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The Dragons defeated the Cowboys 22-8 at WIN Jubilee Stadium in Round 9 last year.

Missing Darius Boyd and Jason Nightingale to injury the Dragons still fired too many guns for the full-strength Cowboys’ defence, racing to an 18-2 lead at halftime. Dean Young drew first blood for the Dragons when he plunged over from dummy-half with 14 minutes gone, before a controversial intercept try to Brett Morris, who appeared to be offside rushing up off his try line, saw the Red V lead 12-2 at the 28-minute mark. When Kyle Stanley crossed supporting Mark Gasnier’s weaving half-break the home side had a 16-point buffer heading to the sheds.

Halfback Ben Hornby extended the Dragons’ lead when he caught a Brett Morris in-field chip kick to cross in the 54th minute, before a set scrum play resulted in Johnathan Thurston touching down for the sole Cowboys four-pointer with two minutes remaining.

Defence was a concern for both sides, with the Dragons missing 44 tackles and the Cowboys missing 46. The home side’s attack was more penetrative, recording five line-breaks to the Cowboys’ two, while completions were matched at 84 per cent apiece.

Mark Gasnier was man of the match with 16 runs for 138 metres plus a try assist and four offloads, while the Cowboys were best served by Thurston who made 131 metres in the No.7 and brushed aside 10 Dragons defenders throughout the afternoon.