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Cowboys playmakers down and out, Fifita gives Clifford nightmares: 3 Big Hits

The Titans have smashed a disappointing Cowboys outfit 44-8 on the back of a rampaging display from David Fifita to leave North Queensland winless after three rounds.
The Titans have smashed a disappointing Cowboys outfit 44-8 on the back of a rampaging display from David Fifita to leave North Queensland winless after three rounds.

Here are the key takeaways from the match.

MATCH CENTRE: Cowboys vs Titans teams, scores, videos, updates

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Round 3

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COWBOYS PLAYMAKERS DOWN AND OUT

The Cowboys have now lost their first three games of the season to join the Sea Eagles and the Bulldogs at the bottom of the ladder as the only winless teams.

Their defence is a worrying concern, but it is their inability to create any consistent attack that will also be keeping coach Todd Payten up at night.

Granted they lost skipper and five-eighth Michael Morgan to a shoulder injury during the week, but many experts believe Scott Drinkwater at five-eighth and Valentine Holmes at fullback is a better formation.

However the new look spine did little to inspire confidence against the Titans, according to Braith Anasta.

“That’s the problem when they get in good field position they just can’t create.” Anasta said on Fox League.

“That happened Round 1 against the Panthers. They were only a little bit better against the Dragons last week. And again they had plenty of opportunities, especially early in that first half against the Titans.

“Really their inability to create opportunities and points has just let them down.

“When you are like that and down on confidence and belief it just gets harder and harder.”

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FIFITA GIVES CLIFFORD NIGHTMARES

Spare a thought for Cowboys halfback Jake Clifford who had to deal with a rampaging David Fifita at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

The Titans $1.2 million a season man ran for 147 metres, with a whopping nine tackle busts, five offloads, a linebreak and a try in another powerhouse display.

Clifford has five missed tackles and three errors in a forgettable outing.

Legendary big man Steve Blocker Roach believes Fifita is well on his way to becoming one of the best forwards the game has witnessed.

“I think David Fifita is one of the most powerful ballrunners I have ever seen,” Roach said.

“In the first half he had 86 run metres and seven tackle busts. The big thing was of his 86 metres, 40 of them were post contact. After he is hit he just carries on forward and drives those legs.

“He is an unbelievable athlete. I feel very sorry for Jake Clifford. He will have nightmares about this bloke.

“It is not only his power running, he has the ability to offload the footy. If he can be consistent we will be talking about this guy for a long time to come.”

“With Fifita every time they have gone to his edge he is making tackle breaks and he is just so hard to stop,” James Graham added.

HOLBROOK CHANGE-UP PROVIDES TITANS BLUEPRINT FOR DOMINATION

Granted the opposition wasn’t that flash, but Justin Holbrook pulled a masterstroke against the Cowboys that put the competition on notice.

The Titans coach chose to switch lock Tino Fa’asuamaleaui to the front row and push Moeaki Fotuaika to the bench and promote Tyrone Peachey to No.13 to start the game.

The ploy resulted in devastating consequences for the Cowboys who were blown off the park from the first whistle.

“It has been a dominant display from the Titans,” Anasta said.

“I think it was a masterstroke moving Tino Fa’asuamaleaui into the front row, Fotuaika to the bench and Tyrone Peachey to lock.

“Peachey was so good off the back of the big boys. They just powered through the Cowboys.

“The Cowboys didn’t look likely and the Titans cut them to pieces everywhere.

“It has been an onslaught. An absolute barrage from the rampaging big men of the Titans who just proved to be too powerful.”

“The two big boys have had a field day out there,” James Graham added.

“Big Tino and Fotuaika had lots of strong carries.”

Fa’asuamaleaui ran for a whopping 183 metres from 19 runs, while Fotuaika finished with 129 metres, three tackle busts, a linebreak and a try off the bench.

Relive the action in our blog below.

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