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Post by willow » Sat 10 Apr, 2010 11:22 pm

Thurston injured as Tigers down Cowboys
April 10, 2010

North Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston suffered a shoulder injury as the Cowboys succumbed to a 23-16 defeat to the Wests Tigers on Saturday.

The Queensland and Australian star suffered a subluxed left shoulder during the first half of the NRL clash at Dairy Farmers Stadium, one of several injuries in a brutal game.

Cowboys staff will assess the damage with scans on Monday, but a serious injury could see him sidelined for up to a month and put him in doubt for the Test against New Zealand on May 7.

Compounding the worries for the Cowboys was the sight of vice-captain and regular hooker Aaron Payne limping off with 10 minutes to go with a probable ankle injury.

Tigers halfback Tim Moltzen suffered an even more serious injury, ruling himself out for the rest of the season after a complete tear of his anterior cruciate and lateral ligaments in his left knee in the 15th minute of the match.
Benji Marshall of the Tigers skips out of a tackle of Ray Thompson of the Cowboys.

Benji Marshall of the Tigers skips out of a tackle of Ray Thompson of the Cowboys. Photo: Getty Images

The Tigers won the game despite a second-half fightback from the Cowboys, with five-eighth Benji Marshall starring.

The New Zealander set up two tries and had a hand in a third in the first half to set-up the Tigers' win.

Trailing 18-2 at halftime, the Cowboys clawed their way back into the game in the second half with tries to Scott Bolton and Willie Tonga reducing the gap to six points and setting up a cracking finale.

Shannan Gallant had a chance to score against his former club in the 58th minute, but had the ball stripped from his grasp in a desperate one-on-one tackle from opposite number Beau Ryan.

Chris Lawrence sealed the result with his second try of the game inside the final five minutes while Anthony Watts barged over from dummy half with 90 seconds remaining to score a consolation try.

Both clubs could also face meetings with the judiciary this week, with two players placed on report.

Cowboys firebrand Luke O'Donnell could be in the most hot water, sin-binned in the shadows of halftime for an ugly tackle on Tigers fullback Ryan which saw his neck twisted and O'Donnell placed on report.

That penalty was the third in a row for the NSW representative who also launched a spray at referee Gavin Badger in the lead-up.

Andrew Fifita could also find himself in trouble for his high shot on James Tamou in the 14th minute.

WESTS TIGERS 23 (C Lawrence 2 C Heighington L Tuqiri tries B Marshall 3 goals R Farah field goal) bt NORTH QUEENSLAND 16 (S Bolton W Tonga A Watts tries J Thurston J Williams goals) at Dairy Farmers Stadium. Referee: Gavin Badger, Brett Suttor. Crowd: 16,273.


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Post by willow » Sat 10 Apr, 2010 11:24 pm

Moltzen, Thurston injured in Tigers' win - ABC Grandstand

Updated April 10, 2010 22:30:00

New Zealand star Benji Marshall took the reins as Wests Tigers recovered from the first-half loss of half-back Tim Moltzen to post a 23-16 win over the Cowboys in Townsville.

Moltzen was taken off after his left knee buckled in the defensive line without any contact whatsoever and early reports suggested a full tear of his anterior cruciate ligament.

That left the Tigers without a number seven and Marshall took on greater responsibility as Chris Lawrence grabbed two tries and Chris Heighington and Lote Tuqiri added one each.

Molzten's opposite number Johnathan Thurston also failed to see out the match and was taken off in the second half with a partially dislocated shoulder that could throw his representative plans into disarray.

Pleasingly for coach Neil Henry, the Cowboys hung in without two-times Dally M medallist Thurston, with Aaron Payne playing the half-back role with great aplomb.

The extent of Thurston's injury will cause headaches for not only the Cowboys but also Australian and Queensland selectors with a Test and the opening Origin match looming in May.

Payne also went down late, forcing the Cowboys' backs to the wall and Henry was delighted with their response.

"Both coaches were lamenting those injuries," he said.

"Losing JT certainly is a big blow to us but we were very happy with how we fought back in the second half.

"Not much in it at the end, Shannon Gallant loses the ball over the line, John Williams takes that pass off Ray when he goes through there and he probably goes in under the posts.

