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Rampaging Jason Taumalolo run leads to try as Cowboys beat Canberra

Canberra have lost star hooker Josh Hodgson and a third-straight NRL game after falling 22-16 at home to North Queensland.

Hodgson left the field in Saturday afternoon's second half with a suspected broken thumb, while Cowboys veteran Matt Scott was scratched in the first half with a shoulder complaint.

The Raiders struggled badly without Hodgson last season when he was out injured. The Canberra co-captain will likely miss at least a month.

Scott's injury appears less serious and he should remain in contention to play for Queensland on June 5 in the State of Origin opener.

Canberra burst out of the blocks and should have scored after three minutes when Jordan Rapana broke down the right wing and hit an unmarked Sam Williams inside but the halfback dropped the pass.

The Cowboys opened the scoring through a Jordan Kahu penalty goal. The Raiders conceded four penalties inside 10 minutes but their defence held strong to keep the visitors tryless.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad looked to have scored from a Jack Wighton grubber but the bunker wasn't satisfied with the grounding from the Canberra fullback on 16 minutes.

Cowboys hooker Jake Granville sliced through out of dummy-half before putting Tom Opacic in to score untouched after 18 minutes and Kahu converted for an 8-0 lead.

Wighton responded with a 40-20 and, minutes later, threw a pinpoint cut-out pass to Bailey Simonsson who scored in the corner but Jarrod Croker missed the conversion.

The Raiders took the lead when Williams grubbered in-goal and Gideon Gela-Mosby missed the ball to hand Michael Oldfield a gift on 28 minutes.

The seesaw affair continued when Cowboys centre Justin O'Neill crashed over to wrestle back the lead and they extended the margin after halftime when Michael Morgan kicked for an unmarked Kyle Feldt to score in the corner.

A North Queensland penalty goal made it 20-10 before Canberra super-sub Siliva Havili scored from close range out of dummy-half with 20 minutes to play.

The Cowboys booted another two-pointer and the Raiders had several chances to send it to golden point but the visitors held on to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

Canberra (6-5) have lost their past four games by six points or less and drop out of the top four for the first time since round two.


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