Jason Taumalolo of the Cowboys is tackled by Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris of the Storm
Jason Taumalolo of the Cowboys is tackled by Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris of the Storm DAN HIMBRECHTS

NRL Grand Final: Cowboys player ratings

NORTH Queensland have gone down to Melbourne 34-6 in the 2017 grand final.

Here's who starred and who struggled in our Cowboys player ratings.

1. Lachlan Coote (7)

He's not one to die wondering. Always busy. Always asking questions of the defence. He was safe under the high ball and always in the right spot. There's not much of him but he's a tough bugger.

2. Kyle Feldt (6.5)

He's been nursing a hamstring issue for weeks but refused to let it hamper him. He asked questions every chance he got. Loves his kick return metres.

3. Justin O'Neill (6)

The centre came up with some strong carries out of trouble. Missed a one on on tackle on Billy Slater which resulted in the Storm's third try.

4. Kane Linnett (5.5)

How work often goes unnoticed but he puts in. Defending next to Michael Morgan, he was forced to do plenty of tackling. Made a mistake late in the game to gift Curtis Scott a try.

5. Antonio Winterstein (6.5)

When he runs, he does so with purpose. He broke the defence multiple times. Handling errors were his downfall. A dropped ball led to a late Storm try in the first half but he didn't dwell on it. You wouldn't know he's nursing a rib and calf injury.

6. Te Maire Martin (6)

The little half is a runner. He made 11 metres off his first carry and scored a try the second time he genuinely took on the line. A missed tackle in the first half led to a try.

7. Michael Morgan (4.5)

His kicking game in the opening half was poor and it wasn't much better in the second half. He played a hand in Te Maire Martin's try and took control of the kicking game but would've loved to have some of those options over again. There life after JT but Morgan could've used the champion half alongside him on Sunday.

8. John Asiata (5.5)

He came on at the 25 minute mark after starting from the bench. He tore straight in. He made metres and tackled his tail off.

9. Jake Granville (6.5)

He made a crucial try saving tackle on Jesse Bromwich when the prop broke through the centre of the field to defuse a try scoring opportunity. His defence is his greatest asset. In the 2015 grand final his greatest asset was running the ball. Where did that skill go?

10. Scott Bolton (6)

Without Matt Scott, Bolton assumed the role leader of the pack. He runs hard and tackles hard. No frills but reliable.

11. Gavin Cooper (7)

He'll never let you down. He runs hard and tackles hard. A solid performance from the stand-in skipper. He topped the tackle count for the Cowboys with 39.

12. Ethan Lowe (6.5)

He's a worker. He took some tough runs and got through a mountain of woke without the ball. It's crazy to think he was nursing a broken neck this time last year. Sometimes he tries too hard or just switches off which leads to a mistake. Had six missed tackles.

13. Jason Taumalolo (7)

Was he hit with a tranquilliser dart? That's how you tame a beast. Get in his face and make him tackle his backside off. With the defence quick to rush the lock anytime he had the ball, Taumalolo only managed 101 running metres.

14. Ben Hampton (2)

He came on in the second half to give Jake Granville a breather. He missed a tackle on Dale Finucane on his line to let in a try. With a fully fit team next season, he'll be playing Q Cup.

15. Coen Hess (6.5)

He came on a lot earlier than anticipated due to the injury to Shaun Fensom. He ran hard, ran good lines and made his tackles.

16. Corey Jensen (4.5)

He came on inside the final 10 of the first half and ripped into his work.

17. Shaun Fensom (1)

He waited nine years for this day but lasted less than four minutes into the game he was taken out by a teammate as he attempted to make a tackle. Out came the moraine whistle and off came the prop. He'd made one run for nine metres and three reckless before being stretchered from the field. Injury has robbed this workhorse of his grand final moment.

News Corp Australia

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