NORTH Queensland’s home woes have continued in a 23-16 NRL loss to a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck-inspired Warriors in a game which has left Michael Morgan in doubt for State of Origin II.
Tuivasa-Sheck on Friday evening set up tries for Ken Maumalo and Solomone Kata and scored one in between, racing 65 metres to score.
The last man he swivelled past en route to the tryline was Cowboys and Queensland Origin utility Morgan, whose trailing left arm was twisted back by the Kiwi fullback, leaving him with a suspected torn bicep.
Trailing 18-0 with halftime approaching, Kyle Feldt set up Javid Bowen for a try and scored two of his own in the second half.
The second try came when Tuivasa-Sheck could not collect Blake Green’s deflected pass and Te Maire Martin sprinted 60m before passing to Feldt as the Warriors closed in on him.
Feldt later was pinged for a penalty for dissent, gifting the Warriors another shot at goal to extend their lead to six points.
The Cowboys dominated the second half and almost drew level in the closing stages when, after a superb Johnathan Thurston grubber, Tuivasa-Sheck barely grounded the ball in-goal ahead of Ben Hampton.
Shaun Johnson kicked a field goal, along with three conversions and two penalties, to ice the game in the last minute.
The loss is the Cowboys’ sixth home defeat of the season and 11th in total, while the Warriors’ win ensures they will remain in the top four at the end of round 15.
Adding further misery to the Maroons’ hopes of levelling the Origin series took a further hit when their starting prop and Sydney Roosters playmaker Dylan Napa suffered an apparent ankle injury.
Napa limped from the field midway through Friday night’s first half after his ankle was twisted in a tackle, and he went straight up the tunnel to be assessed.
Despite the loss of Napa to injury the Roosters have managed to hold sway against the Penrith Panthers in front of their home fans, leading 20-6 after 50 minutes.