"I'm very proud of how we handled the losses of a couple of key players."

Cowboys back rower Scott Bolton, who scored a try along with Willie Tonga and Anthony Watts, told Grandstand he was disappointed with the result.

"We lost a few crucial players but there's no excuses," he said.

Despite the likely seriousness of his knee injury, Moltzen preferred to keep optimistic until he has scans.

"I'm alright, I'm not too sure what the go is until we get scans on Monday," he said.

He was delighted with what the side was able to achieve in his absence and told Grandstand the 4-1 Tigers could definitely be considered a 2010 premiership threat.

"We defended really well. That was our goal coming up here and we go away with the two points," he said.

"I think if we can defend like we did there in the first half, I think our attack will flow off the back of that."

Tigers forward Todd Payten also picked up a calf injury.

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Post by willow » Sat 10 Apr, 2010 11:37 pm

Wests Tigers defeat North Queensland Cowboys at Dairy Farmers Stadium

By staff writers with AAP
April 10, 2010

North Queensland Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston suffered a season-ending shoulder injury as his side succumbed to a 23-16 defeat against Wests Tigers.

The Queensland and Australian star suffered a subluxed left shoulder during the first half of the NRL clash at Dairy Farmers Stadium, one of several injuries in a brutal game.

Compounding the worries for the Cowboys was the sight of vice-captain and regular hooker Aaron Payne limping off with 10 minutes to go with a probable ankle injury.

Tigers halfback Tim Moltzen suffered an even more serious injury, ruling himself out for the rest of the season after a complete tear of his anterior cruciate and lateral ligaments in his left knee in the 15th minute of the match.

The Tigers won the game despite a second-half fight back from the Cowboys, with five-eighth Benji Marshall starring.

The New Zealand captain set up two tries and had a hand in a third in the first half to set-up the Tigers' win.

Trailing 18-2 at half-time, the Cowboys clawed their way back into the game in the second half with tries to Scott Bolton and Willie Tonga reducing the gap to six points and setting up a cracking finale.

Shannan Gallant had a chance to score against his former club in the 58th minute, but had the ball stripped from his grasp in a desperate one-on-one tackle from opposite number Beau Ryan.

Chris Lawrence sealed the result with his second try of the game inside the final five minutes while Anthony Watts barged over from dummy-half with 90 seconds remaining to score a consolation try.

Both clubs could also face meetings with the judiciary this week, with two players placed on report.

Cowboys firebrand Luke O'Donnell could be in the most hot water, sin binned in the shadows of half-time for an ugly tackle on Tigers fullback Ryan which saw his neck twisted and O'Donnell placed on report.

That penalty was the third in a row for the New South Wales representative who also launched a spray at referee Gavin Badger in the lead-up.

Andrew Fifita could also find himself in trouble for his high shot on James Tamou in the 14th minute.

Tigers prop Todd Payten also suffered a calf injury during the match.

Despite the loss, Cowboys coach Neil Henry praised his charges for standing up in the absence of Thurston and Payne with their second-half fight-back.

"Both coaches were lamenting those injuries," he said.

"Losing JT certainly is a big blow to us but we were very happy with how we fought back in the second half.

"Not much in it at the end, Shannon Gallant loses the ball over the line, John Williams takes that pass off Ray when he goes through there and he probably goes in under the posts.

"I'm very proud of how we handled the losses of a couple of key players."

Tigers coach Tim Sheens was proud of his side's ability to win "ugly" and stand up in the face of the fired-up Cowboys with no fresh forwards on the bench.

"We finished with 15 and there were some issues to come out of the game," he said.

"They played two games in one there tonight.

"Totally exhausted, that's what they were. They were hanging on.

"We came up with a couple of good plays and came up with a try to seal it so I can't get too hard on anyone."

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Post by willow » Sat 10 Apr, 2010 11:55 pm

Thurston pops shoulder

* By Damien Stannard
* From: The Sunday Telegraph
* April 10, 2010 10:23PM

AUSTRALIA'S halfback stocks for next month's Test could be stretched to the limit after Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston suffered a serious shoulder injury.

The brilliant playmaker winced in pain, with his left arm hanging limply by his side as he exited in the first half of the Cowboys' loss to the Tigers.

