17 Jul 2013

Manly storm home to beat Cowboys

5:55 am on 17 July 2013

Manly have returned to the National Rugby League's top four while putting a further dent in the finals hopes of the North Queensland Cowboys with Monday night's 34-14 win in Townsville.

The Cowboys were missing State of Origin quartet Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, James Tamou and Brent Tate but were buoyed by the surprise return of veteran fullback Matt Bowen after knee surgery - but not even the return of the 262-game veteran could help the Townsville team, who are languishing in 13th place on the ladder, six points outside the eight.

The home team did take the lead just after the restart but were consigned to their 11th loss of the season and must win the remainder of their seven games if they are any hope of reaching their third straight finals series.