Cowboys suffer triple injury blow in horror defeat

North Queensland may have suffered a triple injury blow on top of a heavy defeat to the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.

The Cowboys were held scoreless for the first 60 minutes as the Broncos won 29-10 at Suncorp Stadium, but the bigger worries will be in the physio room.

Star forward Jason Taumalolo played just 34 minutes after suffering a knee injury in the opening exchanges.

The wrecking ball was twisted in a tackle by Brisbane star Tevita Pangai Jr, remaining on the field after receiving attention from the club doctor.

North Queensland coach Paul Green confirmed after the game that Taumalolo had suffered a medial ligament injury but refused to speculate on the level of damage.

Jason Taumalolo could face a stint on the sidelines with a suspected MCL injury. Pic: Fox Sports

Nene Macdonald was forced from the field after just 38 minutes and did not return after failing a head injury assessment at half-time.

To make matters worse for Green and the Cowboys, there was speculation that Michael Morgan carried a possible shoulder injury through his 80 minutes.

The halfback laid 16 tackles but missed a team-high six, though most players would find it hard to stop a rampaging Pangai at close range.

Having played out the game leading the team in attack with 28 passes and 12 kicks, Morgan appears unlikely to be rested from next week’s home game against the Sharks.

Macdonald will face a series of tests before he is cleared to play.

Powerhouse forward inspires Broncos

North Queensland had no answer to Pangai’s heroics, who looked like he wanted to prove a point after being thrown a starting front-row berth by new coach Anthony Seibold following Matt Lodge’s suspension.

Pangai had been relegated to the bench in Brisbane’s first-round loss to Melbourne after battling back from a hamstring injury.

He played like a man possessed in front of 45,023 fans at Suncorp Stadium, pulling off hit after hit to leave the Cowboys shellshocked from the outset.

Pangai finished with a total of 115 run metres while also helping himself to a 47th-minute try.

Broncos centre James Roberts proved he was over a back injury that cut short his game last week, nabbing a try scoring double along with winger Corey Oates.

Brisbane grabbed a 10-0 halftime lead before kicking on with Oates scoring his 12th try in six games and Roberts helping himself to the eighth double of his career.

The win broke Seibold’s winning duck as the hosts claimed their seventh win in eight games against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.

The margin also ended a series of close battles between the Queensland rivals, 19 points the largest since a 22-point Brisbane victory in March 2015.

with AAP