Cowboys medical staff said Thurston had a partial dislocation and they would not know the full extent of the injury until Monday.

It was an eventful and costly night for both sides. Test and Tigers coach Tim Sheens would not have been pleased to see Thurston go down.

He had already been rocked by the loss of halfback Tim Moltzen to a season-ending knee injury.

Both teams' dressing rooms resembled casualty wards after Tigers second-rower Gareth Ellis (broken nose and lost tooth) and North Queensland hooker Aaron Payne (ankle) joined the injured list.

The match review committee also will be busy after Cowboys lock Luke O'Donnell and Wests forward Andrew Fifita were placed on report for high tackles.

The signs looked ominous for Cowboys halfback Thurston when he copped a knee to the groin in the opening minutes - and his night only got worse.

He rebounded from the discomfort only to send gasps through the crowd in the 30th minute when he stayed down after hitting the turf heavily attempting a tackle on Tigers interchange forward Andrew Fifita.

Thurston battled on bravely for a few minutes but signalled to the bench when he realised he could no longer tackle with his busted left shoulder.

It was not the only carnage in a brutal first half.

The Tigers' night was soured when halfback Tim Moltzen was floored by a season-ending knee injury.

Already without regular No 7 Robert Lui (ankle), coach Tim Sheens had to think quickly to find another playmaker after Moltzen's left knee buckled under him while he was in pursuit of his former team-mate, Shannon Gallant.

Fifita was also placed on report for a high shot on James Tamou and English second-rower Gareth Ellis lost a tooth in a sickening head clash with team-mate Bryce Gibbs.

Already minus their injured captain, North Queensland needed leadership, but NSW Origin forward Luke O'Donnell let down the side when he was reported for a high tackle on Tigers fullback Beau Ryan.

He was already destined for the sin bin after falling foul of the referees on at least three occasions.

The Tigers endured a draining start to the game when they were forced to drop out with their first three touches of the ball.

North Queensland applied all the pressure, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring through centre Chris Lawrence, who latched onto a perfectly weighted grubber from Benji Marshall.

Despite their injuries and a lop-sided tackle count against them, the Tigers went 10-0 ahead after a handling error from rookie pivot Ray Thompson presented Marshall with possession and open space.

The New Zealand Test skipper scooted 80 metres with Johnathan Thurston and Gallant in pursuit before winger Lote Tuqiri finished the movement.

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Post by willow » Sun 11 Apr, 2010 10:27 am

Tigers show defensive strength to match their attacking flair
PHIL GOULD
April 11, 2010

THE ANALYST

This was a very good night for the Wests Tigers. It wasn't a pretty win; but it's hard to be entertaining when you don't have the football.

Renowned for their brilliant attacking flair and ability to outscore even the best of opponents, the Tigers were forced to win this one with their defence.

In the steamy, tropical conditions, they tackled their hearts out and should gain a lot of confidence from a victory of this nature.

The Cowboys dominated possession in the early stages of the match, forcing the Tigers into three consecutive line drop-outs. At one stage of the first half they were also favoured by a 5-1 penalty count.

Despite a mountain of quality time at the attacking end of the field, the Cowboys never looked like scoring a try.

Their failure to breach the Tigers' defensive line in the first 40 minutes caused them no end of frustration. They looked irritated and confused. This soon led to a drop in confidence levels.

I couldn't believe it when after only 25 minutes, and trailing 10-0 on the scoreboard, the Cowboys elected to kick a penalty goal from close range rather than applying more attacking pressure to get themselves a badly needed try. The Tigers must have been giggling.

Shortly afterwards the home side lost their chief playmaker Johnathan Thurston to injury. The Cowboys' mentality for the rest of the first half showed aggravation and annoyance. They tried hard, but their football was frantic and their discipline deteriorated.

Their second half was slightly better, but then again they were gifted a glut of possession courtesy of a string of penalties.

Hooker Aaron Payne moved into the halfback role and did a reasonable job steering the side around the park. They looked far more composed during this period and managed a couple of tries to get themselves back within six points on the scoreboard.

Again, we saw how important Thurston and injured fullback Matty Bowen are to the fortunes of this team. Without them the Cowboys rank as wooden spoon contenders.

