AAP Rugby

Marshall NRL magic winds back the clock

By AAP Newswire

The Wests Tigers have won ugly in Townsville beating the North Queensland 27-26 in extra time thanks to a 73rd-minute penalty try to Michael Chee-Kam and a field goal to the evergreen Benji Marshall.

Chee-Kam was in the process of scoring a try when he was caught across the head by Cowboys fullback Jordan Kahu which knocked the ball free.

The incident was sent upstairs as a no-try by the referees but, on closer inspection, the bunker reversed the decision to give the Tigers the lead.

But after a Cowboys penalty goal equalled the scores, it was five-eighth Marshall who won the match, potting over a field goal in extra time.

Cowboys Coach Paul Green was furious with the controversial penalty-try ruling.

"There is no way you can say that was a penalty try. There is no way you can guarantee he will score that," he said.

His counterpart Michael McGuire predictably had a different view.

"That's their job to decide. We were lucky tonight, we haven't had many of those go our way so it was nice to get one."

North Queensland had fought out of an 18-0 hole, unable to stop an avalanche of Tigers tries in the early stages; second-rower Chee-Kam, Ryan Matterson and David Nofoaluma all scoring to make up for their scoreless night against Canberra the week before.

But a fortuitous run of events turned the match the way of the Cowboys when Kyle Feldt, Javid Bowen and Michael Morgan all scored after Tigers errors.

Their comeback took full flight in the 68th minute when Morgan threw a marvellous cut out ball for Feldt's second to take the lead for the first time in the match.

But after Chee-Kam's controversial second score and a frantic period of extra time, in which the Tigers had three attempts at Marshall's winner, the home side were left with nothing.

It might get worse for North Queensland with representative forward Coen Hess unable to return to the field after being left clutching at his knee early in the second half.

Both sides have next weekend off; the Tigers will take on South Sydney on Thursday June 27, while the Cowboys will be away the following night to St George Illawarra.