The NYC Knights lost 42-22 in Townsville on Saturday night, conceding 34-points in a tough second half.
The visitors started the match strongly, registering two early penalties to set up a platform 40 metres out from the Cowboys' line.
The young Knights seized their opportunity, young forward Daniel Safiiti barging his way over from close range. Bryce Donovan was unable to guide his conversion between the posts, leaving the Knights with an early 4-0 lead.
The Cowboys struck back from a scrum two minutes later, Scott Schulte making the Knights pay for their knock-on from the kick-off. Coen Hess was unable to register points from his conversion, the score left at 4-4.
In what was unfolding as an open contest, promising five-eighth Brock Lamb darted over six nutes later. Donovan's kick was accurate this time, giving the Knights a 6-point lead.
On the back of even more errors and penalties the Knights scored again, prop Josh King showing some fancy footwork near the line to score left of the uprights.
With Donovan forced off with an ankle injury during the previous set, Lamb stepped up and converted, pushing the score to 16-4.
In the 23rd minute Cowboys fullback Yamba Bowie dropped a high ball from Lamb that gave Luke Yates the chance to slide through the defence and score his third try in two matches. Lamb again converted, boosting the Knights to a 22-4 lead.
The Knights were proving to be the dominant side in the first half but the Cowboys managed to sneak a try back late, Conor Carey crossing over with six minutes to play before the interval. Hess' conversion was again waved away, the score 22-8 a the half-time break.
The Knights started the second half strongly, a clever chip from Lamb forcing a goal line drop out.
It was the Cowboys that came up with the next try though, a 40-20 giving them the foundation to score through Braden Uele. Hess was again unsuccessful with the conversion, leaving the score at 22-12.
It didn't take long for the Cowboys to cross over again, this time via Hess on their right edge. Again the conversion sailed wide, the score 22-16.
The Cowboys' Shulte drew his side level in the 62nd minute when he crossed over for his second, Hess finally able to nail his conversion.
Three minutes later the Cowboys hit the lead when Brandon Smith forced his way over. The conversion was wide but the scoreboard still read 26-22.
The Cowboys had played themselves into unstoppable form and with seven minutes left to play they scored yet again, this time through Ty Carruci. Once more the conversion was waved away, leaving the score at 32-22.
The Knights opted for a short kick-off but it didn’t make the ten metres required, giving the Cowboys another chance in attack. Second rower Hess crossed over for his second, but was unable to convert.
The Cowboys crossed over for another try with three minutes left to play, securing the Round 2 win 42-22.
Knights 22 (T: D Safiti, Lamb, King, Yates, G: Donovan 1/2, Lamb 2/2)
Knights: Donovan, Lam, Tofilau, Robson, Uta, Lamb, Cogger, King, Levi, D Safiti, Smith, J Safiti, Yates. Bench: Kelly, Steven, Faitotoa, Stone.
Cowboys: Bowie, Mosby, Tia Kilifi, Carey, Schulte, Carruci, Bambling, Kikon, Smith, Uele, Hess, Cullen, Quabba. Bench: Kemp, Niemoeller, Kenworthy, Bella.