I didn't like their attack at all last night. Their scattergun approach will not stand up under pressure. If anything they run themselves ragged rather than put real pressure on their opponents.

It was controlled performance by the Tigers. They were forced to do a mountain of tackling but handled the extra workload with ease.

Their attacking opportunities were limited. At one stage of the match they were on the wrong end of a 10-4 penalty count and had made more than 70 more tackles than their opponents. Fatigue from all the extra defending meant they were somewhat conservative when they did have the ball in hand.

They too lost their halfback to injury early in the contest when Tim Moltzen suffered a serious knee injury, but playmakers Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah ensured it was business as usual.

When they did get a chance to attack they were deadly. Marshall had a big hand in three of his team's four tries. Farah annoyed the Cowboys with his neat passing and quick surges out of dummy half.

Their left-field attack with centre Chris Lawrence (two tries) and Lote Tuqiri (one try) is as dangerous as any team in the NRL.

There are a lot of points in these boys. If they had the amount of ball the Cowboys enjoyed I dare say they would've won by a big space.

However, while the backs scored the points, this win was attributed to the big men in the middle who toiled away without the ball from beginning to end.

There was an energy and resolve about their defence to take them a long way in this competition.


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Post by willow » Sun 11 Apr, 2010 1:14 pm

WESTS TIGERS BEAT COWBOYS 23-16 IN NRL
By Wayne Cousins
11/04/2010 12:30:35 AM

Wests Tigers recorded its fourth win of the season in beating the North Queensland Cowboys 23-16 at Dairy Farmers Stadium tonight in round five of the Telstra Premiership.

The win came at a price for Wests Tigers with talented half-back Tim Moltzen suffering a
full tear of the anterior cruciate and lateral ligament to his left knee. It has all but ended his season.

Wests Tigers made two changes to its starting line up named on Tuesday. Utility Daniel Fitzhenry came onto the wing for Mitch Brown who started from the interchange bench.

Payten started at prop for the injured Keith Galloway with Liam Fulton moving off the bench to the second row. Junior Moors was added to the bench.

Wests Tigers got off to a disastrous start when from the kick-off by half-back Johnathan Thurston, the ball went over the head of captain and hooker Robbie Farah to roll over the dead ball line to force a drop out.

The defence held firm for the first set before the Cowboys got a repeat set from a Thurston grubber kick that was forced dead by winger Lote Tuqiri.

Thurston was hurt in the second minute when Wests Tigers second-rower Gareth Ellis fell into the half-back’s groin area in making a tackle.

A gingerly Thurston got up and played on before a grubber kick by five-eighth Ray Thompson saw the ball sit up in goal to force Tuqiri to take the ball in-goal to give the Cowboys a third consecutive set.

Wests Tigers received the ball for the first time in the fourth minute when full-back Beau Ryan defused a kick at the end of the third set.

It wasn’t until the fifth minute when Wests Tigers got into the Cowboys’ half for the first time.

A minute later, half-back Tim Moltzen threw a long pass to five-eighth Benji Marshall who put a short grubber kick through behind the defence for centre Chris Lawrence to take the ball to score for a 4-0 lead.

Marshall failed to convert the try from out wide.

Wests Tigers received a major blow in the 14th minute when Moltzen, following through on a Marshall bomb, had his left knee buckle under him in approaching full-back Shannon Gallant.

Moltzen was carried off the field. The diagnosis later was a full tear of the anterior cruciate and lateral ligament which has all but ended his season.

A drop ball by Thompson saw Marshall pick the ball up cleanly to brush off Gallant to race downfield with Thurston in pursuit. Marshall ran acrossfield to link up with Tuqiri who stepped past three defenders to force the ball down under the posts to score. The video referee was called on to check to see if Ellis knocked the ball on in tackling Thompson. Replays showed he didn’t with video referee Tim Mander awarding the try.

Marshall converted the try from in front of the posts to give Wests Tigers a 10-0 lead after 18 minutes.

Wests Tigers prop Andrew Fifita lost the ball in his first hit up to give the Cowboys a scrum feed 20 metres out two minutes later. Marshall was at the scrum base with Fitzhenry at five-eighth.

The Cowboys got a penalty from the first tackle after it was ruled Wests Tigers held down too long in a tackle. A tap was taken before the pressure was relieved when second rower Steve Rapira lost the ball five metres out from the tryline.

Cowboys forward James Tamou was injured in the 23rd minute when he fell into the forearm of Fafita, who was placed on report. Interchange forwards Willie Mason and Steve Southern have entered the field for the first time.

A minute later and in the next set, Ellis went down when he had a head clash with team-mate Bryce Gibbs. The impact saw a tooth pop out of Ellis’ mouth. Ellis had his nose strapped after he got up to play on.

The Cowboys opened their account in the 25th minute when Thurston converted a penalty goal from 18 metres out for a 10-2 scoreline.

Wests Tigers hit back two minutes later when a flat cut out pass by Marshall found centre Blake Ayshford, who turned the ball inside to lock Chris Heighington to race away to score. Thurston was hurt in the play beforehand in trying to tackle Fafita. He landed heavily on his left shoulder but played on.

Marshall converted the try for a 16-2 scoreline after 30 minutes.

From the re-start, Thurston tried to make another tackle on Heighington before eventually leaving the field with the shoulder injury. He was replaced by Anthony Watts, who had a personal run in battle with Farah at Leichhardt Oval late last season.

Wests Tigers had a good opportunity to score in the 33rd minute when from a scrum win, Marshall ran acrossfield to confuse the defence before passing the ball back inside to Ryan who dropped the ball five metres from the tryline.

Ryan lost the ball three minutes before half-time in retrieving a grubber kick on his line in a two man tackle. Fortunately for Wests Tigers, a dropped ball by lock Luke O’Donnell two metres out from the line saw Wests Tigers get a scrum feed and possession.

O’Donnell was penalised a minute before half-time for a grapple tackle around the neck of Ryan. O’Donnell was placed on report and then given 10 minutes in the sin bin for a repeat infringement. Ryan was cautioned by referee Gavin Badger for retaliating to O’Donnell. The penalty went to Wests Tigers.

Marshall converted the penalty goal from 20 metres out to give Wests Tigers an 18-2 scoreline. Thurston may not return for the second half due to a shoulder sublaxation.

2nd Half
A smart play by Farah two minutes after half-time saw the Cowboys inside their own quarter from a scrum win following a great downfield kick. Thurston did not return for the second half and could be out for a month with the shoulder injury.

Video referee Mander was called on when second-rower Scott Bolton picked the ball up after winger Mitch Brown dropped a crossfield bomb from hooker Aaron Payne to score for an 18-6 scoreline.

Winger John Williams converted the try from the sideline for an 18-8 scoreline. The try came after the Cowboys got a scrum feed on half-way after a pushed pass by Marshall to Farah was spilt.

Mander was again called on to see if Gallant had scored in a tackle made by Ryan. Replays showed the ball popped loose, giving Wests Tigers a scrum feed 10 metres out in the 58th minute.

The Cowboys received consecutive penalties in the 61st and 62nd minutes after Fulton was penalised for a late hit on a clearing Payne kick and then for offside from the kick off.’

Wests Tigers got the ball back when the Cowboys dropped the ball before Tuqiri lost the ball in a downfield run. Gallant picked the ball up and raced to the Wests Tigers quarter but the play was taken back for the original knock on by Tuqiri.

The Cowboys got within six points when centre Willie Tonga spun and beat the tackle of Ayshford to score in the corner. Williamson failed to convert from the sideline for an 18-12 scoreline with 14 minutes remaining.

Marshall went for a field goal attempt in the 70th minute but the ball was pushed right.

Wests Tigers extended their lead by one point to 19-12 when Farah landed a field goal in the 74th minute from 20 metres out despite the ball hitting the hands of Watts. Marshall and Watts shared some heated words on the way back to the re-start.

The win was sealed when Heighington ran from dummy half to give a short ball to Lawrence to dive over in the corner to score his second try in the 77th minute for a 23-12 lead. Marshall failed to convert the try from the sideline.

From the re-start, Wests Tigers lost the ball to give it back to the Cowboys. Watts scored from dummy half in the final 40 seconds to make it 23-16. Williamson failed to convert the try to leave Wests Tigers victors 23-16.

The win takes Wests Tigers to eight points and a joint share of the competition lead with Melbourne, St George Illawarra and the Gold Coast.

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