking defence to keep them out and keep the game in the balance at half time.

The home side needed a big start to the second half but instead they suffered at the hands of the Cowboys. The visitors were gifted a try inside the opening two minutes of the half when Ash Handley spilled a high kick and Gavin Cooper picked up the loose ball to put centre Kane Linnett over. Thurston added the conversion to make it 10-4.
 
The Cowboys extended their lead when Kyle Feldt held off the challenge of Ryan Hall to score in the corner.  Thurston missed the conversion but the Cowboys now had a two score lead and they made sure of the result around the hour mark.
 
The Cowboys continued to pepper Handley with high kicks but he kept his nerve and the Rhinos almost got themselves back into the contest when the impressive Lilley was literally thrown back from the try-line.
 
Any hope of a fightback, however, was finally snuffed out when the NRL champions scored two further tries in a five-minute spell.
 
Full-back Lachlan Coote picked up a loose ball to touch down in fortuitous fashion after Thurston's grubber kick rebounded off the boot of Sutcliffe and then the world's best player went over for a solo score.
 
Leeds' earlier tremendous efforts then began to take their toll as centre Justin O'Neill strolled past some tired tackling to score two tries in the last 12 minutes and Thurston took his goal tally to five from seven attempts.
 
Both teams finished with 12 men after North Queensland's James Tamou was sin-binned for taking a swing at prop
Keith Galloway and Leeds had Mitch Garbutt sent off for a more blatant punch on Tamou.

"It was a bitterly disappointing result in the end but I am proud of our players, especially the young guys who will learn immeasurably from this."

Brian McDermott, Leeds Rhinos

"We knew Leeds were a proud club and they would be very physical in the first half regardless of the people they had missing and it was important that we stood up to that."

Paul Green, North Queensland Cowboys

Team Performance

Goals

0

5

Tries

1

7

Player Performance

PlayerTRGLDGYCRCI+I-
Zak Hardaker0000000
Ash Handley0000000
Kallum Watkins0000000
Joel Moon0000000
Ryan Hall0000000
Liam Sutcliffe0000000
Jordan Lilley0000000
Keith Galloway0000000
Rob Burrow MBE1000000
Adam Cuthbertson0000000
Brett Delaney0000000
Brett Ferres0000000
Brad Singleton0000000
Interchanges
Mitchell Garbutt0000100
Jimmy Keinhorst0000000
Anthony Mullally0000000
Josh Walters0000000
PlayerTRGLDGYCRCI+I-
Lachlan Coote1000000
Kyle Feldt1000000
Justin O'Neill2000000
Kane Linnett1000000
Antonio Winterstein0000000
Michael Morgan1000000
Johnathan Thurston1500000
Matt Scott0000000
Jake Granville0000000
James Tamou0001000
Gavin Cooper0000000
Ethan Lowe0000000
Jason Taumalolo0000000
Interchanges
Rory Kostjasyn0000000
John Asiata0000000
Scott Bolton0000000
Ben Hannant0000000
Stats Key
  • TR: Tries
  • RD: Red Cards
  • GL: Goals
  • I+: Interchange On
  • DG: Drop Goals
  • I-: Interchange Off
  • YC: Yellow Cards