Scott Drinkwater has taken a jab at the Tigers fans by comparing the Cowboys‘ dominant victory over the struggling NRL team to a mere training game. In an outstanding performance, North Queensland sought revenge for their previous loss to the Tigers this season, racking up a whopping 74 points on the scoreboard while shutting out their opponents at the other end. This stunning victory marks the largest winning margin in top-level rugby league since 1935, representing a new low for Tim Sheen’s side.
Drinkwater expressed his satisfaction with the win, stating, “‘That was a fun game to be a part of. It just felt like a conditioning game, a pre-season training game. Just how ruthless we were.” The Cowboys players evidently had a personal stake in this match, as coach Todd Payten had put the scoreline around the training center as motivation. Drinkwater emphasised the team’s pride in achieving payback against the Tigers.
The match, which came six weeks after the Tigers defeated the Cowboys 66-18 in Sydney, saw the home team score 13 tries unanswered, securing the largest winning margin in the history of the NRL. This margin surpasses Parramatta’s 74-4 thrashing of Cronulla in 2003. Additionally, it is the third-highest winning margin ever recorded, with only Canterbury’s 85-point and 80-point losses to St George and Eastern Suburbs in 1935 surpassing it.
Queensland Country Bank Stadium witnessed an astounding display of attack, with seven tries being scored in the first half and a further six in the second. It was a record-breaking performance for the Cowboys, as they not only achieved their highest score and victory margin but also reached the 50-point mark for the first time under coach Todd Payten. Meanwhile, the Tigers endured their worst-ever defeat in their history.
On an individual level, Valentine Holmes had an exceptional outing, registering the most individual points in a game by a Cowboys player. With 30 points, Holmes surpassed the previous record of 24 points held by Jonathan Thurston and Josh Hannay. Scott Drinkwater also showcased his brilliance, contributing two tries, three try-assists, four line-assists, and two tackle busts to the team’s triumph.
This victory serves as a statement from the North Queensland Cowboys, who turned the tables on the Tigers and demonstrated their formidable prowess on the field. While the defeat was undoubtedly a bitter pill for the Tigers and their fans to swallow, it also highlights the strength and competitiveness of the NRL competition. The Cowboys have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with and will undoubtedly be aiming for more impressive performances as the season progresses.