Last Time Played: Cowboys v Storm

North Queensland Cowboys v Melbourne Storm
Round 3, 2011
Dairy Farmers Stadium


North Queensland produced a devastating second half performance to completely overwhelm the Storm 34-6 in Round 3 last year.

It was an extremely un-Melbourne like effort from the visitors, whose night was further soured by injuries to Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor and Dane Nielsen. 

Despite trailing just 10-6 at half-time after a late Gareth Widdop try cancelled an early Will Tupou try, and a blockbusting 90-metre effort from Kalifa Faifai Loa that led to Matt Bowen crossing, Melbourne fell apart after the break with the Cowboys adding a further four tries. The first came 10 minutes into the second half with Johnathan Thurston throwing a well-timed long ball for Ashley Graham to step inside and score. Thurston then set up Bowen to score his second with a pinpoint grubber before the brilliant halfback worked a second-man play with Ray Thompson for Graham to cross again.

Tariq Sims finished the job when he stormed his way over three defenders to score in the 74th minute.

The Cowboys ran for a massive 1405 metres compared to just 941 by Melbourne with Ashley Graham overcoming some first-half errors to make 171 metres, score two tries and add nine tackle-breaks. A total of six North Queensland players topped the 100-metre mark including Bowen, Tupou, Faifai Loa, Matt Scott and James Tamou while Dallas Johnson chimed in with 51 tackles.

Cameron Smith made 49 tackles for the Storm.