The Toyota Cup Cowboys went down to the Melbourne Storm 34-26 at Dairy Farmers Stadium tonight, with the Storm dominating for much of the match before a late Cowboys revival.
The Cowboys scored the first and last try of the match, but it was a difficult 35 minute period between the 15th and 50th minute of play where the Storm gained the ascendancy and built a commanding lead.
Handling errors did not help the Cowboys cause with some promising moves breaking down at the last minute and the Storm were often quick to capitalise.
Trailing 18-6 at the half time break, the Cowboys fell further behind as the Storm started the second half strongly, scoring twice to lead 30-6 after 47 minutes of play.
Then the Cowboys found some attacking rhythm and a try to Chris Grevsmuhl in the 50th minute started a revival to give the crowd some hope of a last minute victory.
With the Storm leading 34-16 with ten minutes to go, the Cowboys scored two unanswered tries to narrow the gap to 8 points, but a miraculous last minute victory was not to be.
Melbourne Storm 34 (Dane Chang 2, Kirisome Auva’a, Matt McGahan, Ben Hampton, Ryan Pooley tries, Matt McGahan 5 goals) d North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 26 (Wayne Ulugia, Chris Grevsmuhl, Kyle Feldt, Alex Elisala, Samsen O’Neill tries, Kyle Feldt 2 goals, Sam Foster 1 